WESTFIELD’S hopes of landing a first piece of silverware for 22 years were dashed by Warlingham in the Lemon Recordings Division One Cup final.
John Comer’s side led through Shane Cheeseman’s 12th-minute penalty after Rob Jones was scythed down in the box, but Nick Greenhouse squirmed an effort over the line to level the tie before the break.
Greenhouse put Warlingham in the driving seat with a curling strike five minutes into the second half and Stefan Joseph capitalised on Mark Tyler’s error moments later to give Chris Tucker’s side what proved to be an unassailable lead.
Cheeseman’s smart finish 15 minutes from time failed to inspire a fightback and when substitute Danny McDermott turned in Kieran Dias’ long throw with his first touch, Westfield
succumbed to the inevitable.
Field captain Lee Allum said: “It was a battling display and the boys have done really well to make it this far.
“To get here for a start was extremely difficult but I think with such a young side, we can only go forward from here.”
In a frenzied first half Westfield got their noses in front when Jones was hacked down in the penalty area.
Cheeseman stepped up to send Gavin Dilley the wrong way, burying his low effort in the bottom left corner.
A minute later Mike Brawley was forced to tip away Joseph’s lobbed attempt and at the other end Tom Hegarty steered Cheeseman’s dangerous cross on to the post from inside the six-yard box.
Danny Penfold fired high and wide as Warlingham searched for an equaliser and just after the half hour mark it arrived thanks to some neat work from Joseph.
The Wars menace, who terrorised the Westfield defence all afternoon, rolled in Greenhouse who squeezed his shot round Brawley and just past Tyler on the goal line.
Proceedings hit a notable lull after the interval. But Westfield thought they had taken the lead when Cheeseman nodded home Jones’ cross, only to see the linesman raise his flag as he turned away in celebration.
It was a decision Cheeseman did not agree with, he said: “I personally thought the header was onside, I thought the linesman was way back behind play and it was a game changing decision.”
Warlingham raised their game and Scott O’Connor was forced to pull off a miraculous double block as the Yellow’s resistance started to shake.
Brawley tipped a thundering header over the bar but from the resulting corner Warlingham took the lead via a familiar route.
Joseph again finding Greenhouse in the box who finished with aplomb.
Four minutes later Joseph bagged a goal of his own when Tyler failed to clear his lines and Comer’s side looked to be down and out.
But with just over 15 minutes to play Cheeseman fired Field back into the game when he latched on to Hegarty’s flick.
Any hope of a rousing cup final come back faded when McDermott beat Brawley in the 82nd minute.
Allum said: “We had a good chance to go 2-0 up and that would have given us a cushion. I think we would have pressed on from their but on the day Warlingham were better than us.
“They caught us cold after the break and we allowed them to take the lead.
“When you are 3-1 down you are chasing the game and against an organised and strong team like them it was always going to be a big ask.”
STEVE PERKINS insists pride, not despair, was the overriding emotion as the full-time whistle blew on Westfield’s 4-2 cup final defeat to Warlingham.
The Woking Park chairman, whose 22-year wait for silverware continues with this defeat, says everyone at the club should hold their heads high after ending the season with a battling display.
Perkins said: “I’m very proud of everyone at the club, it was a great day for everyone at Westfield Football Club, regardless of the result.
“It has been a good season for us and it was nice to reach a cup final in our first season at Woking Park.
“It was a close game but they just had a bit too much for us.
“But we never gave up and nearly got something out of it in the end.
“We worked hard to get into a position where we might have come back into it but we gave away too many soft goals.
“We scored two deserved goals but gave the ball away cheaply at the wrong time.”
But with a new multi-million pound facility at their disposal, Perkins (below) is hopeful the club can kick-on and once again challenge for honours in the not too distant future.
He added: “Our main aim for next season is promotion and I hope all the lads will stay and we’ll be pushing forward to reach the Premier Division.
“If we bring some players in to add to the quality we already have, then I don’t see why we can’t.
“We are looking forward to more days like this in the future.”
Westfield striker Shane Cheeseman added: “It was our first final in 20 years and although we didn’t win, we played well – we’ve got to see it as a start.
“We are a young side and with a few new players hopefully we can push on.”