The Terry Martin Trophy was the first of the League’s cup finals to be played this season, which saw Pathfields Reserves and CO4 Ultras Reserves meet at The Austin Arena, home of FC Clacton.
On a bright Sunday morning down on the coast, both teams took the first 10 minutes to settle into the game, with the ball seeing an equal amount of time in each half. CO4 started to find gaps within the Pathfields backline after this and could count themselves unlucky, when on three separate occasions, an offside flag was raised as Jordan Hyams was played and thought he had timed his run to perfection.
As the game started to become stretched and CO4 continued to find success down the wings, in the 25th minute, Terrence Kelly managed to thread a ball from the right-hand side of the area to the middle of the box, where a waiting defender was unable to clear the ball and it found its way to Jordan Hyams, who rifled the ball into the top of the net, to make it 0-1.
Having taken the lead, CO4 continued to move the ball around well, with Dean West pulling the strings in the heart of midfield and Josh Faulkner and Terrence Kelly continuing to find success down the wings but it wasn’t until the 44th Minute when they were able to extend their advantage, as a ball was played over the top and the Pathfields ‘keeper came out to the edge of his box to meet the ball under pressure from Jordan Hyams and completely misjudged his clearance. Terrence Kelly was first on hand to the loose ball and lifted the ball over the ‘keeper into an empty net to make it 0-2 just before half time.
Half Time : Pathfields Res 0 – 2 CO4 Ultras Res
Pathfields made a couple of changes at the break and came out of the blocks quickly at the start of the secondhalf, with immediate pressure put on the CO4 defence and within the first minute, the deficit could have been reduced as Bailey Barnard saw the ball bounce over the ‘keeper and just had to head the ball into an empty net, but unfortunately headed into the empty stand behind the goal.
Determined not to let that set them back, Pathfields continued to press and create chances, and in the 59th minute the ball dropped in the box for Bailey Barnard who lashed the ball across the ‘keeper into the top right-hand corner of the goal with a very well taken finish, to make it 1-2.
With their tails up, Pathfields sensed that they could now find an equaliser and continued to press, however failed to make the CO4 ‘keeper work with any meaningful attempts on goal and with space inevitably opening up on the pitch as Pathfields pressed, CO4 were able to create some chances on the counter attack for themselves, but without success.
Pathfields were awarded a free kick late on in the game, in a dangerous position, however the chance was wasted with the ball clearing the stand behind the goal, which seemingly appeared to their last good opportunity of the game, as Jamie Duffett and Rob Brooks lead a resolute CO4 defence in seeing out any danger until the final whistle.
A very well contested game by both teams, however CO4 on the day were the better team and deserved their victory.
Pathfields Reserves 1-2 CO4 Ultras Reserves
Pathfields Res : Billy Rutter, Joe Mann, Kyle Lewis-Garrod, Shayden Baker-Williams, Jack Whitmore, Nathan Callaway, Mikey Dowdell, Luke Shawsmith, Bailey Barnard, Harry Barnard, Josh Fishlock. Subs: Bobby Croll (UNUSED), Ryan Sneddon, Ben Mann
CO4 Ultras Res : Radoslaw Wilk, Louie Duffett, Karl Brooks, Josh Faulkner, Jamie Duffett, Josh Oliver, Dean West, Jordan Hyams, Joe Steel, Rob Brooks, Gregan Savill. Subs: Khamron White, Terrence Kelly, Bradley Measor, Tobi Fatokun (UNUSED), Bill Barr (UNUSED)