Brave performance by battling Hartshill over 60’s team
This is a long tournament report but I make no apology for that as it is difficult to succinctly pay credit to the lads today.
The 60’s team started the day with the bare minimum 6 players. Unfortunately due to injuries and other circumstances they were down to 6 and could not get replacements in time. The tournament had been revamped and there were four 15 minute games to play in the group stages. After the first 15 minutes against Neath Dragons, Hartshill were leading 1-0 and pushing forward when Reg Walker was set up for a shot at goal by Sarv Tah. After striking the ball his Achilles partially tore and he was rendered incapacitated for the next 3 games leaving the fantastic 5 to continue with the tournament. There was not much expectation that Hartshill would get much further. These teams were the 60’s winners from all of their Regional leagues and there were some excellent teams on display such as Unity, Godalming, Kingsmaid , Barnett and Bracknell to name a few. The Kingsmaid team having two ex professional players in their ranks. With only 5 players to play out the tournament the lads set to the task in front of them. The teams kept attacking against the 5 but were met with a resolute defence but more amazingly an inventive attack that created chances and put the opposition on the back foot. Drawing with Kingsmaid 0-0 and beating Barnett 2-0 and North Ferribly 1-0. Setting them up for a semi final with Unity the team that the 60!s will play in the next round of the WFA Cup. Unity took the lead and it was all uphill for Hartshill who not only clawed it back but after a penalty for a Unity player going into the box went 2-1 ahead of Unity to secure a place in the final. Alas the final was just a bit too much but a close run affair losing only 1-0 to Godalming and missing out on a draw by a fraction as Franco struck the post and the ball ricocheted on to the Godalming goalkeeper who was clueless to the whereabouts of the ball but fortunately for them and unfortunately for us he rolled over and lay on the ball stoping it dead on the goal line.
This was the finest tournament performance I have seen for a Hartshill team and against all of the odds. Impossible to pick a player of the tournament as they were all superb.
Gordon clear a special place on the shelf as we will be bringing back a trophy but sadly only a runners up.
The Hartshill name might not be on the cup but everyone paid tribute to Hartshill. They may not have won the final but everyone knew who the true winners were and the best 60’s team on the day.
Tournament report by R.Walker