Second Division Cup final:

Clarbeston Road 3-2 Monkton Swifts

A LAST gasp strike from Tom Glover saw Clarbeston Road win the Second Division Cup for the second time in three seasons after a dramatic second half against Monkton Swifts at the Conygar Bridge Meadow Stadium.

The teams were 0-0 at the break – but after Ben John volleyed Clarbie in front early in the second half, The Swifts responded with goals from Ryan Griffiths and Michael Canton.

However, Jason Griffiths levelled matters, before Glover fired high into the net from a Michael Turpin cross to clinch it.

On a near perfect night at the Meadow, it was Clarbie who had the first big chance when Tom Oram Reubens played a one-two with Griffiths, before having his close range effort blocked by Monkton keeper Dan Roberts.

The keeper then spilt Turpin’s 20-yard shot, but did just enough to prevent Griffiths from a getting a clean strike on the rebound as he miscued wide.

Monkton’s first real opening came when Canton robbed Clarbie centre back Dan Rees of possession, but his low shot went the wrong side of the near post.

There were further chances at both ends before the break, as Clarbie midfielder Turpin, influential all night, had an angled shot saved by Roberts – and Griffiths stumbled at the crucial moment when he seemed set to tap John’s miscued shot into an empty net.

For Monkton, Luke Probert headed a Daniel Scourfield free kick wide, before John Hyde went clean through only to be foiled by Clarbie keeper Gary Thomas.

The Swifts then had their best opening in the dying moments of the half, as a Ben Nicholas free kick found its way to Canton, but his shot was brilliantly blocked by Thomas at point blank range.

But if both sides were guilty of wasting chances in the first half, the second 45 minutes was a different story.

After Turpin’s speculative long range effort looped just over - Clarbie went ahead on 50 minutes when John latched onto a Reubens flick on, and struck a sweet half volley into the top corner.

Yet the lead lasted just 11 minutes – as Clarbie keeper Thomas failed to deal with another Scourfield set-piece, and in the ensuing scramble, the ball fell to Griffiths who drove a low 15 yard shot home.

And just five minutes later, The Swifts led after Canton received Nicolas’ pass with his back to goal, and then turned sharply and curled a superb shot that cannoned in off the inside of the post.

Clarbie tried to respond as winger Reubens surged into the area but was crowded out by the Monkton defence – and then on 74 minutes, the same player created the equaliser when he again made ground on the right, and squared for Griffiths who placed his shot into the bottom corner.

The frantic pace seemed to slow in the latter stages, but just when extra time seemed inevitable, Clarbie launched a last ditch attack, and Griffiths turned his marker Sean Jones before seeing his close range effort diverted out for a corner by Roberts.

From the subsequent corner, Turpin received a short pass and after the Monkton defence failed to clear his cross, Glover shot into the roof of the net from 10 yards out – to seal cup glory for Clarbie.

Clarbeston Road: Gary Thomas, Paul Jenkins, Curtis Elliott (Ricky Maskell 73), Dan Rees, Rheinallt George, Matthew Ellis, Tom Oram Reubens Richard Bevan (91), Tom Glover, Jason Griffiths, Michael Turpin (Simon Owens 91), Ben John.

Monkton Swifts: Dan Roberts, Jimmy Walker, Tom Meiring, Sean Jones, Luke Probert, Ben Nicholas, Blake James (Clem Boswell 73), John Hyde, Daniel Scourfield, Michael Canton (Matthew Davies 78), Ryan Griffiths.

Subs not used: Jason Finnegan.

Referee: Sean O’Connor.

Assistant referees: Paul Jackson and Steve Williams.

Fourth official: Kevin Williams.