Season 2018 / 19  



Wally Castle Invitational Trophy 2016/17

9th September 2018 - Wally Castle Invitational Trophy Final
(2017/18)


City Saints1 - 5Romania Athletic

Referee : George Sleigh
Assistants : Errol Souter & Joe Buda



A fine morning at School Lane, Lawford greeted players and supporters from City Saints and Romania Athletic for the final of the Wally Castle Invitational Trophy. This was the final match of last year's competition that had to be carried over to this season.

Referee George Sleigh led the teams through the pre-match formalities before a blast of the whistle gave Romania Athletic the okay to get the match underway.

The first chance of the encounter went the way of City Saints as Lehain got possession wide on the left, he carried the ball to the edge of the Romania penalty area but his low cross was well claimed by Florin Miu diving out from his near post.

Saints were back on the attack; Blanchett looked to have got away and went down under a challenge inside the Romania box. Both he and his teammates appealed loudly for the spot kick but nothing doing as far as the officials were concerned and despite Blanchett's extended protestations, play continued.

Romania went forward, space opened up for Vancea who let fly from distance but the effort was well saved by Jon Andrews in the Saints' goal.

Saints attacked up their left, Blanchett created space to put over a cross but there was just too much on it and it ran away from Poole.

A clipped pass from the Romania midfield found Marin but as he was about to take aim, a Saints' boot nicked it away for a corner.

Some good passing kept possession for Romania down their left but a rush of blood led to a terrible back pass from half way and Poole was away with just the keeper to beat. Great pace from the Romania centre-half got him back into contention but Poole held on strong and looked odds-on to get a shot away but at the last slipped it wide into the path of Blanchett coming up on his right hand side. Surely the opener for City Saints but it was not to be as Blanchett went with his trusty left peg (instead of perhaps his better placed right) and flicked his effort wide of the near post.

From the restart Saints came forward but Romania stole the ball and moved forward quickly. A lofted pass over the top found Vancea and he finished with a lob over the advancing keeper and beyond the desperate stretch of the last man.

   City Saints 0 - 1 Romania Athletic

Romania were on top and almost doubled their lead straight away as Miron fed Vancea but this time he dragged his shot wide of the target.

Good feet from Blanchett got him away from a couple of tackles but he was brought to the ground and Saints had a free kick. Moon aimed high to the far post, but the flag went up straight away - offside.

A high ball forward from Lehain was intercepted by a Romania defender coming across at the expense of a throw. A blue head met the throw, Saints put it back into the danger area but there was too much on it and the ball bounced out for a goal kick.

A fifty-fifty challenge in midfield had Lehain arriving just too late and Mr Sleigh's yellow card made it's first appearance of the match.

A run from Blanchett saw the Saints on the break, Poole was on his left calling for the early pass but it didn't come and he had to check his run. Blanchett then slipped it wide, Poole curled in a low cross that Miu punched away but the flag was up for offside from the first pass.

Romania were knocking the ball around looking to take advantage of the speed of their movement, a pass wide looked set for a cross but a sliding tackle put the ball out of play for a Romania throw.

The long throw was knocked back to the edge of the penalty area where B9 cracked a volley just off the target.

Saints then had a great chance to take the lead as Blanchett came in off the right wing, beat two before firing a super shot goalwards only to be denind by and equally great save by Miu going up to his right.

Somehow Vancea managed to retain possession right down by the Saints' goal line. He got round his man and cut the ball back but only to a covering defender who gratefully whacked it clear.

Miron was involved in the next two half-chances that came Romania's way, firstly setting up Tataru to fire wide before receiving a pass through only to be denied by some good defending by Saints.

Brat almost embarrassed himself with a wild clearance that very nearly dropped over his own keeper but fortunately fell just the right side of the goal for a Saints corner. A Romania head met the cross, the dropping ball was sent back with interest by Terry Cave for surely the equaliser but a flying save from Miu kept the sheet clean. The ball spun up and players from both sides flew in join the scramble. As the ball pinged around the six yard box Miu threw himself into the crowd and grabbed hold. Rising to his feet he cleared quickly out of play before going back down again looking in some pain.

A break in play gave the Romania keeper some needed treatment and the other players the chance to take on some fluids.

When play resumed there was a chance at either end, Marin got away for Romania but fired just past the post. Much the same for Saints number 17 but his effort lacked power and the still-limping Miu was able to fall gratefully on the shot.

With time running out to the break Blanchett went on a trademark twisting run that got him away from three challenges, a low cross looked dangerous but a Romania boot got enough on it to put it out for a Saints corner.

Moon curled the ball into the box, Romania won the header and were suddenly off on the break. Quick passing sent the ball forward, Vancea was through and finished well past the advancing Andrews to double his tally.

   City Saints 0 – 2 Romania Athletic

Two very similar goals with supporters of the Saints bemoaning the high line of their defence.

No real time for any more chances and Mr Sleigh soon brought the first half to an end.

Half Time : City Saints 0 – 2 Romania Athletic

Much of the same in the second half and Romania looked to put the game out of reach. A great run from Vancea got him round the back of the Saints defence, his cut back found Marin but he got well under his shot and could only scoop the ball high over the crossbar.

Saints were still having their share of possession but couldn't quite get that final ball through and Romania were looking dangerous from every attack. A Romania volley from the edge of the area was hit into the ground and made for an easy save before some good play going forward from Saints won them a corner kick. Alas the cross was too deep and Romania ushered the ball out of play for a throw.

Marin found Acostachioae but Andrews made the save before making what could have been a disastrous error in making his clearance. In mid-throw he suddenly appeared to change his mind but only succeeded in releasing the ball to the edge of his area. Stranded in no-mans-land he could only watch as the ball was lobbed back over his head but somehow the gods were with him as the shot dropped the 'right' side of his far post.

A break for Romania had Vancea challenging for a bouncing ball with Henry, a blast of the whistle and the Saints' man was adjudged to have committed a foul - free kick Romania.

Andrews set up his wall but neither they nor he could do anything about Acostachioae’s curler that found the top corner with Andrews only able to stand and admire the quality of the shot.

   City Saints 0 – 3 Romania Athletic

Saints were rocking a little and Romania looked to take advantage as Saints continued to hold a line that was maybe just a little too high. A long pass put the defence under pressure but the Saints man (30) did well to head home but Romania were able to increase their lead from the next attack. Again a long pass found Vancea who held off the attentions of his defender before rounding the keeper and slotting home for his hat-trick past the two defenders on the line.

   City Saints 0 – 4 Romania Athletic

Saints just couldn't get out now and needed Andrews to be on guard as they nearly scored from a well-worked near post corner routine.

Alas for Saints the defence was breached once more as some poor defending outside the box conceded possession to Vancea and the danger man didn't need a second invitation to take the ball on, round the keeper once again and make it four for him and five for Romania.

   City Saints 0 – 5 Romania Athletic

There was still lots of time left and Saints got a little of what they deserved as a pass from Lehain got through to Bruce Poole and he finished with aplomb to give his side a bit of a consolation.

   City Saints 1 – 5 Romania Athletic

A run from Poole, his cross picked out Lehain who hit it first time but the ball clanged back off the bar to safety.

Some handbags in midfield gave Mr Sleigh a bit of work to do as players from both sides converged to break things up before Saints nearly bagged a second.

Another lofted pass forward was brilliantly brought down on the chest by Poole but he was denied the opportunity to shoot by some good defending that nicked the ball off his toe.

Romania came forward and won a free kick in almost the same place as that had given them their third goal but the shot this time was aimed at the opposite post and dropped wide.

No further chances in the time that remained and Mr Sleigh blew for the end of the match, signalling celebrations for the men in blue.

Full Time : City Saints 1 - 5 Romania Athletic

   City Saints : Jon Andrews, Chris Aldous, Terry Cave, Jamie Baxter, Ryan Lorimer, Aaron Lehain, Bruce Poole, Matt Scott, Wesley Henry, Lewis Blanchett, Jack Szmodics. Subs. Matt Parker, Josh Moon, Adam Clark, Craig Bates, Dan Rampton.

Romania Athletic : Florin Miu, Lucian Gheorghiu, Dorin Brat, Marius Hogas, Liviu Halosta, Ion Paraschiv, Razvan Acostachioae, Valentin Marin, Cornelius Miron, Cosmin Vancea, Sergiu Tataru. Subs. Adrian Rotaru, Florentin Nedelcu, Sergiu Halosta, Dragos Moise, Alexandru Buga.





Many thanks to Lawford FC for the use of their facilities and to League Secretary & President
Mrs Elsie Hewitt for presenting the trophies.


Match report & photos : Steve Catley

A gallery from this morning's match is available to view and download ...




The Match Officials : Referee George Sleigh (second left) and his assistants Errol Souter & Joe Buda with Mrs Elsie Hewitt.


Man of The Match : Romania Athletic's Cosmin Vancea receives his trophy from Mrs Elsie Hewitt.


   City Saints with the runners-up trophy.


Romania Athletic's Captain receives the Wally Castle invitational Trophy from Mrs Elsie Hewitt


Wally Castle Invitational Trophy Winners 2017/18 : Romania Athletic



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