BARRY GOLDSTEIN TROPHY QUARTER-FINAL
HERTSWOOD VALE 1 FAITHFOLD B 1 (Faithfold won 8-7 on penalties)
The tie was in doubt until moments before kick-off following overnight snow, but both teams arrived early to ensure the game went ahead at the Hive.
Striker Elio Elia gave Vale a flying start when he pounced on some poor defending to open the scoring.
Faithfold gradually got a foothold in a contest played in wintry conditions, and they started to control the midfield. The Superhoops deserved drew level with their only shot on target in the first half with a long-range free-kick from Chaim Bordon – maintaining his impressive goal-a-game record and 17th strike of the season.
Vale wasted a number of chances to regain take the lead, while Faithfold also threatened, with Alex Trup and Ashley Hirschberger rescuing Vale with heroic last-ditch tackles.
So ensued a long penalty shoot-out. The new ABBA system caused much confusion, but although Vale Joni Hirschowitz finally had to save to make in the match, Garson pulled off two fine stops to send Faithfold through 8-7 on penalties.
A Faithfold spokesman commented: “It was a deserved cup victory for all those who turned up in the freezing conditions. Fantastic performance all round by the boys in Green.”
Vale joint-manager Jacob Emanuel told JC Sport: “I felt that we were on top for the last 20 minutes but with only 11 players available, and a number of key players missing, we never really got the second goal that we probably deserved on the balance of play.
“As we had to get off the pitch, there was no time for extra-time, although of course, that would’ve been ideal.
“Overall it was disappointing, but I felt we never really turned up in Arctic-like conditions. Shout-outs to both teams clearing the pitch, and the referee for ensuring we had a match.
“We move on to our last four games of the season, hoping to grab fifth place in the league.”