|News from tonight's Compere Cup final at Blackpool Mechanics FC played between Arcadian FC of the Premier Division and Division 1 leaders Hydronics FC. History in the making as the famous old trophy was won for the last time.|
The Compere Cup is the oldest of the amateur trophies played for in Fylde Coast football. Named after the ex Blackpool FC announcer Wilf Wells the famous trophy was first competed for in the 1964/65 season. The inaugural winners were St Annes YMCA who beat Wren Rovers at the Co-op Sports ground. When the Combination was in its prime on Saturday afternoons this was the trophy everybody wanted to win. Since the demise of Saturday afternoon football the trophy has been competed for in the summer months with BFSFA committee member Dennis Peters the driving force behind the tournament.
Sadly, tonight witnessed the last ever Compere Cup final. Current holders Arcadian FC were up against Division 1 leaders Hydronics FC. Both sides were very much in form, a close match was predicted and so it proved.
It was a cold night but both teams put on a very entertaining game. After an even opening the Premier Division side had a good spell towards the end of the half and on more than one occassion good passes over the defenders combined with the pace of the strikers resulted in one-on-one chances that were spurned. Hydronics were very much holding their own and it's clear to all that they'll do well in the top flight next season. Despite plenty of attacking football from both sides it remained goalless at the break.
In the second half Hydronics started brightly and were very much on top. A combination of desperate defending and poor finishing kept Arcadian on level terms but slightly against the run of play the Premier Division side took the lead. The goal came from a corner and the Hydronics defence were caught napping. The ball was allowed to bounce in the box before Scott Waters stooped to head home from three yards out. Disappointing defending from the Division 1 leaders.
The goal boosted Arcadian's confidence and for the following ten minutes the Red's were camped in the Hydronics half but they could not extend their lead. Eventually, Hydronics came back into the game once again and with fifteen minutes remaining they scored an equaliser. A high ball was played into the box, half the crowd thought that keeper Horsfall was impeded and the other half, me included, thought that he lost it in the floodlights and miss-timed his leap but whatever your opinion Chris Matthews took full advantage and headed home. 1-1.
More good chances then ensued for either side and with time running out my prediction of extra time looked like coming true but in the 90th minute Arcadian grabbed a dramatic late winner. The umpteenth high ball over the top left Adam Casson clean through on the keeper and this time he made no mistake as he raced clear before coolly slotting it into the bottom corner. 2-1.
There was no time for Hydronics to respond and soon afterwards referee Mr Cunliffe called time on the last ever Compere Cup final. A good game, bags of chances and lots of good football from both sides.
Final score : Arcadian FC 2 – 1 Hydronics FC
Peter Collins, BFSFA secretary presents Hydronics FC with the runners up medals.
Popular BFSFA 'whistler' Tony Cunliffe (Left) ably assisted this evening by Mr Connor (centre) and Mr Dyson.
The officials collect their medals.
Gerry Hagan is the man on the left. He refereed the first ever Compere Cup final in 1964/65. Here he is shaking hands with Tony Cunliffe, the man to officiate in the last ever final.
An emotive scene as Dennis Peters says farewell to the Compere Cup.
Arcadian FC lift the trophy.
Arcadian FC skipper James Graham shows off the famous trophy flanked by scorers Scott Waters (Left) and Adam Casson.
Congratulations to Arcadian FC – Compere Cup winners Summer 2006