The A Team lifted their first silverware of the season but they had to work hard for it and put their manager and supporters through a rollercoaster of emotions!
The A Team entered the Southport Schools’ Liverpool Cup Tournament feeling confident after their last performance – a 7 nil win over Norwood in the league.
With two large groups and only the winner of each league due to progress further in the competition, the team wanted to start the competition well. They certainly did this with an impressive 5 nil win over Norwood ‘B’ in the 8 minute match. An early goal, direct from a Rhys Graham corner settled the nerves and goals from Oscar Thompson (a hat-trick) and Ben Wareing settled the opening encounter. George Brain seemed to remain a spectator in the Farnborough goal for the majority of the match!
The second match against Farnborough ‘B’, saw a lively and spirted display from the supposed under-dogs! The ‘B’ team chased and tackled everything in sight and took a deserved lead when Shelley Thompson kicked from her own goal area and the ball bounced once over the ‘A’ team keeper, nestling in the back of the net. The ‘A’ team through all they could at their opponents and the pressure finally told when a stray ‘B’ team hand blocked a goal-ward bound shot. Up stepped Oscar Thompson top calmly slot home a last minute penalty and earn a hard fought point. Honours even but a moral victory for our own ‘B’ team!
Third league game saw a return to winning ways with some flowing, attacking football. 6 nil against Crossens with goals from Oscar, Kian Champion, Lawrie Woods, Ben Lawrenson and Rico Seddon-Davidson. Bailey McDonald swapped his keepers top for his strikers jersey and enjoyed a run out up front. A resounding win and back on track, or so we thought!
Fourth game saw a tense battle with Churchtown and despite all our best efforts the ‘A’ team failed to break the deadlock despite some tough tackling and great wing play.
So our final league game had to be a win and then it would be down to other results in the group. Kew Woods put up a spirited display however the constant pressure resulted in an own goal. However the team continued to press and a superb turn and run down the left from Rico created a second goal for Farnbough, cooly finished by Rhys. A 2 nil victory and joint top of the group with Churchtown, however our superior goal difference saw the team progress to the final.
The final between Farnborough and Our Lady’s saw two unbeaten teams take on each over for a chance to represent Southport in the Merseyside finals. Farnborough created chance after chance during both halves of a one-sided final, the closest a screaming volley from Oscar, however they failed to make the vital break through. Two minutes each way of extra-time again saw the team forcing corner after corner, with Rhys trying an audacious overhead strike on goal. Still no goal – so the dreaded penalty shoot out and six keen volunteers stepped forward but only four were required.
Penalty 1 – Farnborough miss – Our Lady’s miss.
Penalty 2 – Dana Amaral scores for Farnborough – Our Lady’s score.
Penalty 3 – Farnborough miss – Our Lady’s miss.
Penalty 4 – Lucas Balshaw calmly scores – George saves the Our Lady’s attempt.
What a way to win your first competition of the season! The tournament win was achieved through a full squad contribution from every player and they should be very proud of their achievements and look forward to playing in the county finals later in the season, with chance then to progress to the finals at Anfield in May.