Unity hold their nerve to retain cup

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Unity beat Blessed Trinity on penalties in the Year 9 cup final at Thomas Whitham Sixth Form, to win the trophy for the third-successive year.

Both teams know each other well, as they make up the majority of the Burnley Under 14 town team squad, and both managers knew the game would be extremely tight, based on previous contests between the two sides.

The match was a very tense affair, with both teams having a lot of possession and creating a number of goal scoring opportunities in each half.

Blessed Trinity took a 1-0 lead after a defensive mix up between the Unity defence and goalkeeper.

Aaron Hughes made a number of excellent saves throughout the game to prevent Blessed Trinity extending their lead.

Owen Devonport equalised with a superb effort from outside the box, which swerved and dipped in under the cross bar.

As the game progressed Blessed Trinity once again took the lead, making it 2-1.

From this point onwards, Unity seemed to grow in confidence and started to pass the ball well.

A tactical change from Unity manager Richard Boardman, with more attacking emphasis, definitely provided a spark with more support for lone striker Jason Tattersall.

As the game drew on, it looked like Unity were heading for their first defeat against Blessed Trinity in three years, until Tattersall produced a wonderful cross with his weaker left foot, right onto the head of Devonport, who finished in style.

This goal meant the game went to extra time, as it did against Blessed Trinity two years ago in the Year 7 cup final.

Two halves of 10 minutes in extra time produced no further goals, as the game went to penalties.

Unity’s first four penalty takers all scored under huge pressure.

Blessed Trinity’s fifth penalty taker approached the ball with confidence and struck the ball low to goalkeeper Hughes’ left, but he produced an excellent save.

This meant that Nathan Porter had the chance to win the cup for Unity, and he stepped up and struck the ball hard, with the Blessed Trinity goalkeeper unable to keep it out.