Sunday County Cup 2014

Salutation for County Sunday Cup

The Sally Army were victorious in The Cumberland FA’s County Sunday Cup following a hard fought 3-2 victory over local rivals Brampton FC, which...

The early exchanges were frantic and committed as would be expected of not only a County Cup Final but also a local derby.

As both teams looked to assert their dominance and gain a foothold on the game it was Brampton who had the better of the early possession and created a few half chances as firstly Jordan Atkinson latched onto a loose ball to drive a shot over the bar, which was quickly followed by a curling effort from Martyn Coward and a shot from Elliot Bell, both of which did little to trouble Dan Swann in the Salutation goal.

Salutation were struggling to gain good possession of the ball but always looked a threat with the abundance of pace in their forward line and it was Craig Thompson who demonstrated this best when taking advantage of some indecision in the Brampton defence to latch onto a loose ball and drive into the box only to have his shot brilliantly saved by an advancing Adam Coward in the Brampton goals.

From the resulting corner Phil Storey rose majestically to flick a header past the despairing goalkeeper to put Salutation 0-1 up after 20 minutes.

Despite the setback Brampton continued to push forward and enjoy periods of good possession without really displaying any real end product to challenge the Salutation back line.

And it was Salutation who looked more dangerous as the momentum in the game started to swing their way as they continued to stretch Brampton.

In the 35th minute Phil Storey’s smart turn and shot had the Brampton goalkeeper scrambling but his shot just sneaked past the goalkeeper’s left hand post.

Then came a period of play that was to prove pivotal in the final when firstly in the 39th minute the ball fell to Jake Simpson, whose right footed half volley was steered into the bottom corner of the net, to make it 0-2 to Salutation.

This was almost immediately followed by the third as Phil Storey took control of a loose ball to play in Dean Mallinson whose cool finish put Salutation into a commanding lead.

Brampton, from the Premier Division of the Carlisle City Sunday League, were understandably shaken by their counterparts from the Division 4 of the same league and could have found themselves even further behind as Sam Farrer’s header was cleared off the line.

In the last minute of the half Brampton grabbed a lifeline when, following an interchange around the penalty area, Craig Thompson’s neat finish made it 1-3 at the interval.

Following the break it was clear that the next goal would be crucial in game and revitalised by their goal it was Brampton who started the second half well as they threw caution to the wind.

The game flowed from end to end as Brampton enjoyed the better of the possession whilst Salutation looked to catch Brampton on the break.

Understandably as the game progressed Salutation defended deeper and deeper to counter the increased pressure from Brampton.

Craig Thompson nearly pulled a goal back when he forced an excellent save from Dan Swann in the Salutation goals who palmed the ball away from danger.

In the 35th minute Brampton got the goal that their pressure deserved when Paul Mitchinson gathered the ball to squeeze his shot past the despairing dive of the goalkeeper and make it 2-3.

This set up an enthralling last 10 minutes as Brampton searched frantically for an equaliser, even sending goalkeeper (Adam Coward) up for a corner only to be nearly caught on the break where an excellent last ditch tackle from a Brampton defender saved a certain goal.

As the game approached the 90 minute mark you always felt that there would be one final chance for Brampton and this was the case when following a period of pressure the ball fell to Mitchinson but his snatched shot went agonisingly wide of the post.

The final whistle blew with players from both sides having clearly given everything and in doing so providing a game which was not only testament to both sides but also befitting of the strength of the Sunday Leagues within the county.

In the end it was Salutation FC, in their first full season together, who were presented with the County Sunday Cup and crowned County Champions for season 2013-14 and thus completing a storyline once found in Roy of the Rovers.

Cumberland FA would like to thank Celtic Nation FC for the use of their facility and their hospitality and congratulate the match officials for their performance in helping to make the game the spectacle that it was.

Salutation FC:
D Swann, M Hutchinson, M Smith, S Farrer, R Armstrong, S Storey, D Mallinson, J Simpson, S Scott, P Storey, K McCue (Subs) – G Spary, G Harding, C Thompson, E Parish, L Earl

Brampton FC: A Coward, M Coombe, G Bennett, D Seggie, A Dickson, J Chapman, C Thompson, J Atkinson, E Bell, A Mitchinson, M Coward (Subs) – J Baker, C Ferrie, S Ratcliffe, A Farish, J Hendry

Officials: P West, G Young, M Hunter, J Fell.

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