Haringey Borough 2 Leverstock Green 1
LEVERSTOCK Green suffered semi-final heartbreak as Haringey Borough staged a late fightback to book their place in the Challenge Trophy final.
Green took a 1-0 lead into half-time courtesy of Dan Giggs, but two Borough goals inside the last 17 minutes turned the tie on its head.
Levy felt aggrieved not to have won the contest, and two refereeing decisions ultimately cost them dearly.
First, Haringey’s Steve Obeng escaped a red card despite launching a tirade of abuse at the match referee after a fair Lewis Pritchard challenge, before a foul on Pritchard – which appeared to be inside the penalty area – was punished only with a free-kick.
“We were really gutted,” said Levy boss Steve Heath. “We played really well and I couldn’t have asked for any more from the players really.
“We just didn’t have that little bit of luck that you need and the major decisions on the night went to them.
“It was a good all-round performance against a good team and it just came down to not getting the rub of the green.”
With the match moved to Pancake Lane after a floodlight failure at Haringey, Levy made a bright start and Adam Hallissey and Ben Butler both came close to opening the scoring.
Both sides looked dangerous going forward, and it was Levy who eventually took the lead in the 37th minute as Dan Griggs looped the ball home to put his side ahead.
The game’s major controversies came early in the second half as Obeng escaped a sending-off, before Pritchard was denied a penalty.
And to rub salt in Levy’s wounds, Haringey bagged a 73rd minute equaliser as Roland Namquita slotted home a rebound after a good save by green keeper Carl Tasker.
It did not take Namquita long to bag his second as he put Haringey in front nine minutes later.
There was still time for Pritchard to hit the bar for Levy as the clock ticked down, but Haringey held on to book their place in the final.