Following a long Easter break FX Union headed into the League Cup final with cautious optimism. The team had previously beaten opponents Wendron FC and were hoping to replicate their past success. Yet the momentous occasion and home advantage enjoyed by Wendron meant that a close and tense match was on the cards.
FXU started well and enjoyed the majority of possession in the game’s opening quarter. The superb playing surface enabled Union to play with a much-welcomed degree of freedom. Yet after several attacking chances failed to bear fruit, a major blow was struck with a well-played central through ball from Wendron leading to a coolly converted chance. Despite falling behind early on, Union showed steely resilience by continuing to press high up the pitch, with an excellent display of pace and determination from both wingers Jack Holman and Jack Orford.
FX Union’s utilisation of the pitch’s width soon paid off as a crossed ball led to a chance for striker Dan Wilcox, which was controversially fumbled away from the goal line by the Wendron goalkeeper and sparking debates as to whether a goal should have been given. Although continuing to mount pressure onto their opponents, FXU headed into half time trailing by a goal and knowing they had a hard fight ahead of them.
As play resumed, the balance of chances began to shift in Wendron’s favour, forcing some outstanding defending from skipper Jaimin Sadiwala and the rest of the defensive cohort. Determined to not let the game slip away from them, FXU rallied and repeatedly surged forward as the second half wore on. The constant pressure finally overcame the Wendron defence leading to a thrilling equaliser from Union’s Jack Orford.
Capitalising on their newfound momentum FXU renewed their vigour with two substitutions, hoping to put the game to bed before the gruelling prospect of extra time.
The air was heavy with tension as the final entered its last quarter, with both teams threatening to clinch a late winning goal. However, following a well defended corner, a second cross looped into the Wendron box from the right-hand side. It was met with a magnificent header from Union midfielder, Phil Doherty, which sailed past the keeper into the net.
Following an electric outburst of celebration, FXU readied themselves for a nerve-wracking final five minutes. Wendron attacked relentlessly, but were rebuffed at every attempt by a stalwart defence compromising of almost every Union player. With the minutes ticking away, the victory edged ever closer for FXU. The referee’s final whistle was met with an eruption of jubilation and relief.
After the game, FX Union manager Joe Crisp hailed the performance as “our best, possibly ever” and said he was “absolutely over the moon” to finally secure silverware for the Union trophy cabinet. The team now looks forward to their next fixture against rivals Tremough FC, which could see them claim the league title. All credit to the Union players, who ensured their team’s valiant triumph with their contributions throughout the cup run.
Final Score: 2-1
Goal Scorers: Jack Orford (1), Phil Doherty (1)
Man of the Match: Jack Holman