Wednesday May 4th 2016
Champions Cup Final
Lancaster United v Quernmore
A beautiful evening for a game of football and both teams didn’t disappoint as they served up one of the best games seen in the SportsReach league, a game certainly fitting for a cup final.
Lancaster were having a tremendous season, having won the All Day Tournamnent back in September, clinched the League title by going unbeaten all season and were odds on favourites to complete the treble.
Quernmore however, started on fire following a tactical switch in team formation by Mick Lund in putting Josh Atkinson as striker. A switch that almost paid off immediately as in the first minute he had a shot cleared off the goal line with a last ditch clearance from a Lancaster defender.
Quernmore allowed Lancaster no time at all to settle on the ball and to get into their fluent passing rhythmn which had been evident in their play over the season and the relentless hard pressing led to a corner and the ball being headed into his own goal by a Lancaster defender who was put under pressure in the air by Will Fielding.
It is fair to say that Quernmore had the better chances in the first half and could and maybe should have doubled their lead before half time.
1-0 at the break.
Second half saw some flowing football played by both teams. Quernmore again went close with the woodwork being hit and they worked the Lancaster keeper hard with him pulling off some great saves yet they couldn’t find the killer second goal to finish Lancaster off.
Their chance to do so came as they were awarded a penalty which was brilliantly saved by Lancaster’s keeper only for it to be retaken due to encroaching from a Lancaster defender. The second penalty was sadly for Quernmore, put over the bar.
Lancaster refused to lie down and launched another attack which led to them receiving a penalty of their own which their captain Martin duly dispatched. 1-1
Five minutes later and Josh Atkinson headed Quernmore back in front and it seemed as though Quernmore were going to prevent a Lancaster treble, but credit to the League Champions for battling to the end and with less than 10 minutes left they forced an error in the Quernmore defence and the ball was headed home by Michael White to bring it all square again. 2-2
Extra time would probably have been welcomed by both teams and by the fans as well as they were being treated to an exciting free flowing attacking game but due to no floodlights at the ground, the decision had already been made for the game to go straight to penalties if it was a draw at the end and it was Lancaster who held their nerve the best to win the penalty shoot out.
Well done to both teams for serving up such a great game in the final. A game played in the right atmosphere between two teams who were very competitive but also very fair and neither team really deserved to lose.
Man of the match was awarded deservedly to Quernmore’s Will Fielding who was absolutely outstanding.