JC CYRIL ANEKSTEIN ROUND THREE
WOODFORD WANDERERS 2 TEMPLE FORTUNE A 3
A dramatic last-gasp strike from Dan Orgel steered Temple Fortune A to an exhilarating victory in east London to set up a quarter-final clash against Redbridge Jewish Care.
The former Redbridge marksman found the net with time running out after Woodford had scored the goal that most fans believed would take the tie into extra time.
Fortune, wearing their change colours of green and white stripes and green shorts, looked the better team in the first half and Woodford goalkeeper Elliot Gold was the busier from the start.
Watched by MSFL Chairman David Wolff, the opening goal came on 32 minutes when Orgel picked up Kane Gilbery's pass to expertly clip the ball past Gold and into the corner of the net.
With Fortune on top, a second goal arrived after 38 minutes and what a goal it was. Kane Gilbery was fouled just outside the left side of the Woodford penalty area and up stepped Michael Goldberg to sumptuously crack a 20-yarder high into the right hand corner - a free-kick David Beckham would have drooled over.
Gold made numerous saves throughout to keep Woodford in the tie and they were given a lifeline a minute from the interval when Fortune debutant 'keeper Bentley Levy brought down Paul Biller as he attempted to round him. James Ryan got to his feet and scored to Levy's right.
Paul Hyams' teamtalk clearly lifted the Wanderers who came out fighting in the second half and forced Fortune on to the back foot. Gold continued to impress throughout the second half making save after save and give the team hope.
Captain for the day Adam 'Igor' Poole attempted to lift the team and in the dying minutes commanded his troops to throw everything at it.
Woodford missed a glorious chance to equalise when a shot was blazed over the bar from close range, whilst Orgel should have scored a couple and Goldberg was denied what looked like a penalty when fouled from behind as he attempted to shoot just inside the penalty area.
With 92 minutes on the clock, a Woodford corner found Martin 'Gazidas' Sales who, courtesy of a diving header, found the smallest gapped at the far post. To what the fans (Melvin Marks) were saying, "the magic of the cup," the celebrations where bigger than when Will Smith saved the world on Independence Day. Woodford could now once again see there name in the draw for the next round.
Extra time was looming as Woodford certainly looked like the team with impetus thanks to their late equaliser. But drama was to follow in the last minute as Fortune went up the other end, Josh Marks flicking through to Orgel who outpaced Poole, took the ball wide to the right and superbly fired home, creating jubilant scenes amongst the Fortune players and spectators. Such was the euphoria, the injured Josh Tiano's explosive celebrations gave him severe cramp which took a while to quell – what a painful way to celebrate the winner!
So ended a thrilling hard-fought cup tie which sent Temple Fortune into a mouth-watering quarter-final against Premier Division Redbridge next month.
Jubilant Fortune manager manager Lee Fegan said: "Overall, it's been a determined and hard-working display by the team in a tough tie which was well-refereed by Tony McEvoy.
"When heads could have dropped by their equaliser, the lads rolled up their sleeves and grabbed a tremendous winner.
"We had expected an onslaught in the second half after the penalty had given them a lift, but just for our work level and effort alone I feel we deserved to win.
"Special mention to Scott Kay and Josh Gilbery who were absolutely brilliant. And I cannot ignore Dan Orgel's finishing – top class! I'm very proud that we've reached the club's first CA Cup quarter-final for years so a big well done to the lads."
A Woodford source told JC Sport: "This game was a proper cup tie battled out by two good teams. Woodford were graceful in defeat and we wish Fortune all the best in the near future.
"The game almost sent two Woodford players into retirement after pictures appeared on Facebook of them hanging up their boots. Before chairman and manager convinced them to rethink the decision mainly due to them not getting a refund on subs."