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FC Baresi completed the first part of a possible double on Thursday night at Dagenham & Redbridge, coming from 2-0 down at half time to beat New Star Soccer.
As cup finals go, the storyline associated with this one will live long into the memory, perhaps less so for New Star Soccer who might have thought they were going to seal the most unlikely of wins on a night full of drama. The first half an hour of the match witnessed a terrific performance from New Star, coming into the match as the clear underdogs but they were able to create a procession of chances in the early exchanges including a big penalty shout in the opening 2 minutes which was waved away before, in the 20th minute of the match, the New Star number 21 was afforded too much space down the right hand side. He spotted the keeper rushing off his line before deftly lobbing an effort into the back of the net to make it 1-0. Baresi looked like they might level but were thwarted by the first of a number of last ditch challenges before, in the 33rd minute, they doubled their lead. A free kick was delivered in from the right and the New Star player rose unchallenged to nod home at the far post to make it 2-0. Then just before the break, there was another huge penalty shout as the New Star player made his way into the box and went down under a heavy challenge but the referee adjudged there to be no infringement and the half time whistle was blown shortly after.
After what can only be imagined as a stern and frank team-talk at half-time. FC Baresi came out firing in the second half but with a mountain climb ahead of them. They went close early on as the New Star keeper had to be brace to make a save low down amongst a tangle of legs before the first goal from FC Baresi finally arrived on the 59 minute mark. A free kick from around 35 yards out evaded everybody and appeared to go straight in to give themselves a lifeline in the match. That goal started a procession of chances, most of which fell for the Baresi number 9 who was unable to test the keeper. As the clock ticked over to 83 minutes, New Star were now hanging on and Baresi’s sheer persistence paid off as the ball found their player about 6 yards out and he made no mistake slotting in to level at 2-2. It looked as though this match was heading towards an inevitable penalty shootout but for a moment of absolute drama. With the match deep into a 5th minute of stoppage time, the Baresi defender pumped the ball down field in rather hopeful fashion and it appeared the ball would be gobbled up by New Star’s keeper. But as the ball took a bounce off the surface, the keeper was left stranded as it rose high above him and rolled into an empty net to make it 3-2 to FC Baresi - the last kick of the match.
Congratulations go to FC Baresi who pulled off a stunning comeback on the night after what had been a terrific half of football from New Star Soccer to take that 2-0 lead. It was an enthralling match for all to witness and thank you to both clubs and their spectators for coming along.