What a fightback this was from Bellfield. It is the oldest cliché in the book, but this was the game of two halves to end them all. KSC will still be wondering how they managed to let this one slip having established a three goal lead at the break.
Instead their opponents somehow clawed themselves back into it. The annual fixture madness may have been a factor in their sluggish start, but on the back of last week’s cup victory, Bellfield have a taste for more silverware. With a second half hat-trick from Cameron Bott and David Sawyers’s last gasp header they booked their place in the final in dramatic style.
Barca looked shell shocked at the end, and will rue missed opportunities in a first half they completely dominated. This game should probably have been beyond even Bellfield’s recovery powers by half time.
It was a bright opening half hour for the hosts, with Daniel Sweeney’s goal brace and Alexander Dean’s header putting them seemingly in cruise control. Right from the off KSC had a stranglehold of midfield, camped in the Bellfield half, with Dean and Lennon Goldthorpe passing up early opportunities.
It only took 8 minutes for the pressure to finally give, as Sweeney rocketed a fine strike, from the D, into Nathan Joyce’s top right corner. A deserved lead, but what followed would come back to haunt KSC in the second half.
A succession of chances fell their way. Andy Martin fired wide, in the 11th minute, after being clean through on goal, with Dean having his shot cleared off the Bellfield line four minutes later. With the visitors unable to clear their lines, and push up, Sweeney then cracked the bar in the 18th. It was all one-way traffic.
Bellfield’s only ray of hope was in getting Jamie Fowler and Bott involved in the game up field, but they remained under the cosh as KSC kept up the possession football through Sweeney, Dean and Goldthorpe.
The lead should have been doubled on 25 minutes, as Goldthorpe slipped a perfect ball through for Dean clean through on goal, but he could not test Joyce. However, the striker then made amends two minutes later to score number two, as he leapt highest at the far post to nod home Sweeney’s corner.
It looked like Bellfield were finally caving in to the pressure a minute later as KSC struck again to seemingly put one foot in the final. Another quick break down the right found Goldthorpe in the box in space. Joyce could only parry a gift out to eight who made no mistake from a couple of yards.
Barca were in full control but should have been out of sight right on half time, with Dean clean through again, but this time Joyce stood up well to block his shot.