Congleton Town will sign off for the summer with a cup double after defeating Bacup Borough on penalties to confirm their status as Macron Cup champions.
The Bears locked horns with Bacup Borough in this year’s Macron Cup final at Chorley’s Victory Park – with both sides eyeing up their second piece of silverware for the season.
Over 1000 fans saw an enthralling encounter which concluded with Dave Parton saving two penalties to cap off a historical season with another well-deserved trophy for the Bears.
The first-half was dominated by Richard Duffy’s men with Bacup Borough having to weather a huge storm to ensure they went in at the interval 0-0.
Dan Needham, Pete Williams, Tom Pope and Arron Johns all head chances in the opening stages to break the deadlock but goalkeeper Mason Walker stood firm on multiple occasions to deny Congleton.
Pope thought he’d given the Bears the lead in the closing stages of the first-half but the striker’s header was expertly cleared off the line by Gareth Wager.
Following the interval, Congleton asserted their dominance once more and were finally rewarded for their patience.
Needham skipped past Mason Fallon’s challenge before wonderfully picking out Pope who had the simple task of firing home from close range.
Bacup drew level ten minutes later with their first sight of goal. The ever-threatening Toby Knight latched onto Fallon’s cross to glance the ball out of the reach of Parton to give the Lancashire side the equaliser
Congleton soon restored their lead after Justice Jacobs pointed to the penalty spot after Dan Needham was dragged to the ground.
Lewis Short, as always, made no mistake from twelve yards sending Walker the wrong way.
With full-time approaching, Congleton looked a cert to have won the Macron Cup in ninety minutes but a rocket from distance by Knight sent the game to penalties. The striker got the ball 30 yards from goal before rifling a sensational effort into the top corner.
Congleton’s destiny lay on a penalty shootout once more but the outcome was almost identical to their Cheshire Senior Cup final win at Altrincham. Pete Williams, Darren Chadwick, Ryan Read and Lewis Short all made no mistake from the spot with Dave Parton confirming The Bears’ Champions status with two excellent penalty saves.
“We did it the hard way again, that probably sums us up! We do nothing easy and today was that, We dominated large spells of the game, had chance after chance, and after ten minutes Chadders [Darren Chadwick] on the bench said we should be three or four up here.
“Credit to my players again. They found a way to win again and the penalty man [Dave Parton] has done his job again.
“If you offered me two trophies at the beginning of the season, myself and Griff would’ve snapped your hand off. Disappointing to not be in the final of the Vase, that will ever beat me up because it was a massive opportunity slipped.
“25th cup game today and our 67th game of the season, not many teams up and down the country would’ve played that many so credit to them.”