Ambleside United 1
Leeds City 2
Association of Northern Counties Semi-final
AMBLESIDE United were just one minute away from springing a major surprise on Leeds City when the side representing the Westmorland FA conceded in the 89th minute.
Ambleside’s extremely young squad, which included three 17-year-olds and an 18-year-old, used Kendal Town’s Parkside Road pitch to their advantage and played some good passing football, but the club representing the West Ridings FA won out.
Ambleside also had to contend with the fact they only had 13 players, whereas Leeds could rely on 16, and with substitutes being allowed to roll on and off, the Cumbrian side tired towards the end of the match.
Ben Wilson made some excellent saves in the first period of the game for Ambleside as the Yorkshire team started the stronger, but the introduction of Ryan Close was rewarded five minutes later when he scored for the Cumbrians.
He took it past a defender around the 25th minute and his initial shot was parried by the Leeds keeper, but Close followed his own shot up well and tucked the ball beyond the keeper to give the Westmorland FA side the lead.
They held onto that advantage for the rest of the half and started the second period just as positively.
But with 20 minutes to go, Leeds equalised, although Ambleside claimed there was a handball in the build-up to the goal.
And with just one minute to go, a fumble from Wilson belied the superb game he had, and a Leeds player followed up to score a cruel winner as far as Ambleside were concerned.
Manager Richard Close said: “I am very proud of the players, especially considering what the club has gone through in the last couple of months, and I thought there were absolutely magnificent on Saturday.”