Maccabi Masters Henry Swerner Cup Final, sponsored by Tux n Tails: Glenthorne United A 3, South Manx 1
Glenthorne United A battled their way to a 3-1 victory over South Mancunians to add their name to the Henry Swerner Trophy on a warm afternoon at Gosling Stadium,
Prior to the game, the teams had been presented to the Guest of Honour, Paul Fairclough, manager of the England C team, and former manager of Stevenage Borough and Barnet.
And for the first 30 minutes of the match, the polite exchanges continued on the pitch, with the teams cancelling each other out in midfield, and creating few real opportunities.
But the deadlock was broken when Glenthorne forced a corner on the right, and defender Richard Goldstein rose to meet Adam Hart’s pinpoint corner kick to bury a strong header in the South Manx net.
The remainder of the first period continued to be evenly fought, and South Manx came closest to scoring, when Mark Shooter’s long free kick bounced over keeper Micky Vigon in the Glenthorne area, only to be hooked off the line by Dave Michaels.
Glenthorne began the second period more purposefully, and striker Hart thought he’d doubled the lead with a close-range volley, only to be denied by the offside flag.
Two minutes later, Glenthorne’s industrious midfielder Adam Lennard ghosted in at the far post to meet a long cross and it seems that his point-blank header must find the net, but Manx ‘keeper Tim Cowland blocked his effort and kept his team in the contest.
As Glenthorne pushed forward with increasing menace, Manx were able to mount the occasional counter-attack, and only a smart block by Gary Green prevented Manx’ Mark Powell from hitting the target.
Chances were now being created with greater frequency, and Adam Lennard’s 25-yard shot fizzed inches over the Manx crossbar.
Again Manx responded, and should have got more from a neat attack which culminated in a deft pass threaded through the Glenthorne defence by Darren Coon, only for Jon Cohen to slice his shot wide.
With the shadows lengthening, and just 15 minutes of the contest remaining, it was effectively settled when Glenthorne captain, Paul van Gelder, delivered a slide-rule pass into the path of Jason Levy, who slotted home from eight yards.
And with Manx forced to chase the game, it was no surprise when Fara Moghim’s long through-ball caused panic in the Manx defence, and Levy darted ahead of Gilad Hayeem to slip in his second and Glenthorne’s third.
Indeed, Greg Morris should have made it four just three minutes later, but pushed his first-time shot just wide of the upright.
To their credit, Manx never gave up, and with three minutes of normal time left, Glenthorne ‘keeper Vigon could only parry a shot from Darren Coon, and Powell nipped in to chip it in for a consolation. But despite a late rally from Manx, Glenthorne held firm and put their name on the cup for the first time.
Glenthorne manager Sid Shaw was delighted with the result. “I think we were the better team on the day and whilst South Mancs made us work hard, especially in the first half, the right team won.”