WHITCHURCH Alport FC can rightfully stake a claim to being the best team in Shropshire after winning the Shropshire Senior Cup for the first time in their history.

On an historic evening at the Montgomery Waters Meadow in Shrewsbury, Whitchurch Alport defied the odds to beat Shrewsbury Town 1-3 to take home the cup.

Two Arron Johns goals and another from Steve Jones stunned Shrewsbury whose only reply was an own goal through Leon Ashman.

But really Town couldn’t have too many complaints as Alport came on strong in the second half and posed problems aplenty on the counter.

An away following in excess of 200 roared their team on from the first whistle to provide a decent atmosphere inside the stadium.

Alport were grateful to the crossbar for saving them on 20 minutes as Brad Walker looped a header against the goal frame, and Ryan Grosvenor blazed over from the rebound when he looked odds-on to score.

The first clear sight of goal for the Reds came when Joe Cuff brought a decent save out of Sam Agius just past the half hour, and Walker was fractions away from nudging Shrews ahead from a direct freekick as the half wore on.

With Dave Parton rooted to the spot Walker saw his 25 yard effort clip the net support behind the posts and the teams went into the tunnel level.

In the opening exchanges of the second 45 it was Shrewsbury asking most of the questions with Parton having to make a fine save to deny Grosvenor five minutes in.

But the moment the Alport fans were dreaming of came when Johns strode clear to go one on one with Agius after 53 minutes.

It looked like the opportunity was lost as Johns appeared to dally but the ball spun clear away from the Town keeper leaving Johns with the simplest of tasks to stroke the ball into the net.

Agius made another great save from Cuff five minutes after the goal but the reprieve lasted less than a minute.

A slide rule pass from Alex Hughes sent Johns in again and this time the finish was first-time and emphatic.

The Alport supporters couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing, celebrating wildly as the whole team mobbed Johns in front of the disbelieving home fans.

Luke McCormick was the standout for Town but he was guilty of failing to hit the target when he strolled through the Alport defence to create a gilt edged chance five minutes after going two behind.

Johns spurned a passable opportunity for his hat-trick and Jones almost scored with an audacious shot just a minute after coming on for Hughes.

By this time though, the deficit had been halved when Ashman launched himself at a dangerous cross only to see his bullet header fly past a stunned Parton.

With 13 minutes left Agius made the save of the night to push Cuff’s daisy cutter a millimetre wide of the post while at the other end Parton made his best stop to deny McCormick with time running out.

With nerve ends jangling amongst the Alport faithful there was one last hurrah when experienced Jones timed his run to perfection with just a minute left on the watch.

With Agius advancing to make the target appear a lot smaller, Jones was the coolest head in Shropshire when he slipped the ball underneath the young keeper to spark incredible scenes and kill any hopes Town harboured of a late revival.

This was one of the most memorable evenings created in Whitchurch Alport’s history. With four fringe first team players amongst their starting XI, Shrewsbury fielded a largely inexperienced side. It played to Alport’s advantage as they created the better chances to run out worthy winners.