Bishops Castle 2 Newcastle 1

ANDREW Green chose a perfect way to bring down the curtain on his managerial reign with a match-winning brace in the final of the Bishops Castle Cup.

The Bishops Castle chief struck the winner with just 30 seconds of extra-time remaining in Sunday’s hard-fought final against John Goodridge’s Newcastle.

“I was dreading penalties,” admitted Green, who celebrated the triumph long into the night.

“I think there was just half-a-minute left when I picked up the ball and after dropping my shoulder a few times, drilled my shot into the net.

“We all ran into the corner to celebrate and, just after Newcastle kicked off, the referee blew the whistle to finish the game.”

Green picked up the man-of-the-match award for his two goals and is planning to stand down as player-manager at the club’s annual meeting next Tuesday (June 3).

The meeting takes place at 8pm at the Kings Head in Bishops Castle.

Green said: “I think we have done OK – and I am hoping that someone will step up to become the new manager. We finished fifth in the Mercian League Division One, we got to the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup, the final of the league cup and won both the Newcastle and Bishops Castle cups.”

Green said he thought several of the Newcastle lads had played exceptionally well in Sunday’s final and had deserved the man-of-the-match award more than him.

Newcastle broke the deadlock with around 20 minutes remaining in the final when Billy Haylatt fired home after he was set up by Craig Morris.

But Green scored with 10 minutes left, after the ball fell to him from a corner, to force the final into extra time.

Green said he feared the prospect of a penalty shoot-out until he scored Castle’s winning goal after a neat pass from Lee Davies.

“I pretended to shoot a couple of times and then, at the third time of dropping my shoulder, I hit a shot which went in. We didn’t want the game to go to penalties – I know Dan Dawson was dreading them.”

Goodridge felt his Newcastle side could have toppled Castle.

“We had two very good chances near the end and both teams were out on their feet in extra-time,” he said.

“We also had a very good appeal for a penalty which was turned down.

“I thought it was a very good final and it was a tight affair and it could have gone either way.”

Newcastle will be reflecting on their season this Saturday at the Hundred House at Purslow.

Goodridge said: “With the squad we had available, I think we underachieved with a fifth-place finish in the Mid Wales League (South).

“We either played really well or we were poor – there seemed to be nothing in between. We were inconsistent and dropped points in matches we could have won comfortably.

“I hope to retain a lot of the squad, although a few players might be going to Knighton Town,” added Goodridge, who has been manager at Newcastle for 11 years.