MERLINS Bridge’s Joe Leahy scored a stunning double late on to help his side to come from behind to beat Carew in the final of the Senior Cup on Saturday (Apr 20).
Another large crowd were in attendance at the Bridge Meadow in Haverfordwest on a glorious day and the game was an excellent advert for Pembrokeshire football.
Carew started the game well and had a couple of chances to go ahead with Sam Christopher nearly going through on goal.
Shaun Whitfield then sent a cross into the box but Jack Christopher headed wide of Gary Thomas’ goal.
The Bridge then threatened as Leahy sent a free kick towards goal but Carew were able to head the ball away.
Sam Christopher then came close as the ball bounced back to him off a Bridge defender but his effort was saved by Thomas.
Laurie Haworth then crossed into the box for Nathan Greene but he again missed the target with his header.
Midway through the first half, Iwan Izzard found Alex Bayley who then played in Sam Christopher who fired into the roof of the net to give Carew the lead.
He nearly then grabbed a second but he saw his header saved by Thomas.
The Bridge nearly got themselves level when Haworth was played in by Ashley Beck but his effort was saved by the legs of Carew keeper Tom Davies.
Half time came with the Rooks still ahead but whilst the game was still only 1-0 the Wizards still had a chance of getting back into it.
They started the second half well with Leahy shooting just wide while Nathan Greene saw a shot blocked on the line by Scott Richards.
Leahy had another chance to score but he sent his free kick under the wall and just wide of the goal.
The Bridge brought on Will Haworth and he looked dangerous as he sent a cross into the box that had to be cleared by the Carew defenders.
With four minutes to go the ball fell kindly for Leahy and he fired in an unstoppable shot from 30 yards that went in off the post.
It looked as if extra time would be needed to separate the sides but Leahy had other ideas.
With the clock having just ticked past ninety minutes, Greene headed on for Leahy and he fired in from the edge of the box to put the Bridge ahead.
That sparked wild celebrations amongst the Bridge players but there was still time for Carew to get back level.
Jack Christopher saw a shot saved and he then also headed over as Carew’s time began to run out.
The Bridge looked to keep the ball in the corner and moments later, referee Tom Bevan blew for full time and the Bridge celebrated regaining the Senior Cup, having last won it in 2017.
After the game, Bridge player/manager Matthew Divry said: “I’m delighted, it’s my first season as manager so I’m delighted to have won it.
“We showed great character because our performance didn’t match what we’re capable of but to win it late on with two quality goals shows what this team is about.
“Both sides made it a very good game of football.”
Game winning-hero and Man of the match Joe Leahy added: “It’s amazing. We were 1-0 down for so long and to win it like that is incredible.
“It was a massive team effort from everyone.”