“All the Wakefield players who took part should be proud, not only of their individual performances, but most importantly, the team performance.”
Following the second round of League fixtures on Friday, the Wanderers' 60+ side made a quick return to Greater Manchester to take part in the latest Kingsmaid Cup tournament. The venue was once again at the Etihad complex and having won the competition in February, a strong squad had been selected.
Squad: Ray Blackburn, Martin Burrell, Steve Caven, Chris Lund, Mike Thompson, Mel Mitchell, and Mick Wilde.
The group stage consisted of four games of twelve minutes each in duration and we faced some challenges as most of the group opponents were new to us and there were a few changes to the rules.
Game One v Baslow - 1-0
Wanderers quickly settled into the fixture and controlled the game from start to finish restricting the opponents to very few chances. Martin Burrell had very little to do in goal and the defence of Mike Thomson and Chris Lund dealt well with any Baslow attacks.
Mel Mitchell and Ray Blackburn were in midfield and Mick Wilde up front- his goal was the difference between the two teams but the score flattered our opponents.
Game Two v Staffs - 2-1
Mel Mitchell stood down for this one, with Steve Caven a straight replacement. Wanderers played the majority of the game in the opposition half, and despite Staffs scoring a goal, two Ray Blackburn goals ensured a second well deserved victory for the Wanderers.
Game Three v Boston - 3-1
Mel Mitchell returned and opened up his scoring account with goals from Mick Wilde and Steve Caven, and despite Boston scoring one the Wanderers defence was rarely troubled. This was a really well deserved win.
Game Four v Barnsley - 2-2
Wanderers went into the final game top of their group but against a Barnsley team also in with a chance to proceed through to the next stage. Wanderers took an early lead through Mel Mitchell, but Barnsley quickly hit back to equalise, and then took the lead.
A Chris Lund shot then deflected off a Barnsley player into the goal to level the scores which on the balance of play was probably a fair result.
Semi Final v Birmingham 3-0
Wanderers saved their best football of the tournament for this fixture. Birmingham were a strong team who came second to Leggy Mambos in their group but Wanderers quickly took a 3-0 lead with goals from Mel, Ray and Mike Thompson .
Limiting the Birmingham side to very few chances by playing some good, controlled football with quality passing and possession, goalkeeper Mick Wilde was untroubled.
Final v Leggy Mambos - 0-1
Against a team that many had marked as clear favourites Wanderers put up a dogged performance and restricted the Mambos to very few chances. It took a well struck shot into the far corner out of Mick Wilde`s outstretched hand to make the difference.
Wanderers had a great chance to equalise but Ray's shot came back of the upright and to safety.
Despite losing the final by a single goal, Wanderers once again have won many friends at today's tournament with their positive attitude towards the opposing teams, players and officials.
Chris Lund - Roving Reporter
Updated 11:45 - 16 Nov 2017 by David Holbrow