Newcastle Panthers v VMFC2
Sunday 27 September 2014
VMFC victorious in the Toon
Village Manchester travelled to Newcastle on Saturday 27 September to take on local gay team the Newcastle Panthers in the Last 16 round of the GFSN Cup. And it was cup joy for the club as they saw off the opposition 6-2 with an impressive second half display.
Village made the now familiar trip to the north east with a strong squad intent on securing passage to the next round of a cup they were runners-up in last season.
Baker returned in goal following his trip to America and his goal was being protected by a back four of Kidd, Storey, Kelly and debutant Woolley. Player/manager McPherson took up a defensive midfield position whilst captain Holmes, Langford and Johnson helped Bolgar and Nelson with the attacking duties. Papademetriou, Browning and Cookson started on the bench with Assistant Manager Toland directing things from the side-lines.
It was the home team that started the best and they put together a number of good moves that threatened to provide the first goal. However, with an experienced pairing at centre back they were limited to shots from distance or their attacks fizzled out and Kidd and Woolley capably snuffed out dangers from the wings with smart and carefully made blocks and interceptions.
Village soon got themselves into the game and with quick and tricky attackers, the Newcastle defence were going to have to work hard to keep Village at bay. They couldn't manage this however and the visitors took the lead as Langford curled a shot around the keeper from the left side of the box. 0-1.
This goal gave Village belief and they continued to exude pressure which resulted in a number of corners - but it was to be from one of these that they let Newcastle back into the game. With five minutes remaining of the first half Village pushed both central defenders into the box to try and grab a decisive second goal. However Newcastle, who were dominant in the air throughout the game, cleared the set piece and the ball fell to one of their attackers. The attacker out muscled Kidd in the centre of the park (unfairly in the defender's eyes) and slid a ball through that left McPherson and Cookson in no mans land. This ball found another Newcastle striker and he kept his cool as he placed the ball past the onrushing Baker. 1-1
The half time whistle went with the scores all level.
Half time: Newcastle Panthers 1-1 Village Manchester
The goal just before half time was a blow for Village and it was a tough lesson to learn. There were many positives to take from the first half though and the management team were eager to point these out and to focus on what we could work on to get ahead in the game again.
And what a second half it was!
Village were eager to build upon the good play they showed in the second part of the first half and the team's superior fitness and deadly attacking play soon started to show.
Papademetriou, who was impressive in last season's cup encounter, again showed that he enjoys playing against this Newcastle team by scoring a second half hat-trick. He got his first when he collected a ball from Langford and lashed the ball past the keeper. His second was a great effort as he left a defender for dead on the by-line before curling a ball over the keeper. His third was possibly the best of all as he breezed past two defenders, nutmeged a third defender then he smashed the ball through the keeper's legs to find the back of the net.
These goals were interspersed with goals from Bolgar and Holmes. Bolgar's finish was an assured one as he lashed the ball home from ten yards out and Holmes could make no mistake as he headed the ball in from one yard out as he got on to end of Papademetriou’s clever dink to the back post. 1-6
Village could even have added to this as they had a couple of efforts that hit the post; Holmes had a great shot saved and Nelson missed a easy header from inside the six yard box.
With a lead of 6-1, Village were not too disheartened when Browning gave a penalty away with a minute to go for a handball. With the last kick of the game, Newcastle got their second as the penalty taker confidently dispatched his effort past the diving Baker in goal. 2-6
As the final whistle went Village could reflect on a job really well done. The first half was close and a bit of naivety cost the team but with so much attacking intent and ingenuity – coupled with great energy and desire from every player – it meant that Village blew the opposition away in the second half.
The club will be hoping to continue this form into the Quarter Final which will be held in Nottingham in a couple of months against yet to be determined opponents.
Full time: Newcastle Panthers 2-6 Village Manchester