MARSHALL HEADS HOME TO SEAL VICTORY FOR FIRSIDE
Firside Athletic became the winners of the 2019 Stuart Dracup Cup sponsored by Soccer@Sea last night after edging out Norman Wanderers 1-0 at the FDC.
In a tight affair between two highly rated U14 teams, it was an exciting and fiercely fought final. However it was Charlie Marshall who made the difference, scoring the only goal of the game half way through the second half to clinch the cup for the home side on the night.
It was Norman who had the first chance of the game in the opening minutes when a powerful cross from the right hand side was met by Caladon Johnson, but Firside’s Odin Thorvaldsson was in the right place to block the shot and Firside could then clear the danger.
Firside were able to create their first chance when after some good build up play, Marshall was able to shift the ball onto his right foot and fire a shot from outside of the area. Unfortunately for Athletic, the youngsters attempt curled outward, narrowly missing the top corner and striking the goal stanchion.
Firside started to exert more pressure on the game as the half approached with Norman keeper Sam Woollsey being called into action. The stopper had to be quick off his line to pounce on a good through ball and then only a few moments later showed fantastic reactions to push out a deflected free kick.
Wanderers were able to get a counter attack in before the break with some good play down the left, however a ball whipped across the box was in vein with nobody able to get on the end of it, with the score remaining 0-0 at half time.
Half Time: Firside Athletic 0 – 0 Norman Wanderers
Firside started the second half much like they ended the first, and in fact it was Marshall again who tested Woollsey early on. The forward, received the ball on the edge of the area, opened out and struck a central shot that was well claimed by the Norman stopped.
The number 10 had been bright all game, showing good footwork and touches on the ball. However it was on the 49th minute that he finally found the net, showing he can use his head too. A deep cross was delivered from the left flank and Marshall, well positioned between the two centre backs, rose high to head the ball down to the left of the keeper.
Norman needing to get back in the game, attempted to attack more and committed more bodies forward. Substitutes Elizabeth Way and Douglas Davey showed good endeavour to combine down the right hand side, but Captain Oscar Winterbone and his back line were equal to the challenge.
Wanderers Captain Brandon Hale nearly got his team on level terms when completed a mazy run along the edge of the area and unleashed a beautiful strike that look destined for the top corner but rattled off the woodwork and across the goal line, allowing the Firside defence to clear.
As the game approached the latter stages, Norman continued to try and push. When they won a free kick 30 yards out, Lewis Dugdale stepped up and forced a spilled save from James Downes in the Firside goal. Davey was on hand for the follow up and managed to take it pass Downes, but snatched at the finish and dragged his shot agonisingly across the goal line.
As full time approached, fatigue started to show in both teams and neither side were able to create any clear cut chances. An injury to Woollsey and eventual substitution saw 6 minutes of stoppage time added, however Firside were able to professionally see the game through, becoming the 2019 winners of the Stuart Dracup Cup sponsored by Soccer@Sea.
Full Time: Firside Athletic 1 – 0 Norman Wanderers
A big thank you to our partners Soccer@Sea for sponsoring the Stuart Dracup Cup 2019, to find out more please visit www.SocceratSea.com.
DE Photo provides our official photographers at the 2019 Norfolk County Cup Finals. A full album of photos from this fixture can be found here: http://po.st/DEphoto
Firside Athletic: James Downes, Harvey Ramm, Odin Thorvaldsson, Oliver Bell, Finley Yates, Lewis Wing, Jared Downes, Charlie Marshall, Oscar Winterbone ©, Harvey Sayer & Charlie Hood.
Subs: George Felstead, Rio Davey, Leo Pearson.
Norman Wanderers: Sam Woollsey, Josh Polley, Mckenzie Mason, Brandon Hale ©, Caladon Johnson, Aditya Singh, Nel Lemos, Lewis Dugdale, Will Gould, Riley Green & Samy Imessaoudene.
Subs: Douglas Davey, Elizabeth Way.
Referee: Egidijus Amsiejus
Assistants: James Ludlam & James Sneddon
Fourth Official: Paul Lee
Player of the Match sponsored by Soccer@Sea: Jared Downes