CLANFIELD 2, LIPHOOK UTD 2
FORMER winners Liphook reached another Hampshire Intermediate Cup final, but only after a penalty shoot-out in an entertaining local derby at Clanfield.
Both teams created some decent chances in a goalless first half.
Liphook keeper Josh Bird just beat Jamie Eyre to a through-ball and, at the other end, a wayward back pass had Chris Clark racing back to clear his lines.
Things became a little heated later in the half, but there was nothing between the sides at half-time.
It was Clanfield who broke the deadlock eight minutes into the second half.
A deflected cross from Harry Potter was fumbled by Bird and Eyre tapped in the rebound.
Oli Amos and Matt Rowland could have doubled the lead and Potter saw a shot curl just wide of the upright, while Liphook’s Nic Cope missed with an unchallenged header.
Liphook pressed hard for an equaliser, but it was a bizarre own goal that put them level on 73 minutes. A shot from Oli Page hit the post and in the resulting scramble, the ball rebounded off a defender and trickled into the net.
Clanfield came back strongly and it took them just six minutes to regain the lead. Rowland cut in from the right and his left-foot shot took a deflection on its way into the far corner.
Deep into injury time, Clanfield could have wrapped it up when Josh Hazell, free on the left, fired into the sidenetting.
On 94 minutes, with Clanfield moments from a famous win, there was a scramble in the area and the ball fell to the right man, Steve Harding, who snapped up the equaliser.
Liphook were down to ten men as the shoot-out began and there were nine pretty impressive kicks.
Bird got quite close to the first one and scored the ninth convincingly to put his side 5-4 up, and then watched as the ball was ballooned over the bar to give Liphook a place in the final against either Bush Hill Reserves or Paulsgrove who play this weekend.