Firside Athletic held on for a narrow victory last night, beating Attleborough Town 1-0 to become the 2018 winners of the John Savage Cup.
Last night saw the 2018 Norfolk County Cup Finals kick off with Firside Athletic U16's facing Attleborough Town U15's in the John Savage Cup.
Firside started on the front foot with captain Luke Middleton firing over in the opening minutes after a nice looped pass from Owen Woodhouse. Middleton was involved again when Firside got their goal on 12 minutes, with a headed flick on to Brad Yates who rounded the keeper and slotted the ball home from a tight angle on the right.
Athletic then had plenty of chances to extend their lead, the closest of which was ten minutes later when Tom Pipe struck the bar. Firside were dominant; the pace of Yates, Woodhouse and Max Lane was difficult to deal with, while Pipe controlled the tempo from the middle of the park in a mature and composed manner.
Attleborough struggled to get going against their year-older opposition, however had claims for a penalty dismissed by the Referee shortly after Firside initially took the lead. Corben Viccars in the Attleborough goal made some good saves to keep Town within a one goal margin and on the balance of play, Firside were deserving leaders going into the break.
The second half started as the first ended, with Attleborough on the back foot. However, Town began to grow into the game thanks to the reintroduction of Asa McGeachy, his attacking movement allowing spaces to open up behind the Firside defense. Forward Ola Folorunsho was also proving a handful, holding the ball up well which complimented McGeachy's pacey play.
With 15 minutes to go, the game had turned on its head. Town were the dominant side and it was Firside who were on the ropes, ruing the chances they failed to take in the first half. A goal mouth scramble which Firside managed to get away resulted in a corner that was headed wide and moments later Folorunsho shot just over after good work down the right.
A Travis Dodsworth free kick wasn't held by the Athletic keeper Ben Harding, allowing Oliver Whittaker to pounce and win another corner for Town who really began to push in the final few minutes. Folorunsho headed wide from the kick and moments later found himself through on goal. The striker's shot was saved and Firside's defence rallied to boot the ball away before McGeachy could pounce.
With three minutes remaining, a poorly cleared cross fell to Town's Alex Rodriguez on the edge of the box but his fierce shot went inches over the bar. This proved to be Town's last chance of the match as Firside held on to become the 2018 winners of the John Savage Cup.
Full Time: Firside Athletic 1-0 Attleborough Town
Firside Athletic: Ben Harding, Max Lane, Luke Adams, Brad Yates, Luke Middleton (C), James Shirling-Rooke, Joe Bennett, Danny Loftus, Tom Pipe, Owen Woodhouse & James Fish.
Subs: Josh Butterfant, Oli Smith, Haydon Sutch, Matty Pike, James Herwin.
Attleborough Town: Corben Viccars, Chae Francis, Nathan Hannon, Travis Dodsworth, Oliver Whittaker, Asa McGeachy, Ryan Howes, Fred Finlay, Alex Rodriguez, Joe Germany & Dan Bint (C).
Subs: Ola Folorunsho, Kallum Sharpe.
Player of the Match: Tom Pipe (Firside Athletic)