Green end term with cup win
Leverstock Green claimed the St Mary's Cup for the first time when they beat Berkhamsted 3-1 in Monday night's final to end the season with their first silverware for seven years.
It capped a dramatic five days for the club, following the announcement on Friday that Scott Dash was resigning from his role as first-team manager.
Green ended a season in which they achieved their first top-10 finish for seven years by adding their first trophy for seven seasons.
After losing four finals in the last 12 years, it seemed like Levy were destined never to win the St Mary’s Cup, but they finally captured the prestigious West Herts FA trophy for the first time with a win over local rivals Berko at Hemel Town’s Vauxhall Road ground.
Berko made the stronger start and should have gone in front in the eighth minute when Adam Mead received the ball in front of goal but somehow didn’t put it away.
Leverstock made their first serious attack in the 13th minute and it resulted in a goal. Chris Gosling brought the ball out of defence and played a great through-ball to Jonathan Lacey. The Green’s top scorer did the rest, breezing past Josh Chamberlain before running on to drill a low shot past Berko keeper Carl Tasker into the net.
It got even better for the Green in the 20th minute. Shane Wood hurled a long throw-in into the box which was headed away, but only as far as Ross Adams on the edge of the box, and he hit a shot which took a big deflection off Berko defender Ollie Cox and crept just inside the post to put the Green 2-0 up.
Berko had chances to pull a goal back before half-time. On 36 minutes Jack Stevens met a cross at the near post with a glancing header that went across goal and wide. Five minutes later Max Farrelly’s header from a corner hit the angle of post and bar.
In stoppage time Levy net man Matt Evans pulled off two great saves, keeping out a shot from Ashley Morrissey and saving Alex Campana’s effort from close range.
Berko again made the stronger start in the second period, with Evans having to make another great save from a free-kick on 50 minutes, and a rebounded effort from Campana being cleared off the line.
However, again it was Leverstock who found the net three minutes later. Luke Nugent robbed a defender near the left touchline and delivered an excellent cross into the box for Casey Linsell, who chested the ball down with his first touch and drilled a shot past Tasker with his second to put the Green into a 3-0 lead.
Linsell might have had another goal a minute later when he was through on Tasker but the Berko keeper saved.
On 58 minutes Liam McCrohan pumped a free-kick from his own half to find Lacey, who took the ball past Mead but this time he shot over the bar.
Berko were again denied a goal on 65 minutes as Evans pulled off another top save from an Ashton Campbell shot, and a follow-up effort from Adiel Mannion was cleared off the line by Nugent.
Leverstock went close to a fourth goal four minutes later when Reece Cameron took the ball off a defender and hit a screamer of a shot which brought an equally good save from Tasker to tip it over the bar.
With 13 minutes remaining Berko finally got on the scoresheet when Campbell got in behind the Leverstock defence to slot a shot past Evans.
But the Green side remained strong over the closing minutes to ensure that there was to be no comeback from the Berko side, and the final whistle signalled an impressive 3-1 cup final win.
Evans was awarded the man of the match award for his series of great saves.