Smiths Cup (Senior) Champions 1976-77

Smiths Senior Cup Winners 1976-77

Platt's Four-Goal Burst Sinks Sad Seal Reserves

Platt   6       Seal Res.  3

Platt overcame a sticky spell 15 minutes either side of the interval to defeat Seal Reserves 6-3 in Monday's Smith's Senior Cup Final.

Defences found life tough on the frosty Greatness Park pitch and inside 30 minutes Platt had swept into a 4-0 lead and looked set to run riot. But Seal stuck doggedly to their task - pulling one back before the interval and then cutting the deficit to 4-2 with a penalty. Platt recovered, however, and in the end there was no doubting their success.

That first 30 minute period highlighted Platt's up-front strength. The Mid-Kent side have been knocking in plenty of goals this season and the strikers soon had a cumbersome-looking Seal defence in all sorts of trouble.

Holdstock fired wide when well-placed and Broad was only just too high with a fine effort before Benn put Platt ahead with an extremely well-worked goal. Holdstock played a short corner to Thompson and from his left-wing cross the ever alert Benn nipped in to score a splendid goal.

Seal went into the match knowing Benn would be an obvious danger but their attempts to block him proved fruitless as he stole away from his shadowers for goal number two.

Hollebon's pin-point right-wing cross found Benn unmarked and he rose to head past Gilbertson.

There was some heated exchanges with Green and Bridle both being spoken to by referee Edwards. Bridle, Seal's skipper, tried hard to rally his men but on the half-hour he saw his side slip 4-0 down as Platt netted twice in quick succession.

Firstly Seal were penalised on the right and Broad's lofted cross was misjudged by goalkeeper Gilbertson and ended up in the back of the net.

And then splendid work by Hollebon enabled Holdstock to go clear and rifle in a low left-footed shot.

Seal replied almost immediately when in one of their rare first-half attacks Durrant headed over goalkeeper Chick and into the net.

And Seal started the second-half well with Armstrong working tirelessly to get his forwards going. Armstrong floated over a free-kick which Baker hoisted just wide and then A.Darry rose for a header but could not quite direct his effort.

Seal at last got their reward in the 58th minute when Evans was ruled to have pushed A.Darry and the referee awarded a penalty. Darry's kick was low to Chick's left and although the goalkeeper got a hand to it he could not prevent the ball entering the net.

Howell battled to revive a rather lethargic-looking Platt side and twice Benn went close to stretching the lead. He eventually did when jumping to head in a Thompson cross - his hat-trick goal.

Dennis Howell lifts Smiths Senior Cup 1976-77
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And that goal also signalled the end for many spectators who began to stream away. But they were to miss two more goals in the final 10 minutes.

One came when Seal's Armstrong fired in a 25-yard free-kick that flew past Chick and into the top of the net and the other came when Seal defender Iles tried to reach his goalkeeper with a lobbed back pass but only succeeded in finding his own net.

Hole enjoyed a sound game at the heart of the Platt defence while Thompson and Holdstock enjoyed themselves down the left-flank.

Team: B.Chick, P.Hole, T.Hollebon, G.Evans, J.Holdstock, D.Howell, E.Thompson, M.Broad, C.Benn, T.Whiffen, D.Green.