Sunday Junior Cup 2024

Overtonians Prevail in Thrilling Sunday Junior Cup Final

Penalties would be needed to decide the winner between Rickman Rovers and Overtonians

A thoroughly entertaining Sunday Junior Cup final would see end-to-end football from the off.

It would be Rickman Rovers who were applying more of the early pressure, with the first opportunity of the game falling to Ben McDougall he’d force a great reaction save from Overtonians’ goalkeeper Joss Turner which would set the tone early.

It wouldn’t take long for the scoring to be opened, with Marco Pietrunti putting his side ahead in the eighth minute. The midfielder would find himself in a pocket of a space after the ball was pulled back from the byline and he’d smash his effort home into the top corner.

That goal somewhat woke up Overtonians as they started to grow into the game. Rickman goalkeeper Joe Woolhouse would pull off a fine save down to his left to prevent Ollie Brindley in the 13th minute and 10 minutes later would be forced into an even better double save to deny Tommy Hicks.

Both goalkeepers looked to be the standout players so far and were certainly rising to the occasion.

Overtonians would find the equaliser in the 27th minute and there was little that Woolhouse could’ve done to stop it. Ed Mason’s shot was destined for the goal but would receive a heavy deflection, looping into the top corner and wrongfooting the ‘keeper in the process.

After a slow start, Overtonians were looking by the more dangerous after a slow start and were really beginning to get on top. Woolhouse would once again be called upon, this time to deny Ollie Brindley with his feet and he was very much keeping his side in the game.

As a result, they’d end up going into the half level, with a big second 45 minutes expected. 

The start of the second half wasn’t without drama, with Rickman Rovers being awarded a penalty after a Overtonians defender handled the ball in their own box. Up stepped Luke Evans but he would be denied by a superb save Joss Turner down to his right.

That was a huge missed opportunity for Rovers, but they were continuing to look the more dangerous. Once again, Turner would be called upon, first to first deny Will Block and then Luke Lamberton with an even better save than the first. Turner was truly having a sensational game, just like his opposition number.

The chances that Rickman couldn’t convert would come back to bite them when Ollie Brindley put Overtonians ahead in the 61st minute. He’d capitalise on a defensive error and would poke the ball around Woolhouse to send his side ahead.

It was set to be a nervy final 20 minutes and plenty of players going down with cramp, potentially not used to a pitch the size of that at the Meadowbank Stadium. 

Rickman were throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at the Overtonians goal forcing Turner into a number of saves in the final 15 minutes to keep his side ahead.

When the fourth official raised the board for seven additional minutes, it seemed as if the game still had another twist in the tale. That would come true in the 95th minute, when Rickman found a late equaliser. Overtonians would fail to clear the initial corner and the ball would fall to Luke Evans 12 yards out and he’d make no mistake smashing the ball home.

The game would enter the ninth minute of additional time due to the celebrations which followed the equaliser, and Rickman would almost win it. Will Block would find himself through on goal with what was surely the last chance of the game but Turner would once again pull off a fine save to send the game to penalties.

With Rickman taking first, each side’s first three penalties were converted. Rovers would however miss the target with their fourth, opening the door for Overtonians. They’d have the chance to win the final having scored each of their first four but a fine save from Woolhouse to deny the fifth would send the penalties to sudden death. 

Each side would then go onto take a further eight penalties and every time Turner would save a Rickman penalty, Woolhouse would then save the following Overtonians penalty. Rickman’s 13th penalty would be saved by Turner’s legs and they’d now have their fifth chance to win the match. They’d finally convert that, winning the Sunday Junior Cup as a result.

(Rickman Rovers) Pietrunti (8), Evans (90+5)
(Overtonians) Mason (27), Brindley (61)

POTM – Joss Turner (Overtonians)

Sunday Junior Cup 2024