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FOOTBALL: COUNTY FA VASE: Higgins hero as Lane land treble.

FOLLY Lane completed a hat-trick of trophy triumphs when they carried off the coveted Birmingham FA Vase at Ray Hall Lane with a 2-1 win against Polesworth North Warwick.

A two-goal performance from winger Ian Higgins spearheaded Dougie Walton's Coventry Alliance Premier Division boys towards another piece of silverware to add to the Alliance Charity Cup and the Stan Oulds Trophy that they have already lifted this season.

And, next Tuesday, they will be out to complete a four-timer when tackling Coventry Marconi in the final of the Evening Telegraph Challenge Cup at Highfield Road.

And while Higgins was the goal-grabbing hero at one end, Lane keeper Michael Woan was the hero at the opposite end where he made a spate of superb saves to keep the Midland Combination Division One outfit at bay.

An overjoyed Walton said: "Ian took his goals really well but Woany was absolutely brilliant. He kept us in it with some outstanding saves.

"Credit to Polesworth as they played really well and we couldn't get near them in the opening half but I said a few choice words at half-time and we lifted our game and didn't give them the room after the interval."

Lane wen t ahead on 11 minutes when a David Scarr cross in the 11th minute was palmed away by Russell Bannister - but Higgins made a terrific follow- up run into the box to net.

Poles' Paul Gozzard saw his spectacular overhead kick tipped round the upright by Woan before a clash of heads saw the Combination side lose their top-scorer, Gareth Rooke.

But Poles levelled the score in the 42nd minute as Rooke left the ground to go to hospital, Clint Hoverd cutting inside and beating Woan at the far post.

What proved to be the winning goal came in the 56th minute when Higgins curled a left foot shot over Bannister - but Lane had to work hard to hold on to their lead.

Gozzard had Polesworth's best chance but before he had time to dig the ball out from under his feet the ever-impressive Woan had stolen the ball from him and gathered at his second attempt.

Alliance secretary Peter Bromwich, who is also a Birmingham County FA committee member, said: "It was a superb game that was a credit to both as well as to the Coventry Alliance and the Midland Combination."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 29, 2003
Words:394
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