ANDREAS CARTER ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
RESERVE KNOCK-OUT CUP – FINAL (AET)
FT ET PENS
LITTLE OAKLEY FC RESERVES: 0. 0. 4.
HOLLAND FC “A” 0. 0. 5.
Date: Tuesday 15thth April 2017. Venue: Brightlingsea Regent FC.
The second ESBFL Cup-Final, the Reserve Knock-Out Cup, was played out at North Road, Brightlingsea on Tuesday evening between Division One, Little Oakley FC Reserves and Division Three, “Holland FC “A”. A bitterly cold night was forecast and did not disappoint as the temperature dropped dramatically after kick-off and some spectators were bemoaning the fact they did have right clothing with them, it is still April after-all!
En-route Little Oakley FC Reserves had received “walkovers” for matches against Earls Colne FC Reserves and University of Essex FC Reserves, two teams that had folded during the season and then followed a semi-final victory against Barnston AFC Reserves. Holland FC “A”, on the other hand had beaten West Bergholt FC Reserves and Gas Recreation FC Reserves before losing heavily to Alresford Colne Rangers FC Reserves, but they were reinstated when their opponents were found to have included an ineligible player.
Referee for this Reserve Final was Anthony Phillips who was assisted by Adrian Arnot and Keith Succamore with Simon Lyons acting as the Fourth Official and after the “Respect” handshake we looked to commence on a hard and bumpy pitch.
Holland kicked off and the ever dangerous Eaton drove a left footed effort just wide from a throw-in over on the far right side of the pitch then from a long throw-in by Williams, Mayhew was forced to defend and head the ball over his own cross-bar for the first corner of the match, taken by Eaton with Martin heading straight at keeper Windred. Early attacks fell to both teams with Little Oakley sending Selwyn on a long chase with Lacey winning the throw-in, taken to Eaton who broke away towards the other end. Good sent over e left foot cross to Selwyn whose rising shot was fielded by Ball then the bustling Selwyn was fouled by Goldsworthy who even at this early stage would have to be on his game to contain this young threat. A free-kick from the left side was headed on inside the six-yard box by Martin to Eaton who side-footed home only to be adjudged to have been off-side, a close call I believe! Not to be outdone Little Oakley also had the ball in the net, by Selwyn, but again the linesman flag was raised, another close call according to people standing at that end of the ground!
Little Oakley kept up the pressure with Worth, heading away for a corner by Mayhew which was cleared up-field where from a passing move involving firstly Ribchester then Haynes whose through ball was chased down by Eaton with Windred quickest to the ball. With twenty minutes gone there had been no real goal threat, keepers were having an easy time as midfield play dominated, Little Oakley did win another corner through Eades playing the ball off Worth with Mayhew taking the corner but Martin rose high to head clear. A cross from Good found Duly running forward but Ball palmed the effort over for another corner kick, once again the Mayhew, Martin combination saw the ball cleared. When Lord fouled Martin, right on the half-way line the Holland player shoved Lord to the ground, a reaction that was not needed but a bit of needle had started to creep into game with every challenge being contested loudly, at least. From the resultant free-kick by Haynes, Martin flicked on and Eaton scored, or so he thought only to see the flag raised once again.
Eades chased a long ball forward with keeper Ball forced to reach the edge of his area but with his momentum threatening to take him outside the penalty area when collecting the ball he opted to block the ball and the stride of Eades and when the ball ran free Selwyn fouled Worth. The game up to thirty-five minutes remained even, neither side were dominant with defences holding firm, Selwyn controlled the ball well to send in a left-footed shot after good work by Eades who had chased down a forward ball by Duly then Mayhew got onto a ball from Duly with Lacey covering for his team. A left footed cross from Duly found the head of Eades who rose to head goalwards alongside Ribchester with the ball hitting the corner of the upright and cross-bar, a good effort. Eaton contrived to miss an open goal running onto a flicked header from Martin from the throw-in by Williams and at the other end Selwyn embarked on a direct run, holding off Goldsworthy before shooting just wide.
HALF-TIME: 0 – 0
So no goals at half time, plenty of effort from both teams with defences doing their jobs and Little Oakley restarted the match with Good, getting forward chasing a long ball but keeper, Ball was quickly out to retrieve the ball. Eaton tried a speculative shot from distance but it had no direction then he took a corner finding Martin with Sullivan clearing to Eaton who tried a volley this time but Traynor blocked the effort on the six-yard line with Eaton following up only to foul Traynor. When Worth played the ball between Traynor and Sullivan, Eaton was through, beating the offside trap but driving his shot wide, Martin was then guilty of running across the heels of Good, another free-kick that was cleared and Stanford was injured in a challenge on Williams as was Goldsworthy when Lord crashed into him. A long corner by Eaton was cleared by Eades and when play broke over the half-way with Little Oakley in possession, Lacey hauled Eades back to receive the first, perhaps overdue, caution of the match. The free-kick by Duly found Stanford but his control let him down and a goal-kick was awarded, another free-kick from Traynor led to a foul by Ribchester on Duly but Mayhew’s kick was cleared by Lacey.
Lord crashed rather high into Weeder, Westley played the ball forward to Lacey to Martin whose header again found Eaton who curled a left footed effort across goal hitting the cross-bar and safety with Roots getting a head injury in the build up play. Eaton used his pace and dainty feet to get past three players whilst running goalwards and when Sullivan missed his attempted tackle Eaton shot across the goal with only Windred to beat, another gilt edged chance for the usually prolific goal-scorer. On sixty-five minutes Lord found Good, whose forward ball was over-hit, then a high foot by Eaton towards Roots went unpunished and Little Oakley replaced Mayhew with Rusby, another promising youngster. Good and particularly Duly were having a lot of ball possession for Little Oakley and when Duly found Eades, Ribchester took him out on the half-way line and he received his caution. A long clearance from Ball was headed back to his keeper, Windred, by Traynor and when play stopped Stanford was replaced by Harte for Little Oakley. Selwyn used his strength to hold off both Goldsworthy and Lacey before hitting the side netting with a rasping shot.
With twenty minutes remaining Martin fouled Selwyn and under the totting up procedure received his caution and Duly followed into the referees notebook after fouling Eaton, Goldsworthy took the free-kick finding Ribchester whose flick on fell to Windred but so far this game had seen too many free-kicks awarded! Lacey was guilty of hauling back Eades, this for the second time and having been cautioned for the first was perhaps fortunate not receive a second card! Eaton forced Traynor to head out for a throw-in, taken long by Lacey with Sullivan sweeping the ball clear just as Eaton closed in. Selwyn pressed forward holding off Goldsworthy but Duly following up, only managed to foul Ribchester, who once again had plenty to say about the tackle! Holland replaced the injured Worth with Allen (T) and a long throw-in taken by Williams was headed over the cross-bar by the unmarked Ribchester and when play switched ends Goldsworthy had to be alert to block the shot from Selwyn.
With two minutes to go in normal time, another substitution followed with Westley being replaced by fifty-one year old Heffer, sorry Daryl, I could not miss the opportunity to mention your age but if young players take heed of how, if you look after yourself and keep fit, you can still play to a competitive level whatever your age! The first contribution from Heffer was to take a corner conceded when Ribchester played the ball off Lord, and extra-time was looming large in the minds of the respective managers and players. Duly played the ball into Lord who got a shot away only for keeper Ball to save at the expense of a corner, taken by Duly with Martin heading off the goal-line but a late effort in a game that had seen too few real clear cut chances with the keepers having only perhaps one real save each to make.
FULL TIME: 0 – 0
Little Oakley started the first period of extra-time with Selwyn pushing forward until Martin stopped Rusby unfairly, Duly drove the free-kick goalwards where Ribchester headed clear for a corner after Eades got a touch to the ball. The corner from Duly was met by Traynor whose shot cannoned off the base of the upright, to be cleared and Windred had to advance outside his penalty area to sweep the ball clear when Eaton broke forward leading to Ball punching clear as Good threatened with a high cross towards Selwyn. Roots tried a shot from fully forty yards but Ball caught the ball on the six yard line and once again in the first period of extra-time there was plenty of effort and no sign of players tiring however, the final pass was always going to be key, but this was not happening.
EXTRA-TIME – HALF-TIME: 0 – 0
So we entered the last period of extra-time, could either team score a goal in open play or were penalties going to decide this close match, Eaton pushed forward to be stopped by Sullivan with a throw-in by Williams being headed clear by Traynor to Heffer whose long ball towards Martin was intercepted by Sullivan. Haynes shot wide from a throw-in by Lacey and Little Oakley replaced Lord with Lewis with thirteen minutes remaining. Eaton ran down the right wing to cross with Lewis heading clear and a lobbed ball forward by Haynes was cleared for a corner by Sullivan and eight minutes remained when the corner taken by Eaton found Martin whose header landed on the roof of the net. When Lacey fouled Duly on the half-way line the ball was cleared and Roots crashed into Martin with no free-kick being awarded but both players were fully committed to the tackle. In the last minute Rusby who had earlier been cautioned for a late challenge on Allen (T) played the ball through the Holland defence, Eades chased forward, clean through on goal but despite the keeper advancing Eades managed to hit the outside of the post and the game ended all square leading to a penalty shoot-out conclusion.
EXTRA-TIME – FULL-TIME: 0 – 0
Holland FC “A”. Little Oakley FC Reserves.
- Goldsworthy Scores 1) Eades Scores 1 – 1
- Lacey Scores 2) Traynor Scores 2 – 2
- Heffer Scores 3) Selwyn Missed 3 – 2
- Williams Saved 4) Lewis Scores 3 – 3
- Eaton Scores 5) Duly Scores 4 – 4
- Allen (T) Scores 6) Rusby Saved 5 – 4
RESULT: (5) (4)
So after one hundred & twenty minutes of football and a nail-biting session of penalties it was a win for the young Holland FC “A” team whose starting line-up was supported by a number of players who play regularly at a higher level but who played in this final within the rules of the competition, a point, no doubt, that will be talked about for a long time!
Now both teams had put in a lot of effort in a game probably remembered for the number of free-kicks awarded but for my Man-of-the-Match choice there were several candidates. For Holland FC “A”, Goldsworthy had to play well against the raw talent of Selwyn, Martin and Haynes blocked everything through midfield and Eaton chased everything up-front to keep the Little Oakley defence on their toes. Now for Little Oakley FC Reserves, numerous players stood out, in defence Traynor and Sullivan were solid and dependable, Selwyn was a constant threat when on the ball up front and Eades chipped in with some useful play however it was Lord, Good and Duly, three of the older members, well only just, of the squad who dictated how midfield panned out, so despite the challenge of the two young central defenders I’m going for captain, Duly, clever use of the ball with both feet from open play and free-kick situations and not afraid to have a pop himself.
After a short introductory speech from yours truly I handed over to Brian Tatum, ESBFL Chairman who congratulated the match officials and both teams on their efforts on what was a very cold evening whereupon the match officials and respective teams were awarded their mementoes and Trophies.
LITTLE OAKLEY FC RESERVES: Colours: Blue & Black Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.
Matthew Windred., Gary Stanford., Daniel Roots., Ian Lord., Tyler Sullivan., Richard Traynor., Luke Good., Liam Duly (C)., Jamie Eades., Franky Selwyn., Luke Mayhew.
Acting Joint Manager: Gary Kioussis.
Acting Joint Manager: Trevor Lewis.
Used Substitutes: Reece Harte., Trevor Lewis., Brandon Rusby.
Unused Substitutes: Adam Eldridge
HOLLAND FC “A”: Colours: Orange Shirts, Orange Shorts and Orange Socks.
Alex Ball., Ashley Lacey., Christopher Ribchester., Neil Goldsworthy., Jack Worth., Joe Martin., Josh Haynes., Ben Westley., Bradley Weeder., Steven Eaton., Matthew Williams.
Manager: Calvin Allen.
Assistant Manager: David Childs
Used Substitutes: Daryl Heffer., Tom Allen.
Unused Substitutes: Harry Allen., Alfie Taylor., Jordan Mallett
Referee: Anthony Phillipps (South Woodham Ferrers)
Assistant Referees: Adrian Arnot (Colchester)
and : Keith Succamore (Witham)
4th Official: Simon Lyons (Sible Hedingham)
Men of the Match: Liam DULY (LITTLE OAKLEY FC RESERVES)