County Fermanagh 2
Newcastle United 2
(Fermanagh win 3-0 on penalties)
Report by Harvey Latimer
It was special day for County Fermanagh as they earned their place in the Premier Vase final via a penalty shootout after a dramatic encounter with Premier League side Newcastle United.
Fermanagh made a confident start forcing Newcastle into uncharacteristic errors that created openings and it was the county side that found a deserved opener. The referee awarded them a penalty after Henry Johnston was adjudged to have used his hand to block Corey Porter’s shot. Adam Cathcart dispatched it on the second attempt, netting in the rebound after Toon ‘keeper Tyler Jones parried the ball out.
Newcastle only began to trouble the Fermanagh backline towards the end of the half. Guy Bloomer had a goal ruled out for a foul on Fermanagh ‘keeper.
Bloomer wasn’t to be denied as in injury time of the first half, he took full advantage of a defensive mix up between centre back and goalkeeper which left the goal gaping for the winger to prod home.
Fermanagh were happy to absorb the pressure from the Magpies. Defenders Oisin Keenan and Ewan Mackie were oustanding in thwarting the Newcastle attack. A cross from Matheos Ferriera crashed against the post whilst Fermanagh substitute goalkeeper Alex McClelland was forced to react well to powerful drive from Bloomer.
Then the drama ensued in stoppage time with Fermanagh scoring what they believed to be the winner. A deflected effort from Jonny Vennard found its way past Tyler Jones. But the jubilant scenes were short-lived. Newcastle were awarded a penalty for a handball by Ewan Mackie. Skipper Jude Cogdon converted and thereby sent the game to spot kicks.
Unfortunately for the Magpies they failed to convert any of their three penalties as Fermanagh takers Adam Cathcart, Dan O’Connor and Callum St. Ledger sent their side into the SuperCupNI Vase final.