|On the road at Towneley Playing Fields, Burnley watching the Burnley and District Sunday League double winners Havelock FC host the BFSFA's very own Cahoots FC in the second round of the Lancashire Sunday Trophy.|
Twenty-one of our sides took part in this morning's second round of the Lancashire Sunday Trophy. The opening round of only four matches took place a few weekends ago. It's unusual that all of our sides have managed to avoid each other.
The Lancashire Sunday Trophy is the biggest prize in Sunday football and as such is extremely difficult to win as there are are some first rate teams taking part. The BFSFA has not produced a winner since the early nineties when Mammas won it two years in succession in 1992/93 and 1993/94. Last season as Quilligans they reached the last eight.
Looking at the draw it's fair to say that Premier Division Cahoots have received a really tough draw. Havelock FC won the The Burnley & District Sunday League without dropping a point. They also won the Division 1 Cup as well as reaching the final of the Towneley Cup (Our equivalent of the Gledhill) where they eventually lost in extra time.
Currently they're top of the league but they've unusually lost a game against Pendle Forest White FC who are two points behind Havelock in second but with a game in hand. I can find no recent record of them taking part in the Lancashire Sunday Trophy so, as with Cahoots, it will be a new and interesting experience for them.
Cahoots FC were fourth in the Premier Division table this morning. The fixtures computer has given them a difficult opening to the season. In the first seven games they've already had to play Poulton, Highbury, Quilligans and Arcadian. The games have all been close and competitive but Cahoots have only come out with two points from those matches following draws against Quilligans and Arcadian. Their remaining nine points have come following wins against Bispham Juniors, Harris & Co and Highfield Social.
Their record in recent Cup competitions hasn't been very good but this season, after a first round bye, they managed to beat an in-form Hydronics FC in the second round so maybe that's a sign of better fortune in Cup competitions for the coming season.
It's worth remembering that this is only Cahoots second season in the top Division. Their debut campaign finish of fifth deserved a lot of credit. When you look at the squad they've assembled for this season you have to say that on paper they look very good. Players like Yeomans, Ford, Barber, Coyle, West, Conway and Clarkson are all top quality talent.
Manager Mark Faber certainly has the ingredients but can he mix them altogether to make a successful side ?
Today's venue is in spitting distance (I proved it on the way past) of Turf Moor, the home of the Clarets. Towneley Playing Fields are adjacent to the golf course for anybody who's ever played there.
Today's referee was Mr Gary Nash from Accrington. After the overnight rain the pitches were soft but overall they were in a decent condition. Surprisingly to some, Mr Faber had managed to get most of his players across Lancashire in the minibus on time so just after 11am Mr Nash got proceedings underway.
Frend (Left) and McGivern ready for the off.
Havelock keeper Ian Hartley.
Leon Barber (Left) with Kevan Ford in the background.
After only ten minutes it was clear that this was going to be a very close match between two evenly matched teams. Both sides started confidently playing some good football but cancelling each other out.
A Havelock free kick on 23 minutes produced the first clear cut opportunity when player manager Nathan Edwards beat Yeomans to the ball only to see his header go agonisingly wide.
As the half progressed Cahoots began to control a lot more of the possession. Clarkson was beginning to exert his influence in midfield ably supporting the hard working McGivern and Frend up front. On the half hour mark Cahoots produced three corners in quick succession. From the third Havelock showed their class with an excellent quick break upfield resulting in an important save from Yeomans.
Ryan 'YoYo' Yeomans.
On 37 minutes a good interchange between McGivern and Faber resulted in the latter getting in a good shot on goal that had to be dealt with by the keeper. From the subsequent corner Barber went close from a header. Minutes later Gilley had a good chance but blasted it over the bar.
Just before the break Havelock's best 1st half player John Habiak produced another surging run and pass to number 8 who fired over the bar.
A yellow card for Edwards following a robust challenge.
Havelock have a lot to discuss during the half time interval.
Half time score : Havelock FC 0 – 0 Cahoots FC
Suspended Jordan Black has a chat with Cahoots Sub Phil Peltier.
In the second half the home side were slow out of the blocks. On fifty minutes a Clarkson run from midfield resulting in him troubling the keeper with a long range left footed effort. After ten minutes Havelock found their rhythm and began to dominate the play.
On 56 a great move resulted in Brett Doogan firing across Yeomans, a great effort.Minutes later Barber gave away a foul. Lee Allins brought a good save from Yeomans from the resulting free kick.
The home support.
The middle period of the half saw a particularly bad spell for Cahoots as they struggled to get the ball out of their own half. Havelock created some good efforts on goal and despite Yeomans efforts both I and the Cahoots management team thought things were looking grim but bit by bit Cahoots regained their composure. Click here to see a good effort from Havelock FC
Rob Feehan (Left) and Mark Faber look worried as they contemplate their next move.
Clarkson gets booked for dissent – There's a first.
On 76 minutes the deadlock was finally broken. A throw in on the left was well worked by Gilley and Clarkson. After a neat one-two Clarkson was free on the left flank. He beat one man and another, cut across the box and was tripped by the Havelock defender inside the area.
A nailed on penalty. The Havelock player saw red and received his marching orders. After the commotion had finally died down Clarkson stepped up to score. 0-1. (Click here for live video of the events.)
Mr Gary Nash.
With time running out the home side were pushing for an equaliser. Cahoots were defending resolutely but this wasn't helped when the numbers were evened out by referee Nash after Andy Nuttall was dismissed for dissent.
Nuttall pleads for leniency without success.
Job almost done, Clarkson is pulled off by Faber.
The final whistle goes, Cahoots are through.
Final score: Havelock FC 0 – 1 Cahoots FC
This was a really entertaining game from start to finish played between two good sides who produced a lot of great passing football. A rare defeat for the talented Havelock team who were missing their top striker this morning. However, although Cahoots had the edge in the first half Havelock had enough possession and chances in the second to score but just couldn't find the net. Good performances especially from Habiak and the speedy number 10. Good luck to the Burnley lads for the rest of the season.
As for Cahoots this was their first taste of the Lancashire Sunday Trophy and they liked it. This was an important win against quality opposition and it required some big performances. West, Nuttall and Ford were awesome at the back and Barber had a great game in midfield.
Yeomans had many important saves to make and his handling was superb throughout the whole game. Clarkson stole the show and was picked out by the Havelock manager as the difference between the sides. Good luck to Cahoots in Round 3.
Happy Cahoots celebrate the victory.