It's Blain sailing for Faithfold C




A last-minute strike from Jonny Blain saw Faithfold C become only the second team to retain the Barry Goldstein Trophy following a seven-goal thriller at Wingate & Finchley.

Faithfold had gone in front four times in total, with goals from Ben Portnoi, Josh Franklin and Blain respectively scoring their goals, but Gavin Sherman, Matt Radstone and Paul Shamplina struck back for UJIA.

It was a game of goalkeeping errors, with a hat-trick of mistakes by both UJIA player-manager Darren Rolfe and Faithfold’s Dave Grabiner trading mistakes in a topsy turvy encounter.

Faithfold player-manager David Garson was delighted with the victory. He told JC Sport: "I think we probably edged and it’s a great way to win. We let in some sloppy goals, but we’re delighted to win and we’ve still got a lot to play for."

Faithfold settled into their stride quickly, passing the ball nicely and looking for the lively Josh Sugarbread to create chances for them. After Sugarbread had a speculative effort saved and Gavin Sherman saw his header fly just wide, Faithfold broke the deadlock.

Matty Kleinman was first to a ball played over the top, and he rounded Rolfe to slide home, but his shot was cleared off the line and straight back to him. Kleinman then played in Portnoi to score his first ever goal for Faithfold.

UJIA, for whom Ben Nassim had looked isolated up front, began to force their way back into the game with a committed performance as they tried to outmuscle their opponents. Ben Sokel fired just wide, Dan Roth had a good chance from inside the box deflected wide and just as it looked as though they would go into half time behind, a free kick from Sherman was swung in and deceived Grabiner, who allowed the ball to drop over his head and into the net.

Faithfold regained control in the second period, and though few chances were created, they went ahead with a freak goal just after the hour mark. As Franklin looked to cross the ball into the area his technique let him down, and sent the ball towards Rolfe, who spilled the ball and allowed it to slip over the line.

UJIA almost equalised immediately after a scramble in the Faithfold area following another corner, but they were level after 70 minutes with a finely crafted goal. Roth cut into the area and lost the ball, but it fell to Elliot Norman, whose inch perfect cross was headed in by Radstone.

As Roth began to cause problems for Faithfold, it looked as though UJIA may snatch a winner, but Faithfold were soon back in front once more, this time Rolfe horribly miscued his punch from a corner, allowing Blain to slide the ball into an empty net.

Again UJIA hit back though, and once more it was from a corner, with Paul Shamplina angling a header into the corner of the net through a ruck of players.

Deep into injury time, as the game looked set for an extra 30 minutes, a free kick came back off the bar and into the path of Blain, who turned to slot home and send the Faithfold bench into raptures.

Rolfe was understandably dejected following the game. “I’m disappointed and upset. It was three errors really. We would have won the game had it not been three errors from myself. We had three or four players out.”

Faithfold: Grabiner, Resnick, Leveson, Franklin, Portnoi, Kleinman, Sugarbread, Phillips (sub: Viola), Simons, Blain, Garson (sub: Beresford [Moss])

Scorers: Portnoi 13, Franklin 63, Blain 76, 90

UJIA: Rolfe, M. Radstone, Sokel, Roth, Russell, Shamplina, Seligman, B. Radstone (sub: Cohen), Sherman, Leigh, Nassim (sub: Norman)

Scorers: Sherman 45, Radstone 70, Shamplina 82

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