Harrogate Town has retained the John Smiths Trophy after a penalty shoot-out with Railway.
In a match played in sweltering heat which necessitated a drinks break in each half,both teams battled hard for supremacy.
Rail threatened first with a teasing cross from the right by Lawrence Hunter finding no takers.
Town soon began to hit their stride and the home defence did well to block a powerful shot from Ashley Worsfold.
Soon afterwards, Lloyd Kerry shot across goal after a tremendous cross field pass from Rhys Meynell had been touched on to him by Worsfold.
Rail keeper,Karl Dean,brilliantly kept the scoresheet blank when he saved with his legs from Worsfold,but it was Rail who almost took the lead when Stephen Bromley headed Hunter’s centre against the post.
As half time approached, Town returned the compliment with Ryan Kendall rattling the upright.
After only three minutes of the second period,Rail broke the deadlock.
There appeared little danger when Bromley picked up Alex Metcalfe’s pass on the left,but his low shot into the far corner eluded Phil Barnes.
Town reacted swiftly and within four minutes they were level when Worsfold sent the unmarked,James Walshaw, clear and he expertly chipped over Dean to equalise.
Rail were pushed onto the back foot as Town sought the winner;Kerry hit the crossbar from twentyfive yards and Dean made a superb double save to deny Kendall,before he crowned a fine match by turning Walshaw’s late drive round the post.
After the final whistle the match went straight into a penalty shootout, and both sides provided an excellent exhibition of penalty taking.
Walshaw, Kendall,Worsfold, Kerry and Lewis Turner netted for Town while Metcalfe,Nathan Dwyer, Nathan Cartman and Hunter replied for Railway.
Unfortunately for Rail,Barnes saved their fifth penalty taken by skipper Jon Maloney and consequently the Trophy stayed at Wetherby Road.
Rail, 1 Dean, 2 Hunter, 3 Kidd (Harrison 87), 4 Thirkell, 5 Maloney (c), 6 Cartman, 7 Baker (Sherrock 64), 8 Mycoe, 9 Bojang (Hickey 87), 11 Bromley ( Dwyer 59). Unused sub Hiza.
Town 1 Barnes, 2 Turner, 3 Meynell (Nelthorpe 64), 4 Lenighan (Dean 70), 5 Heath (Killock 57), 6 McGurk, 7 Kerry, 8 Nowakowski, 9 Kendall, 10 Walshaw, 11 Worsfold. Unused subs, Rowe,Swain, Coates, Emmet , Crook
Scorers Rail Bromley 48. Town Walshaw 52. Attendance 275.
By John HarrisonHarrogate