It may not have been Wembley but Northchapel’s compact pitch was the venue for the Midhurst Challenge Cup final.
On a rough and muddy surface, both teams had opportunities to take the lead but neither keeper was properly tested. As the half progressed Fernhurst showed the first signs of intent, James Coates lofting a cross to the back post for Jonny Denham to nod marginally wide.
They continued to push for the opener as a mix-up between Fittleworth defender and keeper allowed Denham to steal in and have a shot cleared off the line.
In the 35th minute Fernhurst’s Mike Griffin steered home a square ball despite appearing offside. The half drew to a close with Fernhurst riding their luck as an offside goal and several good chances went awry for Fittleworth.
In the second half Griffin should have doubled his tally after a surging run from the halfway line left him one on one only yards out but a fine save was made.
Midway through the half a crunching challenge on the edge of Fittleworth’s area led to a free-kick. Perhaps given for the rash and dangerous nature of the tackle, Fittleworth could still feel aggrieved by the decision especially given misfortune in past rounds of the cup.
But Dave George curled the ball into the bottom corner and give Fernhurst some insurance.
Minutes later James Coates carried the ball into the area and sent the ball trickling across the line after the keeper had got a hand to the fierce shot.
Fittleworth’s youngsters continued to plague Fernhurst’s defence but Fernhurst held strong to win the cup 3-0.