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Club made to play two cup finals in one afternoon – did the same for the semis

A non league club were made to play two cup finals in one afternoon over the Bank Holiday period after doing the same for the semis.

Shifnal Town, who were recently promoted to the Midland League, were made to tackle two big semi final games hours after one another, a situation that joint boss Danny Carter had described as ‘ridiculous’.

On the 22nd of May, they had a semi final home clash with Sikh Hunters in the West Midlands League’s Moving Forward Sports Cup, which was first up at 3pm before a showdown with Allscott Heath in the Shropshire Senior Cup at Market Drayton with a 6pm kick off.

They ended up beating Sikh Hunters 2-0 in the West Midlands League Cup tie, Angelo Franco scored with a penalty after Harry Cunningham put the ball in the back of the net for a comfortable win.

Then Shifnal went a goal better by beating Allscott Heath 3-0 in the second semi final, some achievement that no other club can say they have managed to do.

On the 25th of May, they won a cup final, Carter and Andrew Carrier’s side were crowned TJ Vickers Cup champions on Tuesday night after overcoming Alport 2-0 at the New Bucks Head, a prequel to Saturday’s second final against the same side.

At 3pm on Saturday the 29th of May, they played OJM Black Country in a League Cup Final at Tipton Town. After drawing 3-3 in normal time, it was OHM that won 3-2 on penalties.

At 6pm, Shifnal Town then faced Whitchurch Alport in the Shropshire Senior Cup Final at AFC Telford United. This one was a lot more in favour of Shifnal, winning 4-0 and lifted the trophy.

After securing promotion to the step five Midland Football League Premier Division, the first part of the joint-managers’ five-year plan having been appointed in 2019, the bosses are looking higher after a stunning end to a disjointed, Covid hit campaign.

“There’s no ceiling at the moment,” said Carrier, who joined the club alongside Carter from Wednesfield in 2019. Carter added: “The plan was to be a step four club within five years, and challenging at the right end of step four.

“That’s still got to be the case for us. We’re going into a new league next year and we don’t fear anyone in that league. But we’re realistic as well.

“We’re not going in there to make the numbers up. We’re going to compete and hopefully be at the top end.”

Carrier said: “We relayed to the lads before the game that we’d made a lot of noise, now let’s go and win the trophy. We are trying to build as much of a fanbase as we can at Shifnal.

“Get down to Shifnal next season, we will entertain for 90 minutes and fight.”

“We were demoralised coming to the game from the first one,” Carter said. “It was always going to be a really tough ask to win both games. To lose on penalties, to then completely dominate – I’m absolutely buzzing, it shows the character and quality. We put them to the sword.”

Carrier added: “The lads who played the second game were gutted as well (about the first), because we’re in in together. We’re in it as one. To get them up for the second was hard because we all felt the pain.

“We showed respect to Whitchurch and the scenes at the end in the changing room were unbelievable.”

Asked to sum up the experience of a chaotic and memorable week, Carrier said: “It’s unheard of, at any level, I don’t think anyone could field two teams in two semi-finals and two finals.

“We hoped to get one moved to Friday night to help out, even an earlier Saturday kick-off to help get here, but nothing went our way. We stood up and to put it away 4-0 after losing on penalties is excellent.”

Fans reacted after seeing that the club were made to play two cup finals in one afternoon and – did the same for the semis…

@dainty49: Great performances

@Ashleighcook8: Quality

@TomKillen6: Well done shifnal

@LeaEdge: Congratulations to @ShifnalTown1st on a tremendous season, well deserved against us in the two finals. We will be back stronger. If I ignored anyone last night no apologies, defeat hurts

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