Final heatbreak for the Sunday A's
By Gary Brigden
The club's two year hold Junior Challenge Cup ended on Friday night when the A's went down to a heartbreaking 4-2 defeat against Mondial.
It was Mondial who struck the first blow, when a long throw on 3 minutes found an unmarked player, 25 yards out, and he hammered his effort beyond Jay Holden and into the net for 1-0. Mondial continued to have the better of the opening exchances, but gradually we got a foothold in the game and started to dominate proceedings.
Liam Holden saw a header from a Paul Webber cross go wide of the left hand post, whilst Stacy Owens, on the stretch, was just unable to get a solid connection on a Zac Hilliard-Winyard cross.
We did have one scare though, when a free kick on the edge of the area was superbly turned round the post by Holden to keep the score at 1-0.
With 10 minutes to go in the half, we levelled things up, a low Hilliard-Winyard free kick, after Owens had been fouled, was turned home by Joe Marshall. Incredibly we were ahead inside two minutes, this time a free kick was only half cleared, and a loopy Marshall header beat everybody and nestled in the net for 2-1.
Going into the half time break with a 2-1 lead would have been the least our efforts deserved, but on the stroke of half time the scores were level. A low free kick from the right somehow eluded everybody, allowing the Mondial forward a simple tap in to level the scores.
The second half was an open affair, with both sides having chances to retake the lead. A couple of fizzed efforts from Mondial failed to trouble Holden, whilst at the other end, both Liam H and Owens went close to forcing the breakthrough.
As it was, with 25 minutes remaining, Mondial retook the lead through a scrambled effort, and minutes later were handed a chance to kill the game off, after their tricky winger was hauled down in the area. Fortunately Holden guessed correctly to pull off a superb save, and we got bodies around the ball to block the follow up.
We were handed our own chance to level things up with 15 minutes remaining, when Liam was hauled down in the area, but Webber's spot kick was too close to the keeper who was able to make the save.
We continued to press, but as things became more desperate we were always likely to be caught, and with two minutes remaining Mondial struck the final blow.
Liam struck the crossbar direct from the kick off, but the ball rebounded to safety, and with that our hopes of a comeback, and hold on the cup, ended.