Kent U18 1 - 3 Cornwall U18
FA County Youth Cup 2nd Round
Saturday 28th October
With all the focus now on the 2017/18 season it would be interesting to see how Cornwall U18 got on as we started another FA County Youth Cup Campaign. A few familiar faces and some new ones produced a fine performance to win 3-1 against a strong Kent team.
The 335 mile journey to Margate the day before the game had taken 10 hours and I am sure the management would have been hoping this didn't have a negative effect on the players. A fast start was needed and it was duly provided when after 4 minutes Cornwall took the lead, there appeared to be little danger when the Kent centre half had the ball facing his own goal, however he under hit his back pass and when Oli Walker is around that is not a wise thing to do. The flying winger showed great anticipation and nipped in ahead of the keeper and rolled the ball into an empty net to give the boys the perfect start.
Cornwall then dominated for 10-15 minutes but Kent still looked lively on the break, however all the balls they were putting into the box were dealt with by goal keeper Luke Gwillam and the new centre half partnership of Gabe Hamshaw and debutant Mason Long. After 20 minutes though Gwillam was forced into action when a ball broke free in the box and the Kent striker was one on one but his fierce shot from a tight angle was held by the Cornwall stopper.
Kent the had a penalty shout turned down which at the time looked 50/50 but on the replays the player knocked it too far ahead of him and was looking for the penalty, a good decision by referee Alex Bradley, who had a good game.
Cornwall were next to threaten when Will Trew was released on the left and he cut inside and squared to Jack Webber, but his shot was dragged wide from 20 yards. The game was very even and end to end at this point with Kent creating a couple of decent half chances but nothing that troubled the Cornwall back four or keeper too much.
On 40 minutes though Kent equalised, a long ball down the left wing saw the Kent wide man move onto the ball, Gwillam came out to meet him but was a bit late and the winger squared the ball to the striker who swept home into an empty net. With no further action we went it at half time 1-1.
Manager Glynn Hooper would be looking for a reaction 2nd half and he got it, it was a 2nd half Cornwall controlled, Otto on the Cornwall wing was getting into the game and full backs Armstrong and Flack were able to get forward more than in the first half. New Cornwall skipper Max Gilbert also started to see his influence on the game grow alongside his tireless midfield partner Jack Webber, this also created more space for George Tucker who started to link the play up much better than the first half.
It was only the great goalkeeping from the Kent keeper that kept the scores level as he denied Walker, Gilbert and Trew.
However when Cornwall did take the lead there was nothing that any keeper could have done, following a Cornwall attack a clearance landed at the feet of Jack Webber 25 yards out, he got the ball out from his feet and struck a perfect shot into the top corner of the net, it was am absolute beauty, and well deserved from a man who hadn't stopped running all game.
Cornwall then pressed to kill the game off but a goal line scramble and good keeping kept the score at 2-1 until then 89th minute when Max Gilbert added a 3rd, he collected the ball 25 yards out, cut inside a defender a drilled a left footed shot low into the corner of the net to send the travelling support of 7 committed souls wild.
With that Cornwall saw the game out and will be delighted with a thoroughly professional and polished performance. We now travel to Gloucestershire FA in the last 16 on 9th December.
Cornwall Team - Luke Gwillam, Max Armstrong, Alfie Flack, Gabe Hamshaw, Mason Long, Jack Webber, Max Gilbert, Will Trew, Josh Otto, George Tucker, Oli Walker - Subs Used - George Marris for Max Armstrong, George Harvey for Will Trew, Max Everard for Alfie Flack, Sub not Used Adam Dower (GK)
All the highlights of the game can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcnMpxl-xb8&feature=youtu.be courtesy of Pirran Films with expert commentary as always by Dave Deacon of Cornish Soccer