1st Impeesa went into their final league match knowing that if they avoided defeat they would be crowned champions of the cub football league. An unusual start to the game as 2nd won the toss and decided to change ends which is not something I have ever seen in Cub football – was it mind games or wanting to attack the end with the better goalmouth?
Both teams started lively and the commitment to win was clear from all the players as tackles were won and lost and both teams began to create chances. The 1st were more dominant in possession with the attacking quartet of James, Ben , Jack and Tom linking up well to create some decent chances. Both James and Ben had shots blocked whilst Tom’s accuracy from the corner led to confusion in the penalty area but no final touch from a white shirt despite Jack’s best efforts.
Jack had been lively and when James’s long pass found him in space he out sprinted the last defender to finish clinically in the corner to give the 1st the lead. The 2nd responded and Dylan was called upon to make one excellent diving save and another with his feet. The defensive trio of Ozan, Charlie and Ronan were preventing further attacks. The introduction of Callum and Joshua changed the positions but not the format of the play as Joshua himself was unlucky not to double the lead before the break.
The second half was a long 20 minutes especially after the 2nd equalised soon after the restart as the attacker broke clear and scored despite Dylan’s valiant efforts to deny him. The game and the atmosphere could have become more edgy as the 1st knew that they could not afford to concede a 2nd goal. However it is often said that the best form of defence is attack and so it proved as within a couple of minutes Jack’s cross had been turned home superbly by Joshua for a 2-1 lead.
Thereafter the game became a bit of a midfield battle with James & Ben putting in some strong challenges to win back the ball. Ben himself had a great run and shot on the left and Tom had 2 or 3 shots blocked by different defenders. The defensive quartet of Sammy, Ozan, Callum and Ronan were put under more pressure but held strong to protect the lead.
The pressure from the 1st finally told as another corner from Tom caused chaos and Joshua was able to stab the ball pass the goalkeeper to give the team a 3-1 lead. In the final 10 minutes other chances came and went but ultimately the boys stood strong and refused to give away the lead and the result they had worked so hard for.
At the final whistle all the boys were ecstatic and the smile on their faces and their appreciation for each other as team mates was evident for all to see. We also saw sportsmanlike behaviour from everyone on both teams at the end which was great to see.
I think it is safe to say that the boys were very happy with the result and becoming league champions for 2017/18. Some people play football all their life and never win a league winners medal so it is rightly something to be proud of. We can all look forward to being presented with the trophy and individual medals on Finals Day
MOM as usual was difficult again as all the team played incredibly well. A special mention to Dylan for his goalkeeping but award went to Joshua whose clinical finishing scored the goals we needed to secure the victory and title.
Winning a league title is special at any age and the afternoon of Saturday 3rd February 2017 should live with them all forever.