Metrogas had too much firepower for New Ash Green in the Kent Veterans Cup final at Maidstone’s Gallagher Stadium on Saturday.
Strikers Paul Vines and Grant Cunny both found the target with man-of-the-match Scott Kinch wrapping the game up late on after a Ryan Robinson penalty gave Ash Green late hope.
Vines, who played 33 times for step 5 Punjab United this season, could have had a hat-trick inside the first eight minutes during an action-packed start to the contest.
Twice he failed to head Tom Maloney free-kicks on target before he then dragged a right-foot shot well wide from inside the area.
At the other end, James Armstrong’s cross was nearly turned into his own net by a Metrogas defender and Robinson’s 20-yard free-kick was straight at keeper Chris Arnold.
It could have been a different story had Ash Green enjoyed better luck in front of goal after 15 minutes. A right-wing corner was never really cleared and the ball finally fell nicely for Robinson, whose left-foot volley came back off the post and into the grateful arms of Arnold.
Metrogas went ahead on 26 minutes when a long free-kick was helped on and Vines this time managed to direct his header on goal with keeper Rudi McCarthy caught in no man’s land.
Still Ash Green created openings, Armstrong denied by an excellent Arnold save at point-blank range and then Ben Massett was unable to force the ball in at the near post.
Metrogas, who played controlled football and dominated for long periods, had the extra legs in attack of Vines and Cunny.
They added a second goal 11 minutes into the second half when the ever-willing Tom Forster played in Cunny, whose low right-foot shot was expertly placed inside the upright.
Referee Ben Cooper then took centre stage, producing four yellow cards in the space of 14 minutes. The game was never dirty and the players kept a lid on any tempers but the official still managed to find seven bookings in total.
Just as it looked like Metrogas would see the game out without any concern, a shove in the back saw Ash Green awarded a spot-kick which Robinson confidently tucked away. In the 78th minute.
But Metrogas calmed any late nerves by adding a third goal with six minutes remaining, a free-kick headed back across goal for the run of Kinch who bundled the ball home.
Metrogas manager and chairman Tim Morgan said: “I’m really pleased, we’re a club with 20 sides that has had a great year through from our under-7s and now up to the Vets.
“It’s our first season back as a Vets side in three seasons so to come and win something is fantastic. Most of these boys have played for the club for 20 years now.
“Our philosophy is about people enjoying themselves, that’s all that really matters, but when you run a club like that then success is bred.
“I felt we deserved to win, obviously conceding made it squeaky bum time but we got the third goal to kill the game off - although I think that spell took 10 years off my life!”
Metrogas: Chris Arnold, Aaron Seales, Phil Heather, George Healy, Tom Gibbons, Dan Hunwick, Scott Kinch, Tom Forster, Tom Maloney, Paul Vines, Grant Cunny, Sam Reeves, Jack Lynch, Le Huy, Martin Dunne, Ben Smith.
New Ash Green: Rudi McCarthy, Chris Cooper, Paul Bradbury, Rob Bushell, Chris Wigan, Ben Massett, Ryan Robinson, Joe Hamshare, Dan Pritchard, James Armstrong, Alex McKay, Dan Murkin, Craig Deamer, Mark Gillies, Lee Hockey, Tony Love.
Referee: Ben Cooper.