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County title in the bag for Sparsholt College
Sparsholt College 2 Brockenhurst College 1.
Hampshire Colleges Cup Final.
Sparsholt College’s hard working squad duly claimed the second in a possible cup treble on Wednesday afternoon when they overcame Brockenhurst College in the Hampshire Colleges Cup Final at Team Solent’s Test Park ground.
Just five days after the side’s memorable National Trophy victory over John Rigby College at Coventry, Neil Benson’s troops were grateful to Tommy Wright and Albanian international Erli Cupi for the goals which brought the county title back to Sparsholt.
A largely forgettable first half saw brief moments of excitement with Ed Chappe going close before exiting the match after a clumsy challenge and Brock skipper Jesses Gold hitting a long range free-kick just over. Wright tested keeper Jack Nicholson from distance but with minutes left to the break his lofted free-kick from close to the half way line drifted over Nicholson and nestled inside the far post for the opener.
After the break Sparsholt upped the tempo but within ten minutes Brockenhurst were surprisingly level as Dillon Knight got clear of a square defence and his lob just beat Mark Childs.
On the hour Charlie Gunson’s skill fashioned enough space to test Nicholson before he too left the game having come out a three way collision at least second best. Coach Benson was utilising the rolling subs rule and having been introduced substitute Cupi was put in by Tom Pattison and his finish proved conclusive on 65 minutes. Childs was brave at the feet of Knight to preserve the lead before Sparsholt squandered a gilt edged chance to the game to bed when another sub, Josh Bertie was clumsily felled in the box by Jake King but Callum Cuniffe-Pilley’s spot-kick was superbly saved by substitute keeper George Wheeler.
Wright shaved the post with an effort while Oli Bailey lay prone then the man of the match had another effort scrambled away but in the end it mattered little as the cup belonged to Sparsholt.
They now move on to the Midweek Floodlit Cup semi-final at Moneyfields for the right to play Havant and Waterlooville.