Hickman and Devlin are cup heroes for Keighley Town

Keighley News: Leroy Hickman scored two goals and the winning penalty for Keighley Town Leroy Hickman scored two goals and the winning penalty for Keighley Town

Keighley Town 2 Crossflatts Village 2 (Town won 5-4 on penalties)

A couple of goals from Leroy Hickman and a Stuart Devlin save in the penalty shoot-out proved decisive as Keighley Town edged into the Keighley FA Sunday Cup final.

The sides were locked at 2-2 after 120 pulsating minutes in the battle to face Bradford Phoenix in the final.

Village made the journey to Marley without six of their starting 11, who were either injured or unavailable, and had to play striker Graham Emsley, despite a bad back.

Crossflatts didn’t have any substitutes, and this became a problem as early as the second minute when centre back Joe Lunn was forced off with a leg injury after a horrible challenge.

Keighley then dominated proceedings because of their extra man and took the lead after 20 minutes when Hickman (pictured) smashed home.

Going a goal and a man behind seemed to galvanise the visitors. Player-manager Lee Bailey reshuffled his troops, and Kevin Gill, Ronnie Cartwright, James Gill and Matthew Bentham got them back in the game.

The hard tackles were going in thick and fast, as were the verbals towards referee Manfred Vojtas, and he sent Town’s Joe Drake off for dissent in the 40th minute.

Village pressed for an equaliser and were rewarded just before the interval when right back Craig Durn played the ball out to Aaron Clough. He waltzed past two de-fenders before drilling in an ex-quisite cross, which found Sam Waterhouse, who gave Devlin no chance.

After a nervy second half, the sides went into extra time. Town sub Leon Smith charged through the ’Flatts backline and was clear on goal but centre back Kevin Gill, who had been a tower of strength in Village’s backline, tripped him up as he was about to shoot, and was sent off.

Town’s Liam Bellamy got himself dismissed just after half-time in extra time to make it nine against nine but his side took the lead moments after.

Smith’s near-post header was expertly saved by Village keeper Dom Bennett, only for the ball to fall at Hickman’s feet, who poked it home.

Keighley looked to have settled the game on 112 minutes but they were offside. Village took it to penalties with two minutes left when Bailey passed to Bentham, whose cross was volleyed home by Cartwright.

In the shoot-out, Devlin saved the opening spot-kick from Waterhouse. Players then held their nerve to slot home, leaving Hickman with the chance to win it.

His penalty hit the inside of a post and was heading away from goal until it hit Bennett on the head and crossed the line.

There was a great moment of sportsmanship shown by Hickman afterwards when he went to console the dejected keeper.

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