OLVESTON United have been crowned League Cup champions, defeating Hambrook F.C. in the final played at Cribbs Football Club.

Olveston captain Chris Barnes was restored to the starting line up in the only change from the weekend’s action, whereas Will Howard was deemed fit enough for the bench after recovering from a serious knee injury.

With the stands packed, and the floodlights beaming, the match kicked off with both teams looking to seize the initiative early on. From the opening exchanges, it was Olveston who retained most of the possession, attempting to play out from the back and utilise their midfield. However, it was Hambrook who had the first chance of the evening. Olveston lost possession cheaply inside their own half allowed Hambrook to break on the Olveston back line, forcing a good save from keeper Craig Beavis from just outside the box.

Olveston responded well, creating chances of their own. George Williams and Phil Williams both had shots on goal, but both seeing their efforts go wide of the Hambrook post. The Olveston pressure continued with Luke Garbacz playing in Russell Knight down the right hand side, who crossed to the near post where Matthew Knight applied a sharp diving header to break the deadlock and give Olveston the games crucial opening goal.

The remainder of the first half saw some good spells of football from both teams, setting up a tense second half for both sets of players, management and fans.

Half time score: 1-0.

Hambrook came out for the second half in search of the game’s equaliser, and immediately looked more of an attacking threat. However, it was Olveston who were creating the pick of the chances. An Olveston United corner whipped in by Joe Loney found Matthew Knight whose header was cleared off of the Hambrook goal line.

As Hambrook pushed further and further up the pitch in order to find the elusive equaliser, Olveston’s counter attacks, lead by the electric Matthew Knight, posed an ever-increasing threat. Upon the 70 minute mark Shane Walker was introduced to proceedings looking to exploit the tiring Hambrook defence with even more pace and power.

It didn’t take long for Shane Walker to make his mark on this final. In another blistering Olveston counter attack, Matthew Knight picked the ball up near the half way line with his back to goal. Knight then turned his man and tore past 2 opposing defenders down the left hand side before cutting the ball back to Shane Walker who guided the ball past the Hambrook keeper, making the score 2-0 to Olveston.

Olveston then looked to kill the game off, building large spells of possession and limiting Hambrook to few opportunities on goal, with captain Chris Barnes leading the sturdy Olveston defence. On the 75th minute mark Olveston were awarded a free-kick on the right hand side, mid-way into the Hambrook half after Matthew Knight was fouled. Joe Loney stepped up to whip in yet another dangerous looking ball into the Hambrook penalty area, finding Russell Knight who beat his man to the ball to head home from close range, handing Olveston a 3-0 lead.

With 10 minutes to go, Will Howard made his return from injury from the bench. The substitute nearly made an immediate impact on the score-line after being played in on goal by the instrumental Matthew Barnes, only to put his effort wide of the post. A few moments later, it was Howard who was picked out again by a Matthew Barnes cross who couldn’t keep his header under the bar.

Final score 3-0.

This win handed Olveston United the League Cup title after defeat in the previous year’s final, adding another trophy to the GFA cup won last year. Olveston return to action on Saturday (5th May), where they have the opportunity to win the Bristol Premier Combination League with a win against Shaftesbury Crusade F.C.