The second of this weekend’s double header of Cup Finals, saw us once again return to Dulwich Road, for The Hewitt Memorial League Cup Final between Fifteen Degrees vs Queens Arms.
As with the day before, the sun was once again shining on a particularly warm morning on the Tendring coast!
Fifteen Degrees were looking to win their fourth trophy of the season, whilst Queens Arms were looking to win their second trophy of the season, so the scene was set for a highly competitive game between two good teams!
As the game got underway, both teams looked to start quickly as Fifteen Degrees immediately pressed forward and put the Queens Arms defence under pressure. The first real attempt came in the fifth minute, as Callum Rogers in the centre of the Fifteen Degrees midfield lined up a shot from distance which was well hit, however Queens Arms ‘keeper Forrest Maddock saved well.
Fifteen Degrees continued to take the initiative and in the tenth minute as they cleared a ball to the halfway line, it was picked up by Lewis Blanchett who displayed some good hold up play and good footwork to create some space and play a through ball for the onrushing Asten Firkins to collect. There was still work for Firkins to do however as he bore down on goal and had the ‘keeper coming out to close the angle, but he finished well one on one for Fifteen Degrees to take the lead.
Fifteen Degrees 1-0 Queens Arms
Following the goal, Fifteen Degrees looked to further their lead, however Queens Arms responded well and started to create some good opportunities of their own. The goal had lifted some of the Queens Arms players to raise their attempts, however in the seventeenth minute Harvey Cowler may have taken it too far as he made a rash challenge to win the ball and was shown a yellow card for his efforts. This was closely followed in the nineteenth minute with a yellow card for Sam Thompson, who blocked off his man as Fifteen Degrees looked to break away.
Despite Queens Arms finding two players now walking a tightrope, they were soon to be granted some hope as in the twenty-second minute Fifteen Degrees attacked, and Lewis Blanchett challenged with the keeper for a loose ball. The Assistant Referee raised his flag for offside and Blanchett it is fair to say did not agree with this decision remonstrating with the Referee and in doing so, took things too far as the Referee brandished a red card. Fifteen Degrees still had the lead at this point, but knew they had a long period of the game remaining to now play with ten men.
Queens Arms looked to make the man advantage count from this point, however found a resolute Fifteen Degrees backline in their way, who were able to ensure that they made it to half time with the score still at 1-0
Half Time: Fifteen Degrees 1-0 Queens Arms
The second half started with much the same intensity as the first half had ended, with Queens Arms knowing they had a good opportunity to get back in the game against ten men and in the fifty-second minute, things became a little better for them as Fifteen Degrees saw Josh Dillon sent to the sin bin for a show of dissent. Fifteen Degrees were now reduced to nine men for a ten-minute period, in which Queens Arms would look to capitalise.
Queens Arms did indeed make the two-man advantage count in that they were able to create more good opportunities for themselves, and in the fifty-seventh minute a corner was played into the box and recycled finding an unmarked player two yards out from goal, however he inexplicably was only able to head against the bar when it looked harder to miss!
Josh Dillon returned to the field for Fifteen Degrees not long after however Queens Arms remained in the ascendency and in the sixty-eighth minute created another good opportunity for themselves, which saw a ball played into the box and find the head of an attacking player however he could only head against the post.
Queens Arms would however be rewarded for their persistence in the seventieth minute, as a free kick centrally was awarded, and Brad Smith stepped up to strike the ball from range with the ball evading the wall and bouncing over the unsighted ‘keeper to find the net and level proceedings.
Fifteen Degrees 1-1 Queens Arms
Fifteen Degrees responded well to this and continued to try and find a winner, despite only having ten men and in the ninety-fourth minute as Asten Firkins looked to break, he was impeded by Brad Smith of Queens Arms who was shown a yellow card, however the resultant free kick came to nothing as the whistle was blown to signal the end of normal time.
Full Time: Fifteen Degrees 1-1 Queens Arms
With the teams failing to be separated after 90 minutes, a period of thirty minutes extra time commenced with Fifteen Degrees once again the team in the ascendency but without any clear-cut chances created.
In the 103rd minute a great cross was delivered into the Queens Arms box as Adam Bailey-Dennis looked to meet it with this head at the back post, however he was unable to connect with the ball.
In the 105th minute Fifteen Degrees once again delivered a ball in to the box, and this time Adam Bailey-Dennis did make contact with the ball, finishing well with his head, however the Referee had blown his whistle for a foul in the build up to deny him and Fifteen Degrees.
Half Time (Extra Time): Fifteen Degrees 1-1 Queens Arms
A quick turnaround saw the second half of extra time commence and this time Queens Arms started the better as in the 108th minute a corner was played in and met by the head of an attacker, however he was unable to direct the ball on goal.
Fifteen Degrees responded well to this near miss as they created an attack of their own and saw Asten Firkins fouled on the edge of the Queens Arms area, and a free kick awarded in a dangerous position.
Dangerous indeed it was, as Josh Dillon stepped up and was able to lift the ball over the wall and the ‘keeper to find the net to take the lead, with ten minutes remaining.
Fifteen Degrees 2-1 Queens Arms
Queens Arms knew that they had to push forward after this and looked to create opportunities for themselves, however the Fifteen Degrees backline remained firm.
It wasn’t until the 119th minute that Queens Arms would get a real attempt on goal, as a free-kick was awarded in a similar position as they had scored from earlier, however this time ‘keeper Glen Morrison was equal to the effort and done well to hold on to the ball to kill any momentum Queens Arms had just built.
As the game reached added time, Fifteen Degrees saw an attack break down and to stop Queens Arms breaking, striker Jack Balaam made a late tackle for which he was shown a yellow card in what is well known as a ‘tactical foul’.
It proved to be a well taken foul as moments later the sound of the Referee’s whistle signalled the end of extra time and Fifteen Degrees were able to celebrate yet another trophy!
Full Time (Extra Time): Fifteen Degrees 2-1 Queens Arms
Queens Arms must be applauded for their part in what was a great battle across the full 120 minutes, however, were unable to follow up the trophy from the previous week with more silverware.
Fifteen Degrees once again found themselves in the familiar position of celebrating silverware, as they collected their fourth trophy of the season and must be congratulated on what has been a fantastic season for them!
Thank you to both teams and their supporters for coming along.
Once again thank you to Holland FC for their hospitality on many occasions over the past 2 months!
Fifteen Degrees : Glen Morrison, Callum Rogers, Tyler Rogers, DJ Quinney, Asten Firkins, Josh Dillon, Jay Barker, Lewis Blanchett, Kyle Bergin, Elliot Aves, Adam Bailey-Dennis. Subs: Connor Davison, Shane Goodyear, Robbie Taylor, Elliot Gosling, Jack Balaam.
Queens Arms : Forrest Maddock, Kalon Harms, Jamie Duffus, Harvey Cowler, Oliver Lamb, Jake Richardson, Wayne Blackman, Sam Thompson, Billy Wales, Alex Foresythe, Kieran Wales. Subs: Simon Allwin, Connor Lebrett, Parris Newland, Curtis Edwards, Bradley Smith.
Match report and photos courtesy of League Sec. Aaron Finch.