HOLDERS STANSFELD /ELTHAM PALACE are through to the final of the Hospital Charity Cup after a thrilling 3-2 win away at Forest Hill Park. The visitors dominated the early stages and Billy Jolley and Billy Shinners saw shots saved.
Stansfeld went ahead in the 34th minute when Frankie Beale curled a brilliant free-kick up and over the wall and into the top left-hand corner off the underside of the crossbar. Shinners again went close three minutes later with a diving header before the hosts equalised completely against the run of play, from a corner after James Bradley had made his first save of the game. The goal swung the momentum Forest Hill’s way as they dominated the start of the second half, without penetrating the Stansfeld defence.
Stansfeld regained the lead in the 75th minute when Perry Holland’s high ball into the box bounced wickedly over the onrushing goalkeeper’s outstretched hand, leaving Shinners the simple task of chesting the ball into an empty net. Forest Hill levelled five minutes later but with penalties looming Harry Gamble got behind the home defence before firing in a low cross across the face of the goal for Archie Johnson to powerfully side-foot home.
Stansfeld will play the winners of the Phoenix Sports Reserves and Kent Football United in the final, with a venue and date to be confirmed. Stansfeld/Eltham Palace’s next game is away to Lewisham Borough on Saturday April 8 in the SCEFL Division One. Kick-off 3pm. The 1st Team drew 1-1 at home to Fleetdown United on Saturday, Jack Gibbons with the Stansfeld goal.