Whitchurch Alport stun Shrewsbury Town 3-1 to lift the Shropshire Senior Cup for the first time
Whitchurch Alport won the Shropshire Senior Cup for the first time in their 73-year history by beating Shrewsbury Town 3-1.
Winger Arron Johns was the Alport hero with two second-half goals at Montgomery Waters Meadow for the north Shropshire victors before veteran Steve Jones netted in the final minute.
Town had some hope as Leon Ashman headed into his own net with 20 minutes remaining, but Luke Goddard’s Alport were deserved winners of the 136th Senior Cup.
The travelling Alport fans, and a pocket of home supporters, were housed together in the right side of the Roland Wycherley Stand and – despite the sparse stadium – made good noise to welcome the players.
Town, led by academy boss David Longwell, included first-team squad members Brad Walker, Luke McCormick, Ryan Barnett and James Rowland alongside under-18s.
Goddard rotated his Whitchurch pack mindful of big league clashes against Bootle and 1874 Northwich this weekend.
North West Counties Premier high-fliers Alport responded to their followers – who had packed out coaches to reach the Meadow – by making a bright start.
Former Market Drayton and AFC Telford winger Joe Cuff fired over from distance before Blake Robinson headed his cross straight at Sam Agius inside 60 seconds.
But, roared on by the spirited home fans with a drum and flags helping create an atmosphere, they went closest yet as Walker’s looping header hit the bar before Ryan Grosvenor sent the follow up over.
The flurry of chances continued as Lewis Redding’s sharp turn and shot was well tipped over by Dave Parton.
Charlie Caton, Grosvenor and Brad Walker all went close as Town started the second period quickly.
But Johns was played onside eight minutes after the break, took his time and benefited from Agius’ fumble to tap in.
Five minutes later, the right winger was played in by Alex Hughes’ fine pass and finished with aplomb to send the Alport fans into dreamland.
McCormick missed a massive opportunity to half the deficit before Johns fired the chance of a hat-trick wide.
Town did get themselves back in it as sub Jamaine Turner’s cross was turned into his own net by Ashman with 20 minutes to go.
Shrews were wasteful in front of goal at times while Agius kept his side in it with some eye-catching stops, one from sub Jones, a former Northern Ireland international.
Ex-Telford man Jones didn’t miss in the closing minutes, tucking home on a night to remember for Whitchurch.
Shrewsbury Town (3-5-2): Agius; Davies, B Walker, Ward; Barnett (c), Redding, McCormick, Rowland, D Walker (Hartley, 67); Caton (Turner, 61), Grosvenor (Elmore, 61). Subs not used: Bevan, O’Toole.
Whitchurch Alport (4-2-3-1): Parton; Minshall, Ashman, Dickin, Campion ©; Bath, Robinson (Skelton, 59); Johns, Ellis, Cuff (Pickerill, 86); Hughes (Jones, 72). Subs not used: Chilcott, Walley.
Referee: Rob Lewis.