Waltham Forest secured their first cup final berth in 18 years, defeating a resilient Eton Manor at Wadham Lodge.

The two sides had met under a week ago in the Essex Senior League, where the points were shared in an even 3-3 draw.

Despite the 2-2 scoreline, this tie was completely different, with Forest dominating from start to finish.

Kobie Ambrose and Yannis Ambrosine both went close from set-pieces for Forest before Manor took the lead, Josh Sykes controlling a high ball before turning and firing past Mohammed Ahmed.

The home side continued to have the lion’s share of possession, but Manor again hit on the break, bundling in a loose ball following a deep free kick.

But with half an hour played, Forest got themselves back in it, Nicki Dembele turning in a corner at the front post for his seventh goal in nine games.

The second half continued much in the same way as the first, with Forest camped on the edge of the Manor penalty area. Brandy Makuendi went close, firing wide after Dembele and the Manor keeper collided.

Then came what was probably the turning point in the tie. Ben Bradbury, somehow contrived to fire wide from only a yard out.

With the visitors slowing the game at every opportunity, it looked like time was running out for Forest. That was until centre-back Josh Banton popped up in the Manor penalty area and scored with an incredible bicycle kick.

Driven on by skipper Banton, there was still time for Nick Tsakonas and Ambrosine to go close for Forest.

With only seconds left, Sykes was given his marching orders for Manor, remarkably given two yellow cards – one for diving, and the second for impersonating a dive he thought Tsakonas had taken.

Despite losing their main penalty taker in Sykes, Manor scored all five of their first penalties, with Ahmed only able to get close to one.

For Forest, Ambrosine, Dembele, Banton, Konate and Makuendi all made no mistake from the spot.

With sudden death following, Manor’s sixth penalty was crashed against the bar, leaving Bradley Harris to smash home Forest’s sixth and start wild celebrations on and off the pitch.

Here’s the moment we secured our GBT final place last night. Video thanks to @mo__omar

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Forest will now play either Barking or Takeley in the final, to be played at Burnham Ramblers on Easter Monday, 17th April 2017.

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