Old Elizabethans’ Football Club
OEs win the Norman Hardy Cup
Saturday 30th April:
Old Elizabethans win the final of the Norman Hardy Cup against Ashley FC
Squad: Mike Griffiths (2006 leaver), Russel Britton (2009 leaver), George Turner, Jacob Williams, Will Mason, Chris Ashcroft (2007 leaver), Tom Potterton (captain), George Loud, Tom Butt, Alex Kwong (2009 leaver), Simon Harris (2008 leaver). Subs: Daniel Hawkes (2006 leaver), Raf Mohammad, Lewis Yost.
Match Report by Daniel Hawkes
Excitement was high heading into this game with Old Es having secured the 2nd division league title by 1 point in a head to head show down with 2nd placed Torpedo Reserves the Saturday before. Our opponents, Ashley, had lost out on the 1st division title in a similar showdown very late on in their game the previous weekend. We certainly felt that they would be coming out with a determination not to finish their season empty handed.
The crowd was by far the largest of the season, easily entering triple figures, the majority of which adorning the yellow and blue of Old Elizabethans.
The fans were rewarded for their support by an extremely hard working performance in the first half although chances at both ends were few and far between. In truth Ashley probably shaded the first period, always looking dangerous from set pieces and requiring some excellent defending from our back four.
A half time score of 0-0 prompted a half time team talk calling for more of the same from manager Chris Hawkes.
The second half was where the Old Es really showed what they were capable of. With legs tiring after a brutally high tempo first half space and time started to emerge to allow us to play some football. Alex Kwong in particular was causing the Ashley defence all kind of problems with his dribbling. It was after one of these runs and 2 or 3 saves/ off the line clearances that Tom Butt managed to smash the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the area. As he ran away to celebrate jubilation turned to frustration as he spotted the linesman’s flag had been raised.
This disappointment only served to lift Old Es and we were now well on top. Soon after George Loud was brought down in the penalty area by the Ashley goalkeeper and it was top scorer Simon Harris who stepped up to give Elizabethans a deserved 1-0 lead. A nervy 5 minutes followed where it seemed impossible for the Es to escape their own penalty area. Finally we broke down the pitch and Chris Ashcroft won a free kick in a wide position. Urged to shoot by the manager Ashcroft ignored the orders and drifted a perfect ball to the back post where George Loud was there to meet the ball and make it 2-0.
It was from here the floodgates opened; another mazy dribble and shot from Alex Kwong found a good save from the Ashley keeper only for Harris to be in the right place to score the rebound for his 55th goal of the season. Soon after Chris Ashcroft was put through 1 on 1 and finished calmly. All that was left was for Mike Griffiths to pull off a stunning save from a close range header to keep his clean sheet and put the icing on the cake of the victory.
Jubilant scenes followed the final whistle with Tom Potterton lifting the Norman Hardy trophy.
Final Score: OEs 4 – 0 Ashley FC
Scorers: Harris x2, Loud, Ashcroft
About the Old Elizabethans’ Football Club
The Old Elizabethans’ Football Club, founded in 2012, is thriving and meets at 8pm every Wednesday at the St Bede’s School for training.
It turns out two teams regularly every Saturday on The Downs and has been successful in The Downs League, winning 6 trophies in the last 3 seasons.
The social side of the game is very important to us, and new players are guaranteed a very warm welcome.
For further information contact football@qehobs