Today saw the Colchester & District Sunday League at Lawford FC for the final of the Fowler Memorial Cup, being contested by Fifteen Degrees and Sunday Shrimpers.
Prior to kick-off Fifteen Degrees were welcomed with a guard of honour in appreciation of their recent success in becoming Essex Sunday Premier Cup Champions, as both teams took to the field with the sun beating down and after the pre-match pleasantries were out of the way, Referee John Watson sounded his whistle to get the game underway.
Both teams started the game well, as they looked to keep the ball in their possession and in the fourth minute a well hit shot from outside the area called Jack McQuoid in to action in the Fifteen Degrees goal, as he pulled off a great save to turn the ball behind for a Sunday Shrimpers corner. This would prove to be the only attempt on goal of note in the opening proceedings, as both teams looked to create openings but were stopped by either some resolute defending or an offside flag.
In the twenty-third minute Fifteen Degrees worked themselves some space in the Sunday Shrimpers half and as they approached the edge of the box a shot was taken forcing ‘keeper Harvey Rotchell into his first meaningful action however despite making the save, he was only able to parry the ball and Asten Firkins was first to the loose ball to smash the ball in to the net and open the scoring.
Fifteen Degrees 1-0 Sunday Shrimpers.
Not to be setback by the opening goal, Sunday Shrimpers responded well and quickly started working the ball up the pitch within five minutes had levelled proceedings, as in the twenty-eighth minute as an aerial ball was played in to the Fifteen Degrees box, a misjudgement by ‘keeper Jack McQuoid saw the waiting Chris Stratton able to head the ball over him and into an empty net.
Fifteen Degrees 1-1 Sunday Shrimpers.
With the score level, the game again became an even affair with both teams looking to make the next move and some over enthusiasm from Fifteen Degrees’ Shane Goodyear in the tackle saw him issued the first yellow card of the day.
This signalled the start of a period where several free kicks would be awarded and in the thirty-sixth minute a free kick was awarded on the left-hand side outside the area, which Fifteen Degrees’ Callum Rogers stepped up to take. His attempt was bound for the top right-hand corner from the moment it left his foot and despite the best efforts of ‘keeper Harvey Rotchell, the ball found the net.
Fifteen Degrees 2-1 Sunday Shrimpers.
The second goal seemed to give Fifteen Degrees a confidence boost as they continued to be on top and took only a further two minutes further extend the lead. In the thirty-eighth minute a ball was played into the box and Asten Firkins was first to meet it with his head beating the ‘keeper to make it Fifteen Degrees 3-1 Sunday Shrimpers.
Half Time: Fifteen Degrees 3-1 Sunday Shrimpers
The second half started with Sunday Shrimpers knowing they needed to find an early goal to give themselves a chance of getting back into the game and started with both teams getting possession of the ball and looking to break forward however once again, neither team could create any meaningful attempts on goal, with most of the play in the middle third of the pitch.
As Shrimpers pushed, an over-zealous tackle by Chris Johnson right in front of the Assistant Referee was punished with a yellow card whilst Tyler Rogers of Fifteen Degrees was also shown a yellow card for his reaction during this incident.
Sunday Shrimpers continued to build up the pitch and were looking to get the ball to their attacking players to create chances, however in the fifty-fourth minute an offside decision against Joe Knight saw him react with a show of dissent leaving the Referee no choice but to send him to the sin-bin, giving Fifteen Degrees a man advantage for a ten minute period.
Fortunately for Shrimpers, Fifteen Degrees were unable to capitalise on this advantage and extend their lead.
It took until the sixty-ninth minute before Sunday Shrimpers were able to get a foothold back in the game, as another mistake from ‘keeper Jack McQuoid allowed Harvey Smith to steal in and pull another goal back.
Fifteen Degrees 3-2 Sunday Shrimpers.
Sunday Shrimpers continued to press forward and create opportunities to level proceedings, however try as they might, they found themselves in possession without being able to beat a resolute Fifteen Degrees backline to create any attempts on goal which was the story of the remainder of the half.
Fifteen were able to attack in response, but similarly found themselves unable to create any clear-cut chances despite breaching the Sunday Shrimpers defence.
As the game looked to be coming to its conclusion at 3-2, Fifteen Degrees found themselves breaking on the counter and advanced in to the Sunday Shrimpers box and as a ball was played across and the ‘keeper looked to come out and close the angle down, Connor Davison slid in to poke the ball past the keeper and make sure of the victory.
Fifteen Degrees 4-2 Sunday Shrimpers.
This was promptly followed by the sound of the referee’s whistle, signalling an end to a well contested game in which Fifteen Degrees had just too much for Sunday Shrimpers.
Full Time: Fifteen Degrees 4-2 Sunday Shrimpers
Commiserations to Sunday Shrimpers who fell just short, but certainly gave a good account of themselves.
Congratulations to Fifteen Degrees who add another Trophy to their collection in a successful season, with the treble now confirmed having previously won the Premier Division and Essex Sunday Premier Cup.
With one competition remaining, they are now on track to complete a quadruple which is a quite remarkable achievement!
The family of John Fowler were in attendance to present the medals and trophies and also selected today’s Man of the Match as Asten Firkins of Fifteen Degrees.
Thank you to The Fowler Family, both teams and their supporters and to Lawford FC for their hospitality in making this a great occasion!
Full Time: Fifteen Degrees 4 – 2 Sunday Shrimpers
Fifteen Degrees : Jack McQuoid, Callum Rogers, Tyler Rogers, David Quinney, Asten Firkins, Shane Goodyear, Jay Barker, Kyle Bergin, Lewis Blanchett, Elliot Aves, Adam Bailey-Dennis. Subs. Tom Preece, Connor Davison, Robbie Taylor, Elliot Gosling, Jack Balaam
Sunday Shrimpers : Harvey Rotchell, Reece Hart, Elliot Johnson, Jamie Beecham, Chris Stratton, Chris Johnson, Joe Knight, Matt Grove, Harry Windred, Daniel Keeble, Rory Harman. Subs. Tom Farthing, Harvey Smith, Cameron Brunsden, Dan Roots, Jack James
Match report and photos courtesy of League Sec. Aaron Finch.