The first of this year’s Cup Finals saw us head over to Holland FC, for The Fowler Memorial Cup Final between Sunday Shrimpers Vs CO4Ultras, with the two Premier Division sides doing battle for silverware.
CO4 were the team to get us underway in this fixture, with the opening stages of this game proving to be a cagey affair, as both teams looked to impose themselves on the game and implement their game plan. Both teams had spells of possession but there were no chances of note within the first 15 minutes, however in the 16th minute, CO4 Ultras’ Sam Bird found himself on the ball in the Sunday Shrimpers half and played an inviting through ball for Harry Willoughby to run on to, who provided a confident finish one-on-one with the ‘keeper to make it Sunday Shrimpers 0-1 CO4 Ultras.
Having seen themselves fall behind, Sunday Shrimpers looked to make an immediate reply, with Chris Stratton finding himself in the CO4 Ultras box before a solid and well-timed tackle by Jack Tollhurst prevented him from getting his shot away. Lewis Blanchett was next to go close for Sunday Shrimpers, as he beat his man with ease down Sunday Shrimpers left and played an inviting ball across the box, however there was no one there to apply the finish.
CO4 Ultras survived this pressure and had the next attack, which ended in a free kick being awarded in a decent crossing position. Fromthe resulting free kick, Harry Willoughby provided a great delivery which was met by the head of DJ Quinney however his header was cleared for a corner. This would prove a short-lived reprieve for Sunday Shrimpers as the corner was played in and met againwith another header which ‘keeper Jack Lines appeared to claim, but unfortunately for him he dropped the ball in front of goal to give Shane Goodyear an easy tap in for CO4 Ultras to extend their lead, making it Sunday Shrimpers 0-2 CO4 Ultras.
As had happened after the first goal, Sunday Shrimpers looked to respond immediately to conceding and found a ball played into the box meet Rory Harman who just had to apply the finish, but he blazed over the bar when it seemed easier to score. Their next attack saw Joe Knight beat his man and unleash a shot; however, this was defended well by CO4 Ultras for a corner which came to nothing.
CO4 Ultras were next on the attack with Harry Hewes played in on goal and having turned his man, he found himself denied by a brilliant save from Jack Lines in the Sunday Shrimpers goal. He was to be a busy man as CO4 Ultras again attacked and Shane Goodyear played the ball in to the dangerous Harry Willoughby only for Jack Lines to again save his first-time effort. The next CO4 Ultras attack saw Sam Bird upended in the box and a penalty awarded, however having picked himself up to take the kick, Sam Bird was next to be denied by Jack Lines as his penalty was saved low down to the right.
The remainder of the half played out without any further significant chances, however there were a flurry of yellow cards awarded to both teams, with Adie Cant, Harry Hewes and Jack Stoneman shown yellow for CO4 Ultras and Liam Duly for Sunday Shrimpers.
Half Time: Sunday Shrimpers 0-2 CO4 Ultras
The second half started on a sour note for CO4 Ultras as minutes in, Harry Willoughby was adjudged to have stamped on a defender he had done battle with whilst trying to get his team forward and shown a red card, leaving CO4 Ultras down to 10-men for the remainder of the game. This was to prove costly as in the 59th minute, Sunday Shrimpers saw their pressure pay off. After a corner had been delivered in to the box, Ryan Munson met the ball with a left footed volley from just inside the box which crossed the line to reduce the deficit and give Sunday Shrimpers a chance of completing a comeback. Sunday Shrimpers 1-2 CO4 Ultras.
Despite the man disadvantage, CO4 Ultras continued to press and looked to extend their advantage, with Adie Cant and Harry Hewes both having shots from distance but once again they both found Jack Lines in the Sunday Shrimpers goal difficult to beat. Their failure to convert their chances and the man disadvantage would have been rued in the 67th minute, as Sunday Shrimpers broke into the area and a rash tackle saw a penalty awarded. Joe Knight stepped up to take for Sunday Shrimpers, but fortunately for CO4 Ultras, Billy Clarke in their goal was able to replicate what Jack Lines had done earlier and save the penalty down to his right to defend their lead.
As the half drew to a close, further yellow cards were issued to Bogdan Anghel and Shane Goodyear of CO4 Ultras and the game entered additional time. Sunday Shrimpers were pressing for the equaliser and created chances, with a ball played to the back post and met by a powerful header which could not be directed on target, before they did have the ball in the net, only for the officials to deny them with an offside flag.
Unfortunately this decision saw Sunday Shrimpers reduced to ten men as Daniel Keeble made his feelings known following this decision however there was no time for this to have any effect, as the final whilst was promptly blown after a somewhat chaotic finish to the game.
Full Time: Sunday Shrimpers 1-2 CO4 Ultras
Commiserations to Sunday Shrimpers who fell just short in what was an entertaining and highly competitive fixture.
The family of John Fowler were in attendance to present the medals and trophies and selected today’s Man of the Match as Adie Cant of CO4 Ultras.
Thank you to The Fowler Family, both teams and their supporters and to Holland FC for their hospitality.
1. Jack Lines, 2. Cameron Brunsden, 5. Daniel Keeble, 6. Tom Farthing, 7. Christopher Stratton, 8. Joe Knight, 11. Ryan Munson, 12. Rory Harman, 14. Liam Duly, 15. Lewis Blanchett, 16. Matthew Geen. Subs: 3. Elliot Johnson, 4. Kyle Elmer, 9. Leroy Eade, 10. Curtis Marvan, 111. Jack James.
1. Billy Clarke, 2. Jack Stoneman, 3. Adie Cant, 5. Jack Tollhurst, 10. Harry Willoughby, 11. Sam Bird, 18. DJ Quinney, 21. Elliott Aves, 26. Shane Goodyear, 32. Jack Webb, 44. Kyle Bergin. Subs: 7. Harry Hewes, 9. Taven Clarke, 36. Ryan Dale, 69. Anghel Bogdan, 77. Marius Mitu.