Hala Madrid as Leighton win Beds Sunday Cup on penalties
Leighton Madrid won a dramatic penalty shoot-out to lift the Bedfordshire Sunday Cup to complete a remarkable rise from the ashes.
Mitch Hamilton’s decisive penalty after a tense 1-1 draw against AC Sportsman saw them win the Cup a little over two years after they were formed.
When Leighton Town Sunday folded in November 2014, the team-mates and friends of the squad decided to form their own team, and in just a few short seasons, became the first team from Leighton Buzzard to lift the cup.
Their rise through the ranks from Division 4 of the Leighton & District Sunday League has seen them sail to Division 1, and their victory over AC Sportsman has been the icing on the cake.
Leighton Madrid were without four injured players heading into the final but they were the ones doing most of the leg work in the opening half, but it remained goal-less at the break.
The second half continued in the same vain as the first, but Madrid finally drew first blood.
A perfect through ball by Hamilton found Ashley Higgins who unselfishly passed the ball across goal for Jack Harris to tap into an empty net and send the travelling Leighton support wild.
It could have been 2-0 almost 5 minutes later for a free header in the box but it unfortunately skimmed wide of the post.
With 20 minutes to go though, Sportsman were level though as a deflected block fell kindly for their striker to convert.
Sportsman could have won it had they not been foiled by the offside flag late in the day, but the fate of the trophy would ultimately come down to spot kicks, and Kieran Doughty’s heroics would be the talk of the town.
Jack Harris missed Madrid’s first penalty, but Aiden Denton made it 2-1.
Carlos Romano made it 3-2, before keeper Doughty first saved, then converted to make it 3-3.
He then saved a second consecutive penalty handing Hamilton the chance to win it, which he duly did.
Squad: Kieran Doughty, Grant Kemp, Tyler Buckley, Mitchell Greany, Ben Cloake, Josh Webster, Joey Leotta, Mitch Hamilton, Aiden Denton, Jack Harris, Ashley Higgins, Ricky Meal, Carlo Romano, Michael James, Joe Hodges, Charlie Fryer, Sam Kilroe, Ryan Lennon, Dom Schofield
Head Coach: Danny Greany
Club Chairman: Charlie Bracken
Director of Football: Dan Kilroe
Physio: Amey Sinfield