4 March 2012
CHAWTON ATHLETIC 2
Starting XI: Martin Booth (GK). Jamie Oakley (RB), Jake Channon (CB), Marc Taylor (CB), Kyle Bale (LB). Pete Goodall (RM), Danny Taylor (CM), James Harvey (CM), Andy Vickers (LM). Ben Hodkin (FW), Ryan Furey (FW).
Substitutes: Carl Waterfield, Ashley Brooks, David Nicholson, Mikey Phillips
Referee: Derek Taylor
A second postponement at the Jubilee for this tie was not enough to stop this game from going ahead, as the match was switched to the slightly less waterlogged Lindford pitch. Chawton overcame giving up home advantage to triumph and reach their first cup final since the re-birth of the club in 2010!
The pitch was heavy, but playable, and the rain light. In the conditions, it took both sides a while to warm up and the first fifteen minutes merely presented half chances for each side. Possession was fairly even and neither keeper looked in any real danger.
The first clear cut chance fell to Chawton though, as a back pass was penalised by the referee, who awarded the Yellows an indirect free kick inside Lindford's area. Ben Hodkin knocked it to Jake Channon to hammer it towards goal, but his shot was also towards the keeper. He spilled his shot, but nobody was close enough to follow it up.
Lindford finally got a decent chance on goal from a corner. Despite beating the Athletic keeper, they could not beat Pete Goodall on the line who cleared the ball.
This kick started Chawton into life and they duly put the Lindford defence under a sustained period of pressure. Martin Booth in goal had to be alert to Lindford's counter attacks and was forced into a couple of saves before the half time whistle came.
With the late pressure, the away could feel hard done by at not being in front against the division's second placed team.
Chawton started the second half as brightly as they ended the first, and an Andy Vickers corner was headed home by Channon to give the lead.
The pitch was really starting to get more boggy and this contributed to some misplaced passes. One pass that was not misplaced was that by James Harvey to Hodkin just before the hour mark. Hodkin slipped in the surging Danny Taylor, who slid the ball past the keeper to put the Yellows 2-0 up and provide a little daylight between the teams.
By this point the game was getting pretty even and indeed a little tetchy. Mikey Phillips came on, after Vickers had taken a knock from a late tackle, to provide some fresh impetus.
But it was the other winger Goodall that was catching the eye, with his runs causing no end of problems for a tiring Lindford backline. One such run provided a glorious chance to put the game beyond the home side's reach, but unfortunately he just put his shot past the far post.
Lindford were trying desperately to grab a goal back, Marc Taylor having to clear a corner or two. Tackle began to fly in and one opposition player was shown a yellow card for one too many frustrated kicks at Danny Taylor.
With barely five minutes on the clock, Lindford thought they had pulled one back when the ball fell to the striker who was clean through and lifted the ball over an advancing Booth in goal. But Athletic's 12th man, Mr A. Puddle came to there rescue as the exasperated Lindford player saw the ball stop on the line with Channon reacting quickest to clear the ball!
The match ended to a cheer from all those in Yellow, with the score 2-0. A second final for Chawton Athletic, the first since the new administration took control, and they will be hoping to go one better than they did in the 2010 Runwick Cup final.
There were some outstanding performances on the day. Danny Taylor dominated the midfield, ably assisted by James Harvey breaking up the play. Ben Hodkin put in a captain's game up front, working hard to track back in the second half to protect the lead. Pete Goodall had an excellent game on the wing for the second week running, a performance only lacking a goal to top it off. Martin Booth in goal pulled off some good saves to help preserve the clean sheet.
Elstead Lighting Man of the Match: Jake Channon. The centre back dominated the back line and broke the deadlock with a cracking header.
|Man of the Match, Jake Channon|