Five Star Performance from Long Stratton
Long Stratton won the Sunday Senior Cup Final earlier today thanks to a dominant display against Easton.
The game started with a high tempo and it was Long Stratton who dictated the opening stages, moving the ball quickly. They got early rewards from a great start on 5 minutes when a late challenge gave the south Norfolk side a free kick 35 yards out from goal.
The ball was floated in over the top of the wall where striker James Bemrose had peeled away. The number 9 watched the ball all the way down as he hit a thunderous volley into the back of the net in a great finish.
After the excitement in the opening 5 minutes, the game began to stabilise with Easton growing into the match, showing more composure and getting further forward.
Easton’s first real chance of the game came when Rhys Cousins was fouled on the edge of the area, and Ricky Bevis dummied a strike before Cousins fired narrowly over the bar.
Moments later some good play saw crosses coming through from the right and the left as the momentum started to change. Stratton, sensing this, began to open the game up with some longer passes to set away Tam Demunga on the counter-attack.
Demunga was causing problems with his pace and direct play, and some perfectly executed passes were posing a real threat to the Easton back line. But Ashley Coggers, who gave away the opening free kick, showed some great defending to stop multiple shots and crosses.
The threat of the counter caused Easton to drop a little deeper which in turn enabled Long Stratton to get more players on the ball. Demunga fired over from wide right, and Bemrose forced a good save from Barry Delf after he beat his man on the left.
As half time approached, the momentum returned to Stratton as they searched for a goal to extend their lead.
Sam Page was bundled over on the right-hand side and Captain Adam Race stepped up to deliver a good ball toward the back post. Bemrose was waiting and directed a bullet header toward goal which looked destined to make the net bulge, but an excellent point blank reaction save from Delf saw the stopper somehow tip the ball over the bar.
That fantastic save was cancelled out immediately when Ewan Chamberlain delivered the resulting corner dangerously into the 6-yard box. Spencer Cawcutt rose up and in a mix of bodies, bundled the ball over the line to double Stratton’s lead a few minutes before the break.
As stoppage time of the first period was announced, Stratton began to enjoy more possession with Easton eager to hear the whistle for the break.
However there was no mercy from Stratton who smelled blood. Demunga set back to Owen Woodhouse on the right-hand side, and the full back noticed Chamberlain’s run across the width of the pitch from the far left.
Woodhouse found the number 11’s feet with an accurate pass, and Chamberlain was able to travel into the area. Cutting back inside, the winger struck the ball with the outside of his foot to nestle in the bottom left corner and give Long Stratton a 3-0 lead at half time.
Half time – Easton 0 – 3 Long Stratton
The second period started in a similar fashion as the first with both sides settling into their rhythm. Long Stratton made two early changes in the half with Tam Demunga and Ewan Chamberlain making way for Ryan Tebble and Charlie Deakin.
With 55 minutes on the clock, Easton created a good chance for over-lapping fullback Ashley Coggers, only for his shot from close range to be bravely blocked by Cawcutt. Coggers caused more problems for the Stratton back line with his direct running, earning his side a free kick in a dangerous area. The set-piece came to nothing as Referee, Adrian Summons, awarded Long Stratton a free-kick for a push in the box.
After being subbed on at the hour mark, replacement George Macrae almost scored as he was first to react to a bobbling ball in the Easton area following a dangerous corner from the right. His punted effort narrowly went wide of the left upright.
Long Stratton got their fourth, and Bemrose’s second, goal of the game. After picking the ball up 40 yards from goal on the left hand side, a driving run opened up the space for him to hit the ball goal wards from 25 yards. A powerful dipping strike left Delf no chance in the Easton goal. He ran in celebration straight to the Long Stratton fans who were all chanting his name at Harrod Sport Arena.
Minutes later Bemrose turned provider as he pinched the ball off the Easton defenders following a powerful strike and squared a pass to Ryan Tebble who had the easiest job to tap the ball home into an empty net from six yards out.
With less than 5 minutes to go Long Stratton brought on fresher legs as Jayden Worley and Shay Flatt entered the pitch. Stratton managed to see out the remainder of the match, limiting Easton to shots from distance that didn’t trouble Aidan Way in the Long Stratton goal.
Full time – Easton 0– 5 Long Stratton
Easton: Barry Delf, Ashley Caggers, Jody Peacher, Finn Kelly, Carl Branson, Jamie Minors, Rhys Cousins ©, Aaron Saddleton, Darrell Wigger, Ricky Bevis, Brannan Solomon.
Subs: Lewis Elis, Keith Sivier, Keelan Kindleysides, Scott Bishop.
Long Stratton: Aidan way, Owen Woodhouse, Sam Fisher, Spencer Cawcutt, Sam Wanham, Chris Bartram, Sam Page, Tam Demunga, James Bemrose, Adam Race ©, Ewan Chamberlain.
Subs: Ryan Tebble, Charlie Deakin, George Macrae, Jayden Worley, Shay Flatt.
Referee: Adrian Summons
Assistants: Dan D’Cruz & Nigel Howes
Fourth Official: Scott Garrod
Player of the Match: James Bemrose - Long Stratton FC
Photography: Cyan Fullbrook, @cyan_rose