|At Collins Park, Blackpool, Division 2A leaders FC Eden were taking on fellow 2A side Mythop Leisure FC in the semi-final of this season's Division 2 Cup. The form book pointed to an Eden win but you never know with Cup football.|
Last season's Division 3A title winners FC Eden are going really well in 2A and as the season nears its end they're in a two horse race for the title with AFC Additions. On the previous two Sundays they've both met in league action and both picked up a win apiece which has made things very interesting at the top where FC Eden currently have a four point lead but AFC Additions have two games in hand. FC Eden can't really afford to lose any of their remaining three matches and at the same time hope for the best. It's also a decent bet that the two may end up facing each other in the final of this competition although today's opponents Mythop Leisure may have something to say about that. In the Gledhill Roy Bingham''s side were knocked out in Round 2 by Premier Division side Poulton after they'd beaten AFC Marton in the opening round. They'd reached this morning's semi-final by thumping Skye, Paris Casino and Marshall Court 6-0, 7-1 and 9-1 respectively. Whatever happens, it's been another great campaign for FC Eden in the BFSFA in only their second season.
As for Mythop Leisure FC they finished a creditable fifth last season in Division 2B after being promoted from 3A the previous season. In all honesty they've had a disappointing season based on pre-season expectations. With games running out then perhaps sixth spot is the best they can achieve with a strong finish. Currently, the side are down in ninth position with five games left to play in which they've still got to play three out of the top five sides. Although they've never been hammered by anybody for a whole host of reasons they've never really challenged the leaders. In the Gledhill thy lost to Matrix in the opening round and they'd reached today's semi-final after a first round bye and by beating West Coast Tackle Postal and North West Kitchens.
In the league FC Eden picked up all three points in a 4-1 away win on the first day of March and they're still to play the reverse fixture. Today's referee was Graham Nixon and he was ably assisted by Ben Wiseman and John Corkwell. The weather was calm, bright, dry and mild and at 11am FC Eden kicked off defending the changing room end in their blue strip.
FC Eden 2008/09.
Mythop Leisure FC 2008/09.
A quick check of the stop watch and we're off.
When he checked it 30 seconds later FC Eden had taken the lead. Almost from the kick off Ryan Bingham broker clear down the left. His cross was sliced by the defender and in the picture below the ball evades keeper Rick Hall and Dale Williams is alert enough to head it it into the net.
Dale Wiliams (6) is poised to head home Eden's opener. 1-0
A nightmare start for Mythop.
Shaggy – took on the role of centre forward this morning.
FC Eden manager Roy Bingham.
Mythop Leisure FC manager Steve Ramsdale.
Watch the birdie.
Mr Nixon foolishly messes with Dale Williams and his head begins to open eerily in a sci-fi manner – scary.
Ryan Bingham (Left)
Matt Blant (Left)
The Mythop wall prepares for the free kick.
'Get on it' – Eden keeper Darren Milroy makes sure it's his.
After the early setback Mythop at last settled down and played some good football on the deck especially in the middle of the park. They were struggling to put any offensive spells together whilst opponents Eden fizzled out on the edge of Mythop's box.
Hall had to make sure the ball was going over.
Time for refreshments – that's one hell of a butty.
Half time score : FC Eden 1 – 0 Mythop Leisure FC.
Goalmouth scramble in the Mythop area.
Mythop keeper Rick Hall.
Mythop's best chance of the game came on 50 minutes. Following a good break down the right the ball was swung in diagonally from the edge of the area. Young Blanty was left unmarked at the far post. He did everything right as his leaping header went back across the flailing keeper but with the Mythop fans poised to celebrate it bounced back off the far post before being hacked clear.
FC Eden start to turn the screw from a corner as they try and seek out a second. (Click 'HQ' for best results)
Saving at the feet of the opposing forward.
On 62 minutes another teasing cross had to be headed over their own bar by Mythop as seen in the above picture. The resultant corner was eventually scrambled in following a deflected shot off the bar. 2-0.
On 83 minutes FC Eden finally made it safe with a killer third. With Mythop having little choice but to throw men forward big gaps were appearing at the back. A ball over the top sent Bingham clear down the right. He unselfishly squared it for Craig Byrom but his slight hesitation allowed the keeper to block it. However, the rebound fortuitiously fell back to Bingham who crashed it home. 3-0.
Hall saves well from Craig Byrom
But Bingham follows up to score.
As Eden celebrate (Right) the Mythop boys are down and out.
The end of the game and FC Eden are through.
Final score: FC Eden 3 – 0 Mythop Leisure FC
Unlike the Division 1 Cup semi-finals this was a game that went with the form-book. Mythop gave it all they had but on the day they can have few complaints about being beaten by the better side. They missed the trickery of Matt Rainbow upfront and all too often ran out of ideas when going forward. Apart from Blant's headed near miss and a long range effort from Shaggy they rarerly threatened Milroy's goal. Still, a good effort in reaching the last four and here's hoping for a decent finish to the season.
FC Eden looked strong throughout and desrbedly take their place in this season's final. The early goal should have settled them down but misplaced passes in good positions stopped them stsmping their authority on this game much earlier. Ryan Bingham was a handful throughout but today's Man of the Match sponsored by kit suppliers Teamsport 90 goes to FC Eden's Dale Williams who gave it 110% throughout in the sunshine on a hard pitch. Always in the thick of things he was a constant thorn in Mythop's side. After this morning's win on penalties against Fleetwood Cricket Club FC Eden will now play 2A rivals AFC Additions in the final. The double is still ON for both !
Man of the Match – Dale Williams with the football and the famous 'Sporty'.