They left it late but Ripon City are the winners of this year’s West Yorkshire League Cup, thanks to a single goal at Manse Lane on Thursday night.
The silverware came courtesy of a stunning solo Duncan Terry strike which broke Horbury Town hearts in the 89th minute.
The wily forward had asked to come off ten minutes earlier due to blistered feet, but boss Paul Vincent kept him on and the gamble paid off in spades.
“It feels awesome, I’m so chuffed for the lads,” said the coach.
“It’s been a long season but the togetherness in the dressing room got us through.
“Ten minutes earlier Duncan had wanted to come off, he was really struggling with blisters but you always know he’s going to get a goal, and he did.
“The first half was a bit cagey, nobody wanted to make mistakes, but we always had goals in us. At half time we said we could play better and we showed that.
“It’s a great night for the club, and we’ve certainly not done it the easy way but it’s a great trophy and it’s been a great season.”
It wasn’t a classic encounter by any means, neither side really managing to take the game by the scruff of the neck and genuine scoring chances were limited.
But Horbury, who play a division below City, were good value opponents for City, using the threat of wide men Tristan Cort and Neil Samardzija to impressive effect.
However, they never truly threatened, and City’s defensive engine-room of James Charlesworth, Si English and powerhouse ‘keeper Phil Zealand kept them well shackled, while left back Rob Mortimer and man of the match Daz Simpson worked overtime to supply City’s strikers with decent ball.
Striker Pa Cisse had a few opportunities in the first half but Horbury left back James Taylor and midfielder Lee Mills kept him pretty quiet, as City struggled with a heavy first touch and patchy possession.
Terry showed a glimpse of what was yet to come half way through the first 45, tricking his way through the Horbury defence before rifling a shot wide of the far post.
But half-time came and went, and there was no sign of a goal.
Into the second half, and a foul by Horbury’s Dan Jones on Simpson handed the latter a great chance with a set piece just outside the box. Although City definitely had a height advantage, nobody was able to nod home, and then Terry blasted over the bar.
Less than 10 minutes into the half, Vincent opted to switch Cisse for Tom Leeming, and City’s threat as an attacking force gradually looked more potent.
Leeming was able to pick the lock on Horbury’s wide men, whipping the ball into the box in the hope that somebody would be there to tap in.
This approach paid off with a series of corners, and the 62nd minute, City went the closest either side had got to scoring.
Simpson provided a great ball into the centre of the box, but Ben Clayton’s shot had too much power and blazed over the bar.
Another chance arrived when Terry forced a clearance out of Horbury defender Marc Keane, leading to another corner. Simpson providing once again handed English a great opportunity to nod in, but his header lurched over the bar.
Joe Knowlson made way for Liam Gaffney in the 80th minute, and though City were looking the better team, the scoreline suggested extra time was on its way.
Horbury upped their attempts, Mills going on a solo run down the right, lashing in for Cort who was centimetres away from netting the first goal.
Then at the other end with six minutes of normal time left, Charlesworth found himself in space about 25 yards out. Under no pressure he delivered a great looping ball which crept over the bar by a fraction.
City earned another cluster of corners which had their supporters praying one would find the net, but as the clock ticked down, it was still 0-0.
Then with a minute to go, Terry won the ball just inside the Horbury half.
Under pressure from two defenders, he stayed calm to trick his way into the box, dummy round a tackle, outfox the ‘keeper and blast the ball into the far corner.
It was a great goal, and Horbury knew they were beaten.
A penalty appeal for an alleged handball by Mortimer was turned down and met with squeals of disbelief from the West Yorkshiremen, but it wasn’t to be their night.
City held on through three minutes of injury time, to claim their first trophy of the season.
They will be hunting a second on Tuesday night, when they meet Boroughbridge in the Whitworth Cup final.
West Yorkshire League Cup
Ripon City 1
Horbury Town 0
Ripon City: Phil Zealand, Liam Horton, Rob Mortimer, Daz Simpson, James Charlesworth, Si English, Joe Knowlson (Lee Gaffney 80), Ben Clayton, Pa Cisse (Tom Leeming 52), Duncan Terry, Adam Robinson.
Horbury Town: Andrew Liversidge, Dan Cooper, James Taylor, Marc Griffiths, Marc Keane, Chris Smith, Lee Mills, Tristan Cort, Lee Gerraghty (Dan Jones , Craig Stephens, Neil Samardzija.