Warlingham F.C.

Warlingham F.C.

Wars make the Cup Final

by Steve Rolfe

Divison One Cup Final - 7th May 3pm KO at Windsor F.C. Make a date to support the boys.

Combined Counties League Division One Cup Semi Final – Saturday 7th April 2012
Warlingham F.C. 1 Cobham F.C. 0

With the season drawing to a close and a promotion place increasingly looking out of reach today’s game represents another opportunity for glory and a great day out to finish off what has been a very productive season for all our teams.

Whilst Wars have had a fairly settled side all season Cobham have had some upheaval but as always with a semi final this game represented a one off where anything could happen and the form book is largely irrelevant. The league games had been shared which each team winning the away fixture.

Into the game and the usual frenetic pace with the ball being punished as it was belted from one end to the other with little football being played in between.

As the ball was continually won and just as quickly lost Giles managed to get a pass through to Joseph who found himself one on one with the Cobham keeper and should have done better as the keeper saved. Wars were having the better of the early exchanges but not creating anything in the way of clear cut chances. The next opportunity fell to Martin (T) who blasted well over after 12 minutes.

Cobham were fighting hard for every ball and after 18 minutes Gladwin defended well at the far post and managed to get the ball away for a corner which came to nothing. Joseph was leading the line in his usual fashion with power, strength and pace and the Cobham defenders were struggling to contain him. After 29 minutes he headed on to Dias who found Penfold at the far post who in turn found Greenhouse whose powerful shot was blocked.

In the 37th minute Wars were in front. Dias found Penfold with a cross field ball and he sent Greenhouse down the right channel. Greenhouse, who continues to get better and better as his match fitness returns, cut the ball back across the 6 yard box and Joseph running in across the box flicked it from behind him and found the bottom left hand corner of the net. A goal that would be worthy of the “show boating” slot on Soccer AM. Excellent finish and Wars 1-0 up just before half time.

Cobham came back strongly before the break and created a frantic goal mouth scramble where Martin (T) made a great tackle and Higgins followed up with an important block. Then Joseph picking up the ball well inside his own half ran it the full length of the pitch only to shot wide. Still Wars weren’t finished as Dias forced a good save from the Cobham keeper at the close of the half.

Half time Wars 1-0 up.

After Wars went in front in the first half they started to try and slow the game down and play some football but as the second half started it was apparent that we were right back to the frantic pace with the ball being bashed from one end to the other. It wasn’t very pretty but Wars were looking solid with Higgins and Pledge excellent at the back and Joseph’s muscular presence causing all sorts of problems for the Cobham defence. With 58 minutes on the clock it all threatened to boil over as Joseph continued to put himself about and unsettle the Cobham defence. Nothing much to it all other than a load of unnecessary verbal which the referee soon calmed down without further sanction.

Joseph did go into the book just a couple of minutes later as the referee finally lost patience with his abrasive approach.

Unfortunately there wasn’t much by way of football in the early part of the second half but things started to improve for the larger than usual crowd as we approached 75 minutes into the game. Greenhouse found Penfold with a cross field pass and he stepped inside on his left foot and sent a good shot just wide of the far post. Then Dias was in the action as he combined with Greenhouse but his shot went across an empty 6 yard box and away to safety. Joseph had just been replaced by Coates with Greenhouse moving up top. A few moments later and a Wars corner was won by Coates in the air and Penfold hooked the ball wide.

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Cobham had not produced much in the way of chances but as the game edged towards a close Wars started to get edgy themselves giving away a number of free kicks and looking a little nervous which in turn encouraged Cobham more and they could have equalised after 80 minutes but shot wide when they should have done better.

Penfold was replaced by Manning and Dias by Neaves but the game was over shortly afterwards without any further action of note and Wars were in the final.

Look forward to a good day out – 7th May 3pm KO at Windsor F.C.

We will play either Staines Lammas or Westfield who play on Wednesday 11th April.

Team: Dilley, Martin (J), Higgins, Pledge, Gladwin, Martin (T), Giles, Penfold, Dias, Joseph, Greenhouse
Subs used: Coates, Neaves, Manning

MOM: Excellent performances again by both Higgins and Pledge who look an outstanding partnership at the centre of the Wars defence. Greenhouse was an influential presence and at the heart of everything good Wars produced and Dias and Penfold had some strong moments. But Joseph wins it for an excellent goal that won the game and a typically robust performance leading the line. He is also now closing in on the Wars all time bookings record currently held by Hodgy!!

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