Photos: Jack Western
A late winner in the last five minutes was enough for Langwith 1sts to gain a valuable 3 points in their penultimate game of the group stages with a 2-1 victory. Vanbrugh 2nds, who have enjoyed a successful start to their campaign, looking likely to qualify for the cup in the knock out stages, will see this as a setback after dominating most of the possession and having the better chances.
Forward Adam Lewis had a lively first half for the 2nds, with the ball often directed his way from midfield, with a quick attack from Vanbrugh resulting in the first shot on target of the game as Lewis raced into the box but saw his shot saved by Cheshire.
It was Langwith who took the lead however, against the run of play, with Matt Morton sprinting down the by-line and rolling in a dangerous ball, Louis Pegg’s shot was blocked, falling to Hutt who stabbed the ball home, a precious lead for the yellows. Langwith’s lead gave them confidence and they began to play with spirit, pressing Vanbrugh and hurrying them as they tried to play the ball out through the middle of the field. Lewis had a chance to equalise quickly after the ball was once again hooked forward to him through midfield but hit his shot wide, while Vanbrugh were then saved from conceding another when Sarrafan was played through but unfortunately could only manage a weak shot which was saved by Aaron Hooper.
Vanbrugh stepped up the pressure in the hope of an equaliser before halftime, with Liam Craine and Conner Brennen both trying their luck from range, but it was instead a mishap from the Langwith defence that allowed them back into the game, a misjudged header back to Cheshie was capitalised by Craine, who lobbed the keeper who had run out to rectify the error, and the ball sailed over him, just dropping under the bar. It was Vanbrugh who now had the confidence, revitalized by their equalizer and pressed their opponents, now pushing to take control of the game.
The second half began with Vanbrugh seemingly on top, though the game turned very scrappy, both teams tussling for the ball in the middle of the field. Langwith had few shots on target in the second half but nearly retook the lead early on when Morton’s flick from a cross nearly crept over the line, Hooper clawing the ball away. Brennen had two good chances to get the second goal Vanbrugh craved, miss-kicking the first in a good position near the penalty spot and a tremendous long range effort smacking the bar with Cheshire beaten. Vanbrugh pushed closer and closer to their winner, Sides keeping the ball in play and taking it into the box before leaving it for teammate Mathew Potts who fired just over. Cheshire appeared to drop a cross, seemingly gifting Vanbrugh a chance to slot into an empty net but the whistle went before they had the chance for an apparent foul on the keeper. Five minutes from time disaster struck for the 2nds, Matt Morton on the end of a long throw in steered a strong header into the top right hand corner where the post was vacant. Vanbrugh, who for so long were pushing for a winner, now needed a goal to get anything from the game, but with little time left it looked unlikely, their best effort, another chance for Connor Brennen who lobbed the ball over two Langwith players but Cheshire as so often has been the case for Langwith, was on hand to make the save to keep his side in the lead.
The last chance fell to Langwith with a free kick just outside the area, Marcus Campbell lining up to shoot but instead playing in Sarrafan down the by-line who was unlucky not to seal the win for his side, his shot hitting the inside of the post before being cleared.
A positive result for Langwith left Captain Marcus Campbell confident of his team’s chances to progress to the cup, ‘we’re in the driving seat now to qualify, against Halifax we didn’t really show enough character to finish the game, today we managed to come through, get the late goal and hold onto the lead so I’m really happy for the boys’. MOM: Andy Hutt
Jack Coy believed his team deserved more from the game, ‘you could possibly say (they were) lucky but I suppose it just fell for them, we were all over them for 40, 50 minutes of that game. We had a lot of chances, Cheshire put in some good saves, really good saves and we gave the goal away. MOM: Tom Siddle