Sunday 15th March, SPL Cup Semi-Final: Windlesham United 0 Pirbright Premier U11s 4
Wow. We weren’t expecting that. PPFC U11s rounded off a pretty remarkable weekend for the club by reaching the Final of the SPL Cup with a frankly quite stunning 4-0 win at league champions Windlesham this morning. We knew this thoroughly whole-hearted bunch of boys had it in them, but boy did they deliver today. Having lost out at the semi-final stage two years running their jubilation at the close was understandable.
Playing down the slope in the first half things were pretty even. There were a handful of chances created at either end, stopped in the main by some resolute defending and fine goalkeeping from both sides. But the breakthrough arrived midway through the half; Asa escaping into the area, his first attempt foiled bravely by the Windlesham keeper, before he expertly engineered the loose ball from his feet and rifled home. And it was two just before the interval, Joshua needing just a yard of space in the box to steer a terrific low shot into the far corner (unbelievably, his fortieth goal of a prolific season).
It was likely to be an uphill task after the break (quite literally) and Windlesham pinned the boys back virtually in their own penalty area for a good fifteen minutes. But a combination of disciplined defending, excellent shape and sensible possession on the counter helped the lads weather the storm. With the hosts throwing players forward it was, perhaps, inevitable that we would create something on the break as the half wore on – as long as we could hold out defensively. Josh was denied by another great block from the home keeper as we approached the last ten minutes. But Pirbright weren’t to be denied soon after; Joshua teeing up Asa for an emphatic finish from just inside the area.
As the home team (whose collective spirit and will-to-win were fairly evident throughout) chased the game in the closing stages Josh had the last word, tearing past the last man and coolly adding a fourth.
Our opponents, who had strung together an incredible seventeen consecutive wins to secure the title last week, took defeat with good grace and sportsmanship. And we’ll hope they forgive the delight of both boys and parents at the whistle: it’s just a joy to see the lads achieve such a terrific result and performance when they’ve worked so hard this season. Particularly pleasing for some of the longer-serving team members who experienced the disappointment of defeat at this stage in 2013 and 2014.
Lee and Pete gave Man of the Match to the whole team after this display; and who could argue given the way they pulled together. Three league games to go and now a cup final to look forward to too. Well done boys: exceptionally proud of you all today.
PPFC: Conor, Cally, Dean, Jonty, Jacob (c), Asa, Adam, Joshua, Thomas, Olly, Jack, Arthur
PPFC Scorers: Joshua (2) Asa (2)
There are some pictures of this morning’s game on our PPFC Facebook Page.