Heartache for Battle in national final

Ollie Norris in the thick of the action for Battle Baptists against St Cuthberts
Ollie Norris in the thick of the action for Battle Baptists against St Cuthberts
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Battle Baptists missed out on winning a national knockout football competition in agonising fashion on Sunday.

Baptists were 2-0 up in the National Christian Trophy final at Northampton Town FC’s Sixfields Stadium only to concede three times during the closing 20 minutes as Liverpool-based opponents St Cuthberts celebrated a 3-2 victory.

Battle, whose travelling support outnumbered and outsang their rivals, drew first blood on 20 minutes when captain Jamie Crouch arrowed a crossfield pass into the path of Adam Thompsett, who confidently fired home.

Ten minutes into the second half, the Baptists doubled their lead when a Barry Crouch corner to the back post was met with a Thompsett volley that flew back towards the target. Despite a defender’s desperate deflection, the ball hit the back of the net to the emended joy of the men in orange.

After another opportunity for Battle to increase the score, the game changed on a decision when Battle’s right-back Tom Wynne-Pennels looked to be barged off the ball in the six yard box and the Saints striker scored from three yards.

A penalty was then awarded for a foul inside the area and St Cuthberts were unexpectedly level. There was worse to come as Cuthberts grabbed the winner with 10 minutes left.

See Friday’s Battle Observer for a full report and reaction.