4 March 2014
Village Manchester have a couple of cup finals to look forward to later this season as two hard fought victories in February saw them reach the final round of both the Manchester City Central League (MCCL) Cup and the GFSN Cup.
On 9 February, the club faced Audenshaw FC in the MCCL Cup semi-final, having disposed of Real Mancs in the previous round. Village knew they would face a difficult test as Audenshaw inflicted the club’s heaviest defeat of the season with a 9-1 hammering back in October.
Village were able to name a strong, but bare, 11 for this cup game with Connell, McNaught and Carter taking the place of a number of missing regulars. Things started off well for the club as Holmes volleyed home the opening goal after a defensive melee. Audenshaw’s talent soon shone through though as they scored twice to take a lead into half time.
In the second half Panos brought parity back to the score line as he struck a fierce equaliser – but it looked to be in vain as Audenshaw scored again and took that lead into the last few minutes. Luckily the club’s top scorer, Langford, had yet to have his say and his pinpoint free kick took the game to penalties.
With Baker again pulling off a couple of fine penalty saves, it was left to the Village penalty takers to make sure they made no mistake with their efforts. With Langford, Baker, Panos and Holmes all finding the back of the net the club could celebrate reaching the final.
The club soon made it two finals to look forward to as they saw off HotScots in the GFSN Cup semi-final on 22 February.
The club came up against the side from Edinburgh after seeing off Newcastle Panthers 8-1 and Leicester Widecats on penalties in previous rounds. With HotScots sitting mid-table in Division One of the GFSN League, Village knew that it would take a concerted effort to see off the boys from across the border.
Things couldn’t have got off to a better start as a Langford free kick in the opening minutes found its way past the opposition keeper’s despairing dive to give Village an early lead. Both teams looked dangerous but it was HotScots who would get the next goal as they nodded the ball over the line from a corner.
The rest of the game went back and forth with both teams eager to get the goal that would take them through to the May final. As the game wore on Village kept exerting more and more pressure but were struggling to find a way past a stern and solid Scottish defence. With five minutes remaining Village got the goal that would win them the game and it was again from the boot of Jordan Langford. The ball fell to Langford on the edge of the box and his goal bound shot took a couple of nicks on the way towards goal. The keeper again got his hand to the ball but was unable to keep the ball out.
The goal saw the sizeable number of supporters on the sidelines go crazy and the timing of the goal meant it was too late for HotScots to get back into the game as Village saw the game out.
The club will face London Romans in the final in May following their 3-2 victory over Saltire Thistle in the other semi-final. In the MCCL Cup, Village will play St James Community who saw off Manchester Club Football 5-4 in the other semi-final.
Double win in Cup semi finals
Jordan Langford scores the first goal in the HotScots game