Nevitt Nods The Campy to National Cup Glory

Elliott Nevitt’s extra-time header was enough for Campfield to win their second FA Sunday Cup, ensuring the National Cup returned to Merseyside.

The 21-year-old topped off a fantastic weekend after helping Warrington Rylands reach Wembley some 24 hours earlier.

Two-time winners St Joseph’s were appearing in their sixth National Cup, a record for the competition.

But their wait to engrave their name on the trophy for a third time extends to 25 years.

Anthony Clarke’s side started off the brighter of the two finalists testing goalkeeper Kyle Forster early on through James Barrigan after combining with Nevitt.

However, 10 minutes before the break, Thomas Bramall pointed to the spot after Pat McCafferty was the first to react to a low-cross across the box before being brought down.

Charlie Clayton stepped up right-footed but Ryan Jones guessed the right-way denying the Luton-based side from the spot.

Just before the break, the Campy came agonisingly close themselves after weathering the St Joe’s storm. A flurry of chances fell to the Liverpudlians as Barrigan, Nevitt and midfielder Kevin McEllin were all denied. McEllin came closest as he pounced on a rebound only to lose his footing and see his tame header cleared off the line.

Campfield captain, Fisnik Hajdari, put in a real skippers performance over the 120 minutes. He displayed great footwork and determination to worm his way through the defence then firing goalwards, only to see his curling effort bend the wrong side of the post.

St Joes overcame fellow London opposition, Portland FC, in the semi-final. They had the greater share of chances in the second half, albeit not troubling Jones in the Campy goal.

In what was a fiercely competed and finely poised game, after 90 minutes neither could be separated.

Speaking to Anthony Clarke prior to the final, he commended his side for their resilience in the tight games and as extra-time continued, his side showed their credentials worthy of winning the pinnacle of amateur football, instantly putting their opponents on the back foot.

And just three minutes into extra-time, they got the all-important first goal. With the six-yard box crowded, substitute Matthew Williams delivered a tempting corner and there was the prolific Campy talisman, Nevitt, who rose highest and thundered his header home.

Minutes later, he went close to scoring a second. Powering across the St Joes 18-yard box, Nevitt bullied his way onto the ball and unleashed a rocket only to see his effort rattle the crossbar.

But the game was far from over, the Campfield goalkeeper had to do his bit and sprung into action to deny Adam Watkins from point-blank range.

Stephen McDaid’s side continued to push for the equaliser but Campfield prohibited them to half-chances and speculative efforts, but their attempts to restore parity were made harder as captain James Bishop was shown a second yellow minutes before the end.

But the Campy held on and joined the executive list of Merseyside teams to win the National Cup twice, ending Liverpool’s five-year run without a winner in the competition after Clarke led them to glory at Ewood Park in 2016.

Other Match Reports...