Campion AFC Dev vs Campion AFC
Campion AFC win 4-1 on penalties
Date: 20th March 2016
Venue: Rapid Solicitors Stadium
Man of the Match: Sadio Barry
Carl Trenerry (c)
Ivan Willis (c)
Tense Semi-Final Encounter Decided On Penalties
Ivan Willis turned out to be the hero as Campion’s first team needed penalties to beat their development squad in the District cup semi-final at Plumpton Park.
It was a real game of two halves as the development squad started brightly, taking an early lead through Sadio Barry, only to be pegged back by a second half own goal by Jaden Powell as the first team took control of the second half. With a 1-1 draw taking the game straight to penalties, Ivan Willis managed to block two as the first team converted all four of their attempts to win the shootout 4-1.
The development side – who hadn’t played a game since their 4-1 loss away to DRAM Community FC ten days ago – looked to dominate the game early, and grabbed the opening goal of the evening in under ten minutes when a free kick from the left fell to the feet of Chris Hellewell at the back post, who managed to whip a dangerous ball back across the six-yard box for Saido Barry to smash in at close range.
Their lead was nearly doubled five minutes later when Hellewell in the centre of the field was able to play a through ball to Josh Ludford. Attempting to dribble the ball into the box, the forward was unable to get round Danny Brown, who’s tackle only set up Louis Etienne for a shot just outside the penalty area. Fortunately for the defender, he managed to get in the way of Etienne’s effort to send it wide right, with the resulting corner being headed just over the bar by Sadio Barry.
The first team struggled to make an impact on the match, finding it difficult to get a passing game going and an inability to beat a solid defence with crosses from either wing. However, they had a chance to level the scoring near the half hour mark when a tricky dribble from Jordan Missin at the by-line ended when the referee adjudged the forward to have been tripped by Carl Tenerry inside the box. Andrew Bailey stepped up to take the penalty but failed to convert the chance as Karl Renardson guessed correctly, diving low to his right to deny the first team their only real chance of the first half, although Bailey did have an opportunity to rectify his miss when a corner from the right skimmed off his head and went narrowly wide of the far post.
Early in the second half, Bailey must have thought he had finally brought his side level when he dinked the ball past the onrushing keeper and into the back of the net following a through ball from Jordan Missin, but the striker was deemed to be offside in what proved to be the beginning of a revival for the first team.
After several more first team crosses were squandered and Andrew Tasker saw a long, swerving effort go over the crossbar, a deserved equaliser eventually came on the hour via an own goal. Missin, on the left hand side, aimed a cross into the centre intended to meet the path of a clever run from Matthew Warden but before the ball could reach its target, an attempted interception from Powell turned the ball past Renardson and into the back of the development sides net.
With regulation time winding down, fatigue was starting to set in for the development side, which the first team – who had played three times in the last 9 days – looked to capitalise on with an abundance of balls played into their opponent’s box, but
Armitage, Kendall, Bailey and Missin all failed in their efforts to grab a winner, meaning the game needed a penalty shootout to decide which Campion side would go through to the final.
Jordan Missin took on the pressure of being the first penalty taker. Fortunately for the first team, it didn’t seem to bother him as he blasted the ball into the right hand side of the goal.
Etienne failed to equalise as his shot – also to the right – was saved by Ivan Willis, who then saved Barry’s effort at the other side of the goal after Andrew Tasker made it 2-0 to the first team.
Warden converted the next penalty for the first team, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it thee-out-of-three for the first team. The development squad eventually converted their first penalty to keep themseleves in the shootout when Hellewell struck his effort straight down the middle.
However, it all turned out to be in vain as Donaldson’s shot found the net despite skimming the boot of Renardson on its way in to seal the first teams place in the final with a 4-1 shootout victory where they will face Fields AFC.