A dream came true for Foxhall Juniors Under-9s as they won the Coulton Cup at the first attempt, edging out Clifton Rangers Hornets 4-3 in the most dramatic of finals at Fleetwood Town’s Highbury Stadium.
The Foxhall team has been managed by John Wright since they were four-year-old and they had long looked forward to their first season in the Poulton and District Primary League’s showpiece cup competition.
Having reached the final, nobody had a more magical day than Foxhall’s Max Wright, who scored a hat-trick to win the Harry Whittaker Trophy as man of the match.
Wright’s third was the winner after Clifton had drawn level, having trailed 3-0 with 10 minutes left.
Foxhall took an early lead as Max Wright remained calm under pressure to slot the ball home. Foxhall doubled their lead five minutes later, an inch-perfect corner by Kai Riley found Tommy Gunn at the far post and he thundered a volley home off the underside of the bar from five yards.
Clifton replied with purpose but were kept at bay by outstanding goalkeeping from Harry Trafford, who preserved Foxhall’s 2-0 lead until half-time.
That lead became three early in the second half, when Wright scored with a bullet header from another Riley cross.
With 10 minutes remaining, the cup looked destined for Foxhall but then the Clifton fightback began.
They pulled a goal back when Charlie King finished a great team move.
A second followed moments later, when the ball bounced over keeper Trafford’s head and was adjudged to have crossed the line.
And with two minutes remaining, Zach Causer equalised with a free-kick.
When Causer’s initial effort hit the net, the referee ordered the free-kick to be retaken because a Foxhall substitution was being made at the time. Causer was unfazed and found the net again with virtually a carbon copy strike.
The final looked destined for penalties, though there was still time for a final dramatic twist.
Wright picked up the ball on halfway and weaved past two Clifton defenders before lifting a 25-yard shot over the keeper and into the net, causing pandemonium among the green and white following and bringing delight to co-managers John Wright and Carl Riley.
Foxhall team: Harry Trafford, Kaden Hyland, Kuzey Ayres, Harry Atkinson, Kiefer Finny, Jack Trafford, Kai Riley, Tommy Gunn, Max Wright