SUPERB LIGERS LACK FINAL BITE
By Neil SINCLAIR
Magnificent effort not quite enough for Ligers to topple Comets in Trophy Final classic
It wasn't quite the glorious end to the season Ligers may have hoped for, but my word, they gave it their all in the attempt. On the glorious, and massive, 4G pitch that is home to Bracknell Town FC, both teams revelled in front of a large crowd and provided a game to satisfy the harshest critic. Regardless of the result, everyone walked away happy with the performance, if not the result.
Twyford arrived with a big reputation, albeit in their inaugural season in the EBFA. Ligers have enjoyed one of their best-ever seasons, although have suffered somewhat since losing five fixtures to the weather in February. Nevertheless, the two teams engaged at breakneck speed from the first whistle. Ligers had Joe Wallis playing in goal as regular keeper Matt Barrett recovers from a broken hand and although he played his part, it wasn’t a particularly busy day for Joe. Both teams struggled to break into the opponents box, either through resolute defending or poor touch on the approach. Indeed it was a speculative shot from the edge of the box by Twyford’s tall No5 Alex Cooper, on the stroke of half-time, that separated the sides. At the other end, Comets’ massive keeper, Thomas Henry, dealt very easily and competently with everything that came his way.
The pattern in the second half was similar to the first: end to end excitement, with some exhilarating passing moves and wonderful defensive interventions by both sides. Hearts coach Simon Wallis was juggling five substitutes whereas his opposite number, Mike Henry, had just two in the dug-out, but neither side appeared to lose much momentum by making changes. Ligers lost Daniel Kubinskyy with a foot injury before half-time, and John Humphrey eventually withdrew with a muscular strain, but the affect was minimal. However, coincidentally, Twyford scored the two goals that secured the tie and the trophy shortly after the final raft of changes: a rather scruffy effort following a bit of pin-ball around Ligers' six-yard box and then a high quality penalty by Tawana Changa after he had been adjudged to have been brought down on the edge of the area.
It was just too much for Ligers to pull back, and although they managed several long-range efforts in the final fifteen minutes, Ligers were condemned to the runners-up spot.
It was a cracking final and all 16 Hearts players put in 100% effort and played possibly their best football of the season, so it would be unfair to single out individuals. Comets were humble in victory and they did just edge it over the 70+ minutes.
I think it's fair to use that well-worn cliche´´- "football was the winner"