NPLYFC U14’s Cup Final Report
Finally it was here….Cup Final Day. Meadow Sports v NPL U14’s
The squad took their places in the changing room, finalising match tactics, whilst the volume of the crowd intensified as the early morning coffee started to kick in. The boys marched spritely onto the pitch.
The whistle blew and NPL were immediately on the front foot. Miles made a searching pass into space down the right hand channel for Ollie H to collect, and deliver a killer ball into the six yard box, leaving Jason with a simple pass to calmly slot into the back of the net..…GOAL!….. 1 : 0 up after 3 minutes.
NPL continued to dominate possession, creating numerous chances. The midfield quartet were strong and combative, getting the ball forward with great passing skill at every opportunity. The fantastic Meadow Sports keeper was up for the challenge though, scooping the ball out of the top corner and their dogged defence clearing off the line.
Corner, after corner, attack after attack, but the ball would just not go in! Against run of play, seconds before half time, the opposition broke down the wing, and the resulting cross was turned in for the equaliser. 1 : 1
In for the break..……a rousing speech from Louis, the changing room floor awash with orange squash and we were out for the second half.
It didn’t start well. Before we knew it, we were 2:1 down. A setback but heads did not drop. Defence and midfield continued to battle. Joe and Jude closing down anything in the middle, Charlie and Joe linking up on the left, Jowed and Miles, solid and tough on the right, and the ever present centre backs, Essam (c) and Ben making crucial last ditch headers and tackles. Sweeper Keeper Louis was as brave as ever, keeping the boys in the game on more than one occasion.
Searching for the equaliser, 20 minutes to go, Joe WG entered the fray to test Meadow Sports tiring legs. Immediately NPL increased their intensity. Finally, a through ball for Ollie to run on to. One on one with the keeper, expert control on a bobbly pitch and bang!…GOAL! 2 : 2 GAME ON.
NPL had the momentum back. The match was there to be won.
Extra time was looming and Ollie, Harry and Jakub were warming up. Joe W, magnificent on the left hand side of the pitch, ran at the opposition but was upended just outside the box. From the free kick, a dangerous ball floating into the box, found Jason. A deft glancing back header and the ball sailed into the top corner. GOAL…………..
Elation…….The corner flag took a pummelling, the whole team sprinting to be involved in the goal celebration.
NPL saw the remaining minutes of the match out comfortably, and marked a well fought competitive Cup Final victory. Team work, determination and fantastic support carried the boys over the line to be 2015 cup winners!
Meadow Sports 2: NPLYFC 3