Regent’s hold off Clocktower to seal Islington Midweek League and cup double

Regent's FC hat-trick hero Alfie Rogers with the Ken Doherty Memorial Cup

Regent's FC hat-trick hero Alfie Rogers with the Ken Doherty Memorial Cup - Credit: Archant

Regent’s FC boss Des Casey was a relieved man after his side held their nerve to see off Clocktower 3-1 and clinch an Islington Midweek League double.

The Premier Division champions had failed to secure further silverware a fortnight earlier, when Regent Rovers came from behind to beat them 3-1 in the final of the Islington Gazette Cup.

And it looked as if another trophy – the Ken Doherty Memorial Cup – might be slipping from Regent’s grasp when their Division One opponents fought back to cancel out Alfie Rogers’ opener early in the second half of the final.

But this time Regent’s responded well and Rogers grabbed two more goals in the space of four minutes to complete a hat-trick and effectively settle the final.

“I was nervous at times when our concentration drifted and at one each I was having visions of the first cup final,” Casey admitted. “But they weren’t as regimented as Regent Rovers and we were this time.

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“We were more relaxed, we kept the ball and played in the way that won us the league. Clocktower are a good team – they did themselves credit and they pursued us right up to the 90th minute.

“They knocked out Islington Admiral United in the semi-finals and they’d just won the Jack Walker Shield as well, so we didn’t underestimate them – but they missed two sitters and that was to our advantage.”

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Rogers put his side ahead on the half-hour mark, latching onto a pass from Naim Essaghi and slotting through the goalkeeper’s legs, but Clocktower squandered two good opportunities to level before the break.

However, skipper Sam Tipper-Hale made it all square four minutes after the restart, chipping a free-kick that squirmed past the keeper and into the net.

Rogers restored Regent’s advantage 10 minutes later, controlling a ball from the left and tucking it home before captain Darren Gray set him up to make it 3-1 with another close-range finish soon afterwards.

“The Ken Doherty is the showcase cup for the league, so to win that and win the double is a fantastic achievement,” added Casey. “A lot of players won’t have the chance to do that.

“It’s through sheer hard work and determination – our players are grafters and they’ve got good spirit. Being at the top is hard and I’m sure it’s going to be harder again next season.”

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