Highgate Albion secure place in Middlesex Junior Cup final
PUBLISHED: 11:12 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:12 11 March 2020
Highgate Albion Reserves sealed a spot in the Middlesex Junior Cup final with a 3-2 victory over Grenfell Athletic at St Aloysius Sports Ground.
Albion made the breakthrough with Alfie Francis heading home his 22nd goal of the season after Joe O'Connor's clever flick-on.
Highgate were well and truly in the driving seat which led to them doubling their lead when Alfie Francis failed to get a shot off but some clever footwork allowed him to find Anthoney Dalton on the edge of the box whose volley nestled into the bottom right hand corner.
Albion had chances to extend their lead but found the Grenfell keeper in inspired form and his long ball upfield resulted in the deficit being halved before the break.
Grenfell came out fighting in the second half and were the better side for much of it, having several chances to level.
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They eventually did so from a set-piece when a well-worked free-kick routine on the edge of the box beat the Albion wall and hit the net to make it 2-2.
An inspired double block from Albion captain Daniel Glaude kept the scores even and it was still level with around 15 minutes to go when Grenfell's captain was given a second yellow for a high challenge on Zeby Cole.
However, Albion couldn't make the extra man count and with the clock ticking down, boss John Eager substituted Alfie Francis for Paul Reid with a penalty shoot-out in mind.
What followed was a master class in finishing from Reid in stoppage time as he got on the end of Harry Scannell's through ball, flicking the ball over the opposition defender to bury the ball in the back of the net and send Albion players on and off the pitch into jubilation.
Reid said: 'Somehow with three minutes left and penalties looming I got a chance from a great through ball from Harry Scannell.
'I channelled my inner Dennis Bergkamp and managed to spin the defender and get it onto my left where the ball was sitting up perfect for a half volley at edge of box, and boom into the final we go.'