Photographs by Daniel Golton
Vanbrugh 1sts had to be patient after an even and very tight first half but were eventually able to come through with a comfortable scoreline against their 3rds team, edging them out as they look to end their season with silver wear.
The 1sts made an immediate impact with a goal in the opening minutes from Jack Coy. The move was started by Elliot Ross who’s pass was layed off to him by Liam Sides, playing the striker through after out muscling the 3rds defenders on his trail. His shot was saved however but nothing could be done about the rebound from Coy, smashing home from close range.
Ross had another attempt on goal soon after, shrugging off his marker and volleying just over. Vanbrugh 3rds saw very little of the ball in the opening stages of the game, and looked to counter attack when they broke down a 1sts attack however they weren’t quick enough to catch Vanbrugh off guard and by the time Knowles’s shot was saved by Taylor there were already enough bodies back to defend for the 1sts. They soon picked up the pace though and shocked the 1sts with an equalizer mid way through the first half, Lewis Hill chasing a long ball forward down the byline and crossing into the box where Priest was on hand to flick the ball into the net.
With the momentum now with the 3rds, the 1sts survived a very close shave when Pete Waldock passed the ball to Priest on the edge of the box, the chance opening up for him but the striker hit his shot wide. Had he converted the game may have been very different but with the 1sts surviving the scare before halftime they had time to recover and focus on claiming back their lead.
The 1sts started the second half just as they started the first, with another immediate impact and regaining the lead through Wignall. He started the move himself, flicking the ball on to Joe Lund who found Ross in the area, his shot hit a defender but just as Coy was in the first half, Wignall was able to sweep the ball into the back of the net as the 1sts heaved a communal sigh of relief.
They then began to press and forced the 3rds to stay in their own half, with more freedom to attack now they had a hold of the game again. They were rewarded once again for their pressure with a other goal this time for Liam Sides who taped home from close range after Woodall chipped the ball over the 3rds defence. A brace at the end from Ross, who fired spectacularly into the top corner and Graham nodding in Woodall’s corner gave Vanbrugh an impressive 5-1 victory, seeing them through to the plate semi finals.
Vanbrugh captain Max Brewer agreed that it took a while to break their opponents down but they got there in the end, and agreed it was fun for everyone to be playing each other with many friendships within the Vanbrugh camp having to be put on hold for 60 minutes.
Vanbrugh 3rds Captain Charlie Frobisher: ‘I think at the end of the day the scoreline didn’t reflect how we played, I’m not even disappointed, obviously it’s a shame to go out, but I can’t be disappointed it was a spot on performance, we all had a good time last night and we all had a good time today aswell’.