Mill Hill in charity shield win with late goal in Blackburn Sunday League (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Mill Hill in charity shield win with late goal in Blackburn Sunday League
Blackburn Sunday League Charity Shield Mill Hill 1 Finch Bee Hive 0 DANNY Finch scored the only goal of the game as Mill Hill finally got one over Bee Hive keeper Craig Taylor as the champions won the Charity Shield for the first time.
Having lost last year’s Charity Shield to New Gardeners on penalties, Mill Hill would not have wanted to have gone in to another shoot-out – especially with Taylor in such top form between the sticks.
However, in a dual between the two teams stand-out players, it was Finch who emerged victorious, rising at the far post to thump home a header from Mark Taylor’s free kick with just five minutes remaining.
Up to that point, Finch’s best work had been done in the centre of Mill Hill’s rock steady defence.
But Mill Hill should never have left it so late to wrap up victory and could easily have been home and dry by the break.
A combination of fine keeping, poor finishing and the woodwork kept Mill Hill at bay.
And with the game still scoreless, a talented Bee Hive team, who lifted the Rosebowl last season, were always in contention.
And had Mick Berry, who had been a constant threat throughout the game, converted his one-on-one with Ben Forster in the Mill Hill goal then it could have been a different story.
As it was, Mill Hill created enough chances to win two games with Alex Ralph’s luck in front of goal summing up his team’s luck.
The left winger rattled the crossbar twice, was twice denied by Taylor before screwing his best chance wide. He was not alone in being thwarted by Taylor, who also denied Dean Clarke twice and Taylor in the first half and Liam Fryer after the break. But Bee Hive, driven on by captain Dion Holcroft and Mick Newton in the middle of the park, had their chances.
In the early exchanges, a slick move opened up the Mill Hill defence but Berry took one touch too many and the chance was gone.
Mill Hill’s keeper Forster was then off his line quickly to thwart Steven Bowen. But with Mill Hill’s backline in no mood to concede – Finch and Lee Lysons rock solid in the heart of the defence – those chances were few and far between.
Bee Hive got more of a foothold in the match after the break – a match where the proceeds went to the Sam Shaw Appeal.
Berry’s firmly struck volley was tipped behind by Forster before the striker fired wide.
At the other end, Taylor palmed away a header from Fryer before Ollie Maclean weaved his way through the Bee Hive defence only to poke the ball wide.
Forster then twice came to Mill Hill’s rescue with two top saves to deny Berry but the Bee Hive forward should have opened the scoring when he beat the offside trap only to pull his shot wide.
But with five minutes to go, Mill Hill finally broke the deadlock when Taylor’s deep free kick was met by a thumping header from Finch – and not even Bee Hive keeper Taylor could keep that out.
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