Penalty agony as APSA crash out

Gordon Brasted Memorial Cup Hullbridge 2 London APSA 2 (Hullbridge win 5-4 on pens) LONDON APSA were cruelly knocked out of the Gordon Brasted Memorial Cup after a penalty shoot-out defeat to Hullbridge Sports on Saturday. After 90 minutes and extra time

Gordon Brasted Memorial Cup

Hullbridge 2 London APSA 2

(Hullbridge win 5-4 on pens)

LONDON APSA were cruelly knocked out of the Gordon Brasted Memorial Cup after a penalty shoot-out defeat to Hullbridge Sports on Saturday.

After 90 minutes and extra time couldn't find a winner, Stuart Houghton, Isaac Aubynn, Gregory Akpele and Bilal Bapu all converted their penalties, but disaster struck when Stephen McCullagh stepped up and saw his effort saved to send Hullbridge through to the next round.

A disappointed manager John Higley said: "I can't fault the players for their effort.

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"We had a hard game against Basildon on Thursday night and we always find it difficult to play to the same level with only a days rest in between.

"We dominated for long periods and, obviously, their first goal was disappointing as we were coasting at the time and it changed the game."

APSA had made a lively start to the match and Ben Dixon and Mo Dakri went close, while Aubynn hit a shot inches over.

The action continued as Dakri put his effort straight at the keeper, while Daniel Higley saved well from Cheesewright.

The breakthrough seemed inevitable, and it came five minutes before the break, when Dixon latched on to a loose ball and fired it into the net.

After the break it took APSA 10 minutes to double their lead.

Tim Cole strode into midfield and passed the ball to Aubynn, who sent in a cross that Dakri headed home.

The game should have been dead and buried as Dixon's effort was saved, and then Dakri put his header too close to the keeper.

The game changed in the 65th minute though as a speculative shot by Joy from 35 yards was misjudged by Higley for 2-1.

Hullbridge found some extra energy and their pressure paid off on 75 minutes as Coddin levelled the scores.

APSA pushed forward for the winner, but could not make the breakthrough and the game went into extra time. With no winner found, it was left to the dreaded penalties, and eventually Hullbridge went through.

APSA: Higley, Bapu, Cole, McCullagh, Jn Langton, Mustapha, Jam Langton, Dixon, Aubynn, Houghton, Dakri.

Subs: Gabor, Mpalmapa, Akpele.

London APSA have started an under-sevens team, to find out more, contact Zulfi Ali on 07956 556382.

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