HAMPSHIRE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION VETERANS CUP FINAL
Nursling Veterans 1 Colden Common Veterans 1 – Nursling win 4-2 on penalties – match played at A.F.C. Totton on Thursday 21st March 2019
Colden Common did their best to thwart Nursling from retaining the County cup they won last season and Nursling were determined to hang onto the cup and take another step towards equaling Colden's record three wins in a row. As a result a close game was expected and a close game is what the crowd got!
After the first quarter of an hour/twenty minutes the press box came to the conclusion that the game was 'dire', not much action and the flow of the play disturbed by many breaks for free kicks, handled well by the Referee. Neither goalkeeper was put under pressure as both defences dominated.
All that changed however in the 29th minute when the first of three major incidents affected the end result. Colden Commons' Stuart Creese won the ball in midfield and put in a penetrating run and cross. Both the Nursling 'keeper and a defender went for the ball but unfortunately for the defender he managed to slice it into his own net, gifting Colden the lead.
A few minutes later Colden suffered a severe blow when Wes Allwood stretched for a ball and landed on the ground in agony, probably with ligament damage. He was carried of the pitch and placed in the dugout and Sayem Kabir substituted. An ambulance was called but the match continued.
Just before the half time whistle a cross from Colden's Rich Lang caused confusion in the box but 'keeper Tom Hawkins saved well.
The start of the second half was delayed by 20 minutes as the ambulance had still not arrived but because of the time limit that the floodlights could be held on, it was decided to commence the game with Allwood still in the dugout. The ambulance did arrive about ten minutes later and he was taken to hospital.
At the start of the second half Nursling made two changes, bringing on Jake Wilson and Steve Jenkins for Eddie Carlin and Danny Gettings.
In the 50th minute of the game the third incident occurred when Colden's Lee Kelly was sent off for what looked like a stamp. Soon after, they too made a substitution, replacing Creese with Dean Higgins.
As the game progressed numbers began to tell and Nursling were pushing Colden back and threatening to equalise. Colden's Phil Curtis was everywhere rallying his troops, which eventually won him the Man of the Match award.
Nursling made another change in then 65th minute taking Stuart Hussey off and replacing him with Eddie Carlin.
Nursling's break came in the 67th minute when a great solo run and shot saw Ben Penfold equalise. Two minutes later Nursling made their last change with Neil Croudson replacing Scot Maitland and
Colden made their last in the 72nd minute bringing on Lee Smith for Justin Chapman, both no doubt with the aim of forcing the winner.
It was Nursling, however, who came the nearest to that winner, Sammy Carter forced a good save from Gareth Lloyd and he made another save from at the near post. Deep into the four minutes added time Nursling's Tommy Barge had the chance to win the match but headed wide when well placed.
At the final whistle, the destination of the cup was decided by the dreaded penalty shoot-out. After three penalties each Nursling led by 3-2 and then Colden failed to convert their fourth but to add to the tension Nursling also failed to clinch it with their fourth. Colden failed with the fifth leaving the door wide open for Nursling to win the tie with their fifth which is exactly what they did.
Not such a dire game after all!
The match was sponsored by Hobbs the Printers and Southampton Airport was the match ball sponsor. The Referee was Andrew Dunn and his Assistants were Michael Ridge and John Bungay and the Fourth Official was Thomas Moisey.
The squads: Nursling Veterans – Gary Fulker, Ben Penfold, Barrie Matthews, Sammy Carter, Steve Jenkins, Stuart Hussey, Jake Wilson, Tommy Barge, Eddie Carlin, Neil Croudson, Danny Gettings, Darren Hedges, Craig Martin, Tom Hawkins, Scott Maitland and Caton O'Hara.
Colden Common Veteran – Jim Harte, Wes Allwood, Stuart Creese, Karl Salmon, Justin Chapman, Sayem Kabir, Rich Land, Gary Frost, Gareth Lloyd, Lee Kelly, Joe Hodge, James Atterbury, Phil Curtis, Dean Higgins, Lee Smith and Andy Piller.
Match report by John Moody