A team come back to win first Norstar derby
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PETER MORRISON TROPHY (SOUTHERN SECTION) ROUND ONE
NORSTAR B 1 NORSTAR A 4
Norstar A booked their place in the next round of the Peter Morrison Trophy against their B team but had to come from behind to do so after Maurice Franks had given the Bs an unlikely lead.
Despite an illustrious and colourful history that fills many scrapbook pages, this was the first time the two sides had met in competitive competition in and there could not have been better setting than under the magnificent Wembley arch (other than perhaps the town of Norstar itself in southern Denmark).
The A's started sharpest, getting behind their B team brothers in wide areas, and could have taken the lead in the second minute when David Shamash's audacious strike rebounded off the crossbar after dipping like a celery stick into a pot of homous.
The A's failed to make their chances count - the story of their season so far - hitting the woodwork once more and were also thwarted expertly by Ian Weinstein between the sticks.
But as the half moved on the B's found their stride and despite being out-manned in the centre of the park managed to regularly pass the ball through the opposition midfield and create chances, especially down the right.
Very soon gaps started to open up and Franks, a soon-to-be inductee in the Norstar Hall of Fame, was presented with a wonderful chance that was somehow kept out after some magnificent covering by A-team skipper Jeremy Elster.
But from another foray down the right the B's earned a throw-in and no one got a touch on Josh Gaon's long one until Franks popped up at the back stick to make amends - a goal that was thoroughly deserved by fans' favourite.
Maybe a tad fortuitous to be leading at half-time, the B's were receiving great praise for their composure and determination from the boys in the studio and it certainly wasn't evident which side had the 100 per cent record and which hadn't picked up a point yet.
The second half was bound to test the B's and after 10 minutes Josh Pistol expertly nodded in after breaking the offside trap from a poorly cleared set piece. The goal represented a swing from the old to the new with 20-year-old Pistol continuing to prove his worth as one of the signings of the season.
Then the pattern was set, with both sides dreading extra time changes were made and each team pushed for an equaliser. The A's were on top enjoying several chances for every one of the B's but great saves and heroic defending especially from Seres and Goodman kept the game level going into the last 10 minutes.
Finally the pressure told and a surging run from Jonathan Peters in the A-team midfield led to a clash with the oncoming Weinstein - there was perhaps a case for a handball or foul but these cancelled each other out with the excellent Paul Dobkin allowing play to continue and Simon Perlmutter slotting the ball home to give the A's the lead and scoring his first of the season in the process.
Both managers then introduced themselves with Peters looking to close the game out and Bunt allowing Seres to move up front in a move that has worked so well in the past. But Peters won this tactical battle putting in a Torres-esque performance, scoring with his first touch for 3-1 (although signalling his intention not to celebrate), missing an unbelievable sitter and then having a hand in the fourth for Eli Houri who put some perhaps unwarranted gloss on the scoreline.
"There is no doubt the A's deserved the victory," said Norstar B boss Jonny Bunt, "and I wish Phil and the boys good luck in the next rounds of the cup, though I'd say 2-1 would have been a fairer score-line.
"I think my side defended like heroes every one of them, with special mention to captain Adam Sandzer in his last game in 2011. However, whilst everyone played like lions Ian Weinstein was man of the match for me, he even said he was 'knackered' at the end, I've never heard of a goalie that tired".
"A pleasure to be involved and a reminder of the great club we're a part of."
Peters added: "This was a great game played in the spirit that we've become accustomed to at Norstar. For me as club chairman it was win-win but at 10am it was clear where my loyalties were for the duration of the match.
"To get on and score was particularly special and my deliberate miss at 3-1 up was unfortunately perceived as a mis-kick rather than a pass to the corner flag played to perfection.
"The B's have got some special players and will come good this season if they continue to fight like they did today. Ian was outstanding in goal and it was clear that everyone in the team had raised their game. Special mention to Mo for getting the opening goal - a real Norstar FC stalwart!
"I'd like to commend everyone involved with Norstar today for a terrific atmosphere, and to grandma for turning up to watch and inspire three of her grandchildren who were on the pitch today."