AFC Spelthorne vs VWFC
29/04/2017 AFC Spelthorne 0 - 1 Virginia Water
Surrey Elite Intermediate Challenge Cup
Report by Ceri Jones
What a terrific and dramatic end to an amazing season for Virginia Water, achieving a league and cup double - with the last league game and this cup final both avenging defeats Waters suffered at the hands of Tooting Bec and today’s opponents earlier in the season.
In front of a large crowd at Abbey Rangers FC (who provided excellent hospitality) and all league officials, it was always going to be a tight affair, if not the end to end fluent passing both sides were accustomed to playing.
In a cagey first half, there was nothing in it, with Spelthorne unlucky not to get a penalty, whilst at the other end Waters had all the clear chances, with Adam McNamara, Tom Curran, Joe McBride and Jake Baker all forcing the Speltorne goalkeeper into to some excellent saves.
Waters were rarely threatened in defence, with the back four excellent in keeping yet another clean sheet, and apart from a number of testing crosses, Matt Jones did not have many shots to save on goal of note.
At 0-0 at the break, and after the euphoria of last week, the Waters dressing room was very confident they could pick up the pace and rely on their fitness, ability and impact off the bench - and so it turned out.
Waters dominated territory, possession and chances in the second half, albeit to be fair to Spelthorne, they did lose their captain to a nasty head injury – and all at VWFC wish him a speedy recovery.
McNamara, Ryan Curtis, Steve Williams, Baker, Finn Evered and Louis Sanders all rained in shots on the Spelthorne goal, but some resolute defending and good keeping held Waters at bay.
Then after suffering a severe head injury of his own only two weeks ago, it was fitting that in injury time, from a perfectly placed free kick by Williams, up popped Marc Lansdowne to head home from close range, and send Waters into raptures.
The season has been a real learning for curve for all, both on and off the field, and manager Ceri Jones has been delighted with the attitude, commitment and passion to win shown by a wonderful young squad of players.
The Waters management and committee would like to extend a big thank you to all concerned for their kind notes of congratulations, and Waters wish all clubs in SEIFL the very best for the new season.
In a very tough league, which is far stronger than given credit for, with the utmost respect to all opponents, Waters will be hoping that they do not see too many of them again in competitive fixtures, but remain certain their paths will soon cross again as many teams drive up the leagues.
Well done all!