BRETT Denham was Tadley Calleva’s extra-time hero as they edged out local rivals AFC Aldermaston to lift the Basingstoke Senior Cup at Barlow’s Park last Wednesday evening.
Almost 300 spectators were treated to a thrilling game, which saw Hampshire Premier League outfit Aldermaston match their Wessex League Division One opponents throughout, despite being reduced to 10 men before half-time.
Tadley took the lead when Denham headed home Adam Alliston’s corner just before the half-hour, and things got even tougher for Aldermaston soon after, when Matt Wilkins was shown a second yellow card.
The lower-league side did not crumble and went close to levelling when Michael Porter bent a free-kick just over. They did equalise before the break though, Porter nodding home Carmel Tonna’s corner.
Karl Hanks went close to putting the underdogs ahead early in the second half, but a triple substitution from Tadley manager Danny Dolan saw the home side pile on the pressure.
A scramble saw Ashley Ledger force a fine save from Ben Smith, while Tam Sotonye’s follow-up effort from hit the bar and Denham had his shot blocked on the line.
However, Aldermaston pressed late on, with Tadley goalkeeper Luke Parker-Hoods saving from Porter to ensure that extra-time was needed.
Tadley went ahead in the first minute of the additional period, Shaun Dallimore firing in from Denham’s cross, but Aldermaston pulled level just before the change of ends, Kai Parton-Edey slotting home from the penalty spot.
The home side ensured there was no shock though, with Denham heading home at the near post from Adam Alliston’s corner to win his side the cup.