Ledbury Town 3 Westfields 0
LEDBURY Town lifted the HFA County Challenge Cup for the fourth time with a thoroughly deserved victory at Edgar Street on Easter Monday.
Town scored two quick-fire goals at the beginning of the second half to stun the higher-graded favourites.
Influential midfielder David Accam opened the scoring for Ledbury and then Lee Allen doubled their advantage with a goal which would have graced any cup final.
Left-back Antoine Thompson capped Ledbury’s impressive second-half performance with a trophy-clinching third goal in the 87th minute.
Ledbury’s victory avenged their 4-0 drubbing at Westfields in the semi-finals of last season’s competition.
Westfields faded in Monday’s second half and were outfought by a hard-working Ledbury side who used the width of the pitch.
Westfields have lost the last two finals and their haul remains at nine County Cup titles – one fewer than Kington Town and Hinton.
The in-form Hereford club made a bright start to the final and dominated possession in the opening 10 minutes without creating any clear chances.
Town were the first to threaten and a raking pass from Accam set up Joel Skyers whose first-time drive flashed wide.
Ledbury got on top and came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock in the 21st minute.
Phil Glover fouled Skyers 30 yards from goal and Allen’s powerful free-kick beat Westfields’ four-man defensive wall but struck the outside of the left-hand post.
The reprieve appeared to spur on the Midland Alliance outfit and striker Richard Kear had three chances in quick succession.
Kear twice blazed over from good positions and then his third effort was scrambled to safety by the Ledbury defence.
Westfields continued to press and Ledbury goalkeeper Edward Neale made a sharp reflex save in the 26th minute to keep out Glover’s downward header.
Ben Symons’ Ledbury side attacked down the slope towards the Meadow End in the second half and had the ball in the net after 70 seconds of the restart.
Dorian Colling’s deft header from Skyers’ cross struck the inside of a post.
Allen knocked in the rebound but his effort was ruled out for offside.
Ledbury went ahead with the best move of the match in the 49th minute.
Scott Roberts, skipper Liam Halliday and Skyers were involved in a sweeping four-man move which cut open Westfields’ defence.
Halliday delivered a low cross from the bye-line and Accam, a former Fulham youth player, hammered the ball past the stranded Jon Pugh from close-range.
The cheers had hardly died when Ledbury notched their second goal less than 60 seconds later.
Allen picked up the ball about 10 yards inside his own half and surged forward before unleashing a 25-yarder which flew in off the inside of a post.
Ledbury should have wrapped up the win in the 71st minute. Allen’s left-wing cross sailed over Pugh and Colling headed wide at the back post.
Westfields threw players forward and won several corners without creating clear-cut opportunities.
A couple of half-chances fell to Daryl Addis but Ian Merrick and Paul Bryan were outstanding in Ledbury’s rearguard.
Town sealed the cup triumph – and booked a home match with Hereford United next season – with another superb strike with just three minutes remaining.
Colling teed up Thompson on the edge of the Westfields box and the young left-back cracked an unstoppable right-foot shot into the roof of the net.