Carcroft win by a head in tense final

Carcroft's Jake Canning and Barnburgh's Alex Lacey. Picture: Andrew Roe
Carcroft's Jake Canning and Barnburgh's Alex Lacey. Picture: Andrew Roe

JIMMY Davies’ second half header was enough for Carcroft Village Juniors to seal the U16 League Cup in a fascinating clash with Barnburgh and Harlington at Rossington Main.

The two Premier Division sides were evenly matched to an incredible degree, both seeking to play a passing game which saw them cancel each other out for long periods.

It seemed likely that a well-worked set piece or a mistake would be needed to break the deadlock and the decisive effort indeed came from a corner.

Davies peeled away from his marker at the front post and headed home from six yards on 62 minutes.

Good chances for either side were rare as well-marshalled defences had the edge and most of the early opportunities came from outside the box.

Jordan Wright drilled a shot from the edge of the area but send it straight into the arms of Carcroft keeper Josh Bell while Tom Ryall’s shot on the angle drifted past the post as Barnburgh enjoyed the better of the early stages.

It did not take long for Carcroft to begin to exert themselves on proceedings and they probably had the better of the first half chances.

Jake Canning flashed a cross across the face of the goal with Ethan Webster arriving just in time to prevent Jack Ward from turning home.

On 21 minutes Ward chipped a ball over the defence and only the bravery of on-rushing keeper Steve Geer stopped Dan Comerford from scoring.

Comerford was put in a good position again when a short corner gave him clear sight of goal but his angled effort was turned over the bar.

The last say of the half went to Barnburgh with Ryall firing a tame effort from 25 yards which proved a simple take for Bell.

Canning started and almost finished a superb breakaway from Carcroft at the start of the second half.

He sent the ball out wide to Ward who then found him on the edge of the area but the final shot went wide.

Barnburgh looked most threatening with runs between defenders and Callum Stanton made such a surge to meet a pass from Thomas Dobbin only for Bell to block his shot.

Dobbin had a glorious chance of his own on the hour when Callum Sims flicked a long throw into his path ten yards out but his attempt to place the ball made a simple save for Bell.

Two minutes later, the miss would be rued as Davies put Carcroft ahead.

The pattern of the game did not particularly change much after the goal with Carcroft encouraged to keep organised by their vocal coaches on the sidelines.

Barnburgh did have their chances to level.

Stanton did superbly in skipping past a challenge and getting the ball back onto his right foot before sending a shot just wide from the edge of the area.

But Carcroft could easily have made their position more comfortable, particularly when Chris Caddy’s excellent cross found Ward who fired wide with all the time in the world.

Barnburgh almost brought extra time with two minutes to go.

Sims capped an excellent run with a powerful drive which Bell parried into the path of Kieran Bennett only for Comerford to make a last ditch tackle and send the ball out for a corner.