South Manchester miss out on the double

Accountants League Challenge Cup Final
PWC 2
South Manchester 1

League champions South Manchester finished the season in disappointing fashion as they succumbed to a late goal against PWC in the final of the Accountants League Challenge Cup.

South suffered a blow an hour before the match with news that captain Michael Stratton had to miss the final due to a family illness, and in the end his absence was clearly felt as a last gasp cross found its way over South heads into the net to leave South with their second cup final defeat of the season.

South gave starts to many of the players who did not start the Morrison final and the first half saw PWC in the ascendancy, with Connor Rabett pulling off a couple of fantastic saves to keep the scores level

However, South took the lead against the run of play, Adam Lavin’s sharp turn and shot was tipped round the post and from the resulting corner Ben Peppi’s cross found its way into the stanchion.

It was no surprise that PWC hit back after dominating much of the half. South’s new signing Mikail Fogul clipped the PWC winger and the referee pointed to the spot and the resultant penalty was converted.

The second period was a different story altogether, South managers Loz Newman and Jody Marks threw some teacups and made two changes, with Jack Lee coming on to provide some more physical presence up top and Simon Davies slotting into the middle. The result was 42 minutes of one-way traffic, but still not enough clear-cut chances to turn the game.

Lavin, Toby Levy and Lee all went close, but it was heartbreak with three minutes to go, as the first time a ball had been put in the South box in the whole second period saw the excellent Rabbett only manage to agonisingly divert it into the net.

With no time to recover it was PWC who lifted the Accountants League Challenge Cup and denied South the double.

South joint-manager Loz Newman said: "It’s been a long season, finishing on June 2, but we have competed well in four competitions - reaching the final of two prestigious cups and retaining the league title for the first time in Club’s history.

"Obviously winning the league was the main aim, but losing the Morrison final was a big disappointment.

"Over the last few years South Manchester have clearly made their mark on Jewish football and are without doubt the team to beat in the Accountants League.

"Jody Marks will now take on the team next year and hopefully he can build on a fantastic season and challenge for a third consecutive league."

Last updated: 2:41pm, June 3 2013