GFSN Cup review
30 May 2015
Village Manchester fell just short at reaching their second GFSN Cup final in two years as they dropped out the competition at the semi-final stage.
The club’s 2014/2015 cup run started way back in August as they made the long (very long!) trip down to Wiltshire to face Trowbridge Tigers in the preliminary round. It was McPherson’s first competitive game in charge and in his squad of 14 he was able to hand debuts to Kidd, Johnson, Ampeh and Bracken. Despite having a number of new faces Village were soon on top and were causing lots of troubles down the flanks. Village went ahead following a Holmes header from a Langford free kick but Trowbridge equalised from a free kick of their own just after the break. With time running out Nelson unleashed an unstoppable shot across the opposition keeper and into back of the net sending Village (2-1) into the last 16.
In the last 16 they were again on their travels as they visited the North East to take on Newcastle Panthers. Most of the Trowbridge squad were available for this game with Bolgar, Storey, Cookson, Papademetriou and debutant Wooley replacing the ones that couldn’t make it. It was a tough first half as Newcastle tried to take advantage of being on home soil. Langford gave Village the lead but a goal just before half time sent the teams in level at the halfway point.
A strong second half was called for and that is exactly what the team produced! Papademetriou (remember him?!) scored a second half hat-trick and his strikes were interspersed with goals from Bolgar and Holmes. Newcastle scored a last minute penalty but that did not take the gloss of a good performance and a 6-2 victory.
In the quarter finals Village were finally drawn at home – but with the quarters being played in a neutral venue as part of the GFSN’s Christmas Party the game took place in Nottingham. The combination of cup fever kicking in and the thought of festive booze up in the Midlands meant that the club had an 18 strong squad to choose from. Village were 1-0 up within 15 minutes as Holmes finished off a Johnson cross and the team doubled their lead soon after with McNaught controlling and expertly curling a shot past the helpless opposition keeper. The game was put to bed soon after half time as Khan headed home a corner and Langford finally got the goal his performance merited to give Village a 4-0 victory. The game was also of note as it was the first time that Village donned their new red kit.
The club had to wait a while to play their semi-final and it was another away trip as they faced Saltire Thistle in Glasgow on 14 March. Wearing their newly acquired sky blue kit, the team weathered an early Saltire storm and went into the break with a 1-0 lead thanks to a sweetly struck Holmes shot. Saltire burst out of the blocks in the second half and scored three times before Fairbrother got a goal to make the score 3-2. With the game getting into the final five minutes and with Village pressing to get an equaliser, Saltire scored a quick double to give the final score an unflattering and undeserved 5-2 look.
Village can be happy with their cup performances this season and games in knockout competitions seem to bring the best out of the team. We can also take some heart from the fact we were knocked out by the eventual winners as Saltire saw off Hotscots in an all Scottish final.
The club thoroughly enjoyed their cup run and enjoyed great nights out in Newcastle, Nottingham and Glasgow. We would like to thank the other GFSN teams for hosting us and we look forward to taking part in the GFSN Cup next season.