The last of this season’s Braintree & North Essex Sunday League Cup finals took place at Halstead Town with The Malcolm Foy Trophy Memorial Trophy taking centre stage as Division Three Witham Galacticos took on Division Two Tolleshunt Knights Eagles.
Witham Galacticos started well and a created two good chances in the first five minutes, first a free-kick from Mitchell Yeo was just missed at the far post by Clark and then another ball in from Yeo found Orr but Eagles keeper Morley was out quickly to clear, Eagles first real attack saw a run by Ian Kidd down the left he then crossed for Curtis Bonnick who should of made the keeper work with his free header but nodded wide. Galacticos began to get on top stringing some nice passing moves together and they nearly took the lead on 18 minutes when a long ball over the top sent Kane Orr away, he muscled his way past a defender and got a left foot shot away which was heading for the top corner only for Morley in the Eagles goal to tip over for a corner. Eagles first real chance came on 25 minutes a bad defensive clearance by Galacticos Adam Clark fell nicely for Scott Simmons and with the goal at his mercy tried to curl the ball in but it went wide of the upright, Eagles had another opportunity three minutes later when Bonnick worked his way down the left and crossed for the unmarked Simmons who headed straight in to the arms of Galacticos keeper Cannock. Galacticos pushed again and some great work by Adam Ratcliffe on the right weaving his way into the penalty area he crossed to the far post but somehow Aaron Williams put the ball wide. The deadlock was broken with 7 minutes of the first half remaining, Sam Berriman worked his way in to the penalty area and was about to shoot when Murphy dived in to challenge bringing him down and the referee pointed to the spot, SAM BERRIMAN picked himself up and slotted the ball past Cannock to send Eagles in leading at half-time.
Half-time: Witham Galacticos 0 Tolleshunt Knights Eagles 1
Eagles started the second half well putting the Galacticos goal under early pressure without really testing the keeper, but at the other end Galacticos first corner of the second half after 51 minutes bought the equaliser, Jamie Lawes whipped the ball in and it was diverted in to his own net by Eagles defender IAN KIDD to level the scores. Eagles nearly went back in front 3 minutes later when great play by Kidd saw him weave his way in to the area, keeper Cannock came rushing out to clear Kidd lobbed the ball towards goal and it looked to be dropping in but Ballard cleared the ball off the line, at the other end Galacticos started to apply so pressure again, Jamie Lawes crossed for Orr and his neat flick was saved well by Morley and then the lively Adam Ratcliffe was put through put fired wide of goal and then the same player fired over when well placed following a Yeo free-kick, in the final 10 minutes both sides pushed for the winner, Matt Eve who looked lively on the attack for Eagles fired wide from distance and then Ratcliffe was clear on goal for Galacticos he tried to lob the keeper but Morley managed to get a hand on it and the ball dropped agonisingly past the post, Galacticos had one final chance to win it in normal time but Robbie Ratcliffe’s header was saved by Morley.
Full Time: Witham Galacticos 1 Tolleshunt Knights Eagles 1
The first period of extra time saw Galacticos threaten early and they should of been in front but for some brilliance in the Eagles goal by Morley, firstly he saved shots from Adam Ratcliffe and Jamie Lawes and then managed to tip a deflected shot by Yeo round the post, Eagles then went straight down the other end and somehow Matt Eve missed a cross on the line to give his side the advantage. Galacticos took the lead for the first time on 97 minutes when Yeo who had been at the heart of their play all game played the ball through to ADAM RATCLIFFE who drove into the area and slotted the ball home from an acute angle, they couldn’t hold it for long though and the scores were level again just three minutes later when a corner from Eagles MITCHELL WRIGHT flew straight in to the net.
Half-time – Extra time: Witham Galacticos 2 Tolleshunt Knight Eagles 2
The second period saw both sides struggling with their fitness with several players cramping up and neither side wanting to make a mistake, Eagles Matt Eve did fire a fierce shot at goal but Cannock Saved, Galacticos when some trickery from Lawes saw him well placed but he fired over and the last chance fell to Eagles when Scott Simmons shot was saved in the dying seconds to send the game to penalties.
Final Score: Witham Galacticos 2 Tolleshunt Knight Eagles 2
The shoot-out saw both sides score their first kicks but it was Paul Makepeace of Eagles who had his and Eagles second spot kick saved by Cannock and with all the other penalties scored it was left to man of the match Adam Ratcliffe to step up and fire past the keeper to give Witham Galacticos their first piece of silverware.
Witham Galacticos win 5-4 on penalties
Witham Galacticos: Shannon Cannock, Derrick Ballard, Jack Murphy, Steve Vicarage, Charlie Humphrey, Adam Clark, Adam Ratcliffe, Mitchell Yeo, Aaron Williams, Jamie Lawes, Kane Orr. Substitutes: Robbie Ratcliffe, Jay Bromley, Dean Jeffery, Jamie Adams, Elliot Down.
Tolleshunt Knights Eagles: Phill Morley, Paul Makepeace, Ian Kidd, Peter Snook, Michael Lamb, Ben Kirkman, Curtis Bonnick, Mitchell Wright, Sam Berriman, Scott Simmons, Chris Houghton. Substitutes: Adam Wright, Matt Eve, Ross Cutmore, Tim Eve, Dan Scott.
Referee: Kevin Fisher
Assistant Referee’s: Fred Wood and Mo Cook
Fourth Official: David Parker
Man of the Match: Adam Ratcliffe - Witham Galacticos FC
To view photos from this game please click on the link: G0000uiznKOlhkc8