Saturday, 5 May 2018

Rusthall Reserves 2 Southborough 1

Match 130/17/1580 - Friday, 4th May 2018 - Tunbridge Wells Charity Hospitals Cup Final

Rusthall Reserves (1) 2 Maga 45 Coxon
Southborough (1) 1 Hammond
After extra time, score at 90 minutes: 1-1
Headcount: 200
Played at Tunbridge Wells FC

Admission: £1
Programme: Free
Mileage: 38/8,451

I forgot my notebook, so a cut and paste from Rusthall's website:

May 4th and Cup Final night. Rusthall Reserves were up against Southborough in the TWCC Senior Cup. I don't suppose we can call ourselves local rivals as we play in different leagues to one another, but there was a healthy rivalry on the night as both sides went hammer and tong for the win.

The game started at a fairly frantic pace as you would expect, with the Rustics shading possession, and Southborough were looking for the ball over the top to their lively front men. Rusthall's Yannick Tchoundjin came closest in the early exchanges as he hit the bar with a great strike from 25 yards. However it was Southborough who took the lead, shortly after Rusthall's centre half Stuart Hunter had come off with a dead leg. A ball was played over the top and Boro's Simon Hammond was in pursuit with company from three Rustic defenders, Jake Cornishg, the Rusthall goalkeeper, had no need to come rushing out to get involved. Hammond spotted this and lobbed him expertly from out wide. With half-time approaching Rusthall levelled matters. This time it was Rusthall who went long. The Boro defence failed to clear and the ball fell to Arnel Maga who, cool as you like, side-footed past the Boro keeper to level at half-time.

The second half was more of the same, both sides having periods of pressure and both creating opportunities. One of these fell to Coxon just before full time but just has he was about poke home, a Boro player made an excellent interception.

So we headed into extra time. With both sides rotating subs the pace was still lively. Although the chances were drying up, Boro had a weapon in a massive long throw. Every time we conceded a throw in our half it was a danger. Just as we were heading for a penalty shoot-out, Callum Seal won a free kick near the Boro goal line. The initial kick was cleared, but Rusthall recycled the ball, Craig Gallie did some great work out wide (so he tells me) and chipped the ball across goal. Nick Coxon was in the right place to head home the winner.

With a minute left this was the last action of the night and Rusthall Reserves lifted the trophy for the second time in three years. Credit to both sides who put on a good show for the punters and fought out good Final.

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