Hale hits winner as North land the Martinez Cup
JOSE ALVAREZ won his first senior trophy as North coach with a well merited single goal win over St Martin’s in last night’s Martinez Cup ‘curtain-raiser’.
And it was a former Saint, Danny Hale, who struck the only goal at the Track.
North had Matt Ozanne making his debut in central defence after his transfer from Vale Rec, and Scott Bougourd fizzed an early shot on the run over the bar while Saints has strong claims for a penalty resisted by ref Derek Gilman.
Saints’ Louis Hunter was very nearly rewarded for a full-stretch dive as his header on Jake Lowe’s excellent cross flew inches over.
In defending the attack Danny Cooley went off with a badly cut ear requiring hospital treatment and it looked like remaining goalless through to half time when, on 44min., Hale fired home a beauty from long range.
Hale wasted a golden chance to make it two 10 minutes after the break and both Sam Murray and Mario Cacace’s also passed up great chances.
Jason Martin kept Saints alive with a fine stop from Hale and Callum Cherry fired just wide as North created all the chances.