A FULL week of competition in both the Association Cup and the Northwards Works League produced some exciting action.
In a titanic battle in the Association Cup quarter final, reigning league champions Wrultizers overcame Services on penalties after normal time and extra time couldn’t separate the two sides in one of the year’s best matches. Elsewhere Cosmos exacted revenge on the talented young Mossbank side by overcoming them 3-1 in the other quarter final.
In the league, Cosmos denied Malakoff a stunning fightback to sneak a couple of goals in the last minute for a 6-4 win after the boat builders had hauled the match back to 4-4.
Services got their revenge on Tizers to pull away from the north boys in the race for the championship, defeating them 2-1 with a last minute goal.
Mossbank enjoyed a fine 6-0 win over Banks in the other league fixture.
This weekend sees a humdinger as Cosmos take on Chernobyl, while elsewhere Services face a potential banana skin in the form of Mossbank and Malakoff and West Linga do battle.
Midweek will see Wrultizers and Chernobyl face up and Services taking on West Linga.
Association Cup quarter finals
Wrultizers 3, Services 3 (Wrultizers win 5-4 on penalties)
This match was predicted to be the pick of last week’s matches and lived up to the pre-match billing. With Services joint top of the league and coming off the back of a couple of big wins and defending league champions and DITT cup holders Wrultizers keen to show they were better than their current league position, this was always going to be a closely fought game.
The Wrultizers took control early on with David McShane linking up well with the midfield and Duane Nicolson and Andrew Boyd causing Services trouble on the wings. Good play down the left saw both McShane and the recently signed Ivan Mouat come close with two rasping drives.
Services however were looking dangerous on the counter with Tam Greenan being denied by an excellent James Manson reaction save following a corner. It was from a corner that they took the lead when, after an extended bout of penalty box pinball, Tony Smith fired home albeit with the help of a big deflection.
Wrultizers didn’t panic. They went back to playing the good football they had been playing and were rewarded just before half time. Boyd cut inside from the left and played the Ball to Mark Smith. Smith shaped to shoot before sliding the ball through to Mouat who clinically finished. Both teams had chances to win the match in normal time as first Services had a penalty appeal turned down and
then Tony Smith shot from distance while for Wrultizers a David McShane snapshot fizzed just over the bar.
Services took control in extra time but for all their territory and possession the resilient Tizers defence restricted them to set piece efforts and long range shots. The game came alive in the second period of extra time as Services were awarded a penalty after Tizer Alan Smith bundled Lee Hunter off the ball. Trevor Chubber expertly dispatched the spot kick to give Services one foot in the semi final.
This goal seemed to awaken the Wrultizers from their slumber as they hit back in spectacular fashion. Duane Nicolson strode down the right wing and sent in a sumptuous cross which Mouat met to send a looping header into the top corner. Moments later Wrultizers took the lead, Mark Smith again the provider as he played the ball in to the feet of McShane, who let the ball roll between his legs before rifling into the top corner.
Wrultizers’ lead didn’t last long however as Services were awarded another penalty which Trevor Chubber dispatched again. Try as both teams did no one could break the deadlock and it was down to the dreaded penalty shootout. All the first nine penalties were dispatched before Services’ Duncan Leask was millimetres out with his aim, his spot kick rebounding back off the post to put the ecstatic Wrultizers through to the semi final and end a match which in all honestly no team deserved to lose.
CF Cosmos 3, Mossbank 1
Cosmos met Mossbank for the second time within a week, this time in the quarter finals of the Association Cup at the Gilbertson Park, with the current cup holders Cosmos seeking revenge for their first league defeat at the hands of the northern youngsters the previous Saturday.
From the whistle, Cosmos looked a different side than that of the previous meeting and quickly set about pressuring the Mossbank back four. Within 15 minutes their persistence paid off, Thomas Sinclair expertly finishing a chance from 15 yards.
Play continued at a good pace with both teams enjoying the fine playing conditions and creating chances at both ends with Cosmos keeper Gary Wiseman keeping the Mossbank forwards at bay.
Half time and Cosmos were ahead 1-0.
Cosmos took their lead one further 20 minutes into the half via some acrobatics from Tor Neil Halvorsen. The big defender seized on a half clearance from the Mossbank defence and performed a perfect overhead kick high into the roof of the net.
As the game wore on, the heat was taking its toll on the Cosmos forwards. A timely substitution
by caretaker manager Ronnie Calderwood created the third for Cosmos. Evergreen Mick Davies was replaced by Kenny Saunders who, on almost his first touch of the ball, lobbed the Mossbank keeper from the edge of the box.
Mossbank continued to press and got a consolation goal five minutes from the end for their hard work. Credit to both teams for putting on an entertaining match on a hot night at the big pitch.
Northwards Works League
CF Cosmos 6, Malakoff 4
With literally several fans braving the damp conditions on Saturday night, Cosmos and Malakoff
lined up in a match that the men in black had to win to keep their place at the top of the league.
With both teams no strangers to quick, free-flowing play, the fans knew they’d see plenty of goalmouth action and within 10 minutes the ball was in the net. Malakoff scored first when Rory Binns tapped in from six yards out from a Michael Gardner cross.
Darren Johnson signalled Cosmos’ intent to equalise quickly, when he launched and exocet missile from 30 yards out. The Cosmos midfielder was unlucky to see his shot beat Duncan in the Malakoff goal but not the crossbar.
Cosmos did get their equaliser a few minutes later though when Cosmos’ current scoring sensation Tor Neil Halvorsen powered home a header from a perfectly weighted Peter Calderwood corner.
Malakoff went 2-1 in front midway through the first half when Michael Gardner was picked out by a James Manson pass and he fired the ball home from just inside the box.
With the half coming to a close, Thomas Sinclair on one of his trademark mazy runs inside the Malakoff box was judged by referee Robbie Leask to have been clipped by a Malakoff defender. Up stepped Halvorsen to bag his second to make it 2-2 with a calmly taken penalty which flew past Duncan in the Malakoff goals.
With half-time approaching Cosmos nipped in front. Kevin Moreland threaded a pass through the Malakoff defence to Darren Johnson, whose first touch set him up beautifully to strike it past Duncan.
In the second half Moreland got his name onto the scorer’s sheet for Cosmos after some good linking play up the left side. Kenny Saunders squared the ball to Moreland who fired into the top right corner.
Back came Malakoff with two quick goals, the first from Craig Jenkins from a Michael Gardner corner then Stephen Leckie scoring from a James Manson pass.
It was 4-4 with 10 minutes to go and a draw was on the cards when the unlikely figure of Cosmos’ Mark Hunter went on a 30 yard run/dribbling spree ending up in a cross which the unfortunate Malakoff defender Binns turned into his own goal. Hunter undoubtedly claimed the goal as his own.
Cosmos finished the game off with five minutes to go when Kenny Saunders collected the ball on the penalty spot and fired home a quick shot into the top right hand corner to make the final score 6-4.
Highly entertaining football by both teams, with the only negatives being injuries to Adrian Henry for Malakoff and Ronnie Calderwood of Cosmos.
Wrultizers 1, Emergency Services 2
No match report received.
Banks 0, Mossbank 6
No match report received.