The heavens opened as ActiveWin FC’s second Summer Cup match kicked off, on the 7th of June, at the Salford Community Centre.
Unlike previous outings, ActiveWin had to put in a shift to get the result. Despite this it was another comfortable victory in the end, finishing 6-2 to the boys in black.
ActiveWin were feeling confident, coming off the back of consecutive cup and league wins. Meanwhile Co-op looked to be a professional outfit, dressed in the brand’s blue and sporting squad numbers.
As Captain Eddie Jordan was still MIA, his defensive partner Eliot Jacob was given the armband and joined by Marc Maynard. The previous match’s goal-scoring hero Adam Rowley was also absent, so alternate Adam Lavin stepped in.
AW goalkeeper James Alker was called into action in the opening stages before Toby Levy created a half chance for himself at the other end, shooting just wide.
Th home side then enjoyed a good passage of play, with Adam Jackson, Chris Dodd and Toby Levy linking up well, whilst the slippery surface was causing the ball to zip across the pitch.
Co-op Goal: The game truly was end-to-end, with attacks and counter attacks coming to naught for both teams. It was Co-op who opened the scoring, however, as Alker unfortunately turned the ball into his own net. 0-1
Goal 1: Co-op’s goal was the ammunition AW needed, and it didn’t take long before they started to penetrate the Co-op defence. Levy worked the keeper, forcing him to save with his feet for an AW corner. This time the keeper punched the ball away and Levy headed down then chipped him for AW’s equaliser – game on! 1-1
Meanwhile at the other end, Jacob was closing down effectively and Dylan Casey was helping to mop up at the back.
AW were pushing out from Jacob and applying pressure in the search for a second goal. Jackson was winning practically every header and linking up well with Levy and Tyler.
Goal 2: It was the latter who gave AW the lead. An individual piece of skill saw Tyler jump to guide the ball home. 2-1
Jacob, Josh Luksys-Booth and Chris Dodd continued to form an impenetrable defence, clearing their lines and pushing up the pitch. Lavin started to look dangerous in the Co-op box.
Maynard proved a solid fullback, adept at getting the ball out to his new teammates, whilst Alker more than made up for his earlier error with a series of saves.
With help from the returning Gary Maiden, Jackson was winning the battle in midfield, and AW soaked up the pressure with Jacob making a couple of important clearances, as Co-op pushed to get back into the game.
Goal 3: Lavin had tried to put Levy through, but the ball was just out of reach. It didn’t matter though, going on an impressive run Lavin fired home himself. 3-1
Goal 4: Getting on the end of a Levy ball, Tyler jinked around a couple of Co-op’s finest before firing in a low shot. The Co-op keeper got a hand to it, but couldn’t keep it out. 4-1
Goal 5: Levy was on the attack again, forcing a save from the Co-op keeper, before setting up Lavin for the strapping striker’s brace. 5-1
Goal 6: AW were bombarding the Co-op goal, but it was an unlikely scorer who killed off the game. Jacob had promised a goal and a MOTM performance before kick-off, and delivered on both. The centre-back was in the right place at the right time and kept his head to tap in with a true goal poacher’s finish. 6-1
Co-op Goal 2: Co-op grabbed a second consolation goal in the dying minutes, the ball just brushing Alker’s fingertips as it soared into the top corner. 6-2
Verdict: AW continued their excellent cup run and built on an impressive goal difference. Right now they don’t seem to be able to stop scoring. That killer instinct combined with a strong defence and plenty of creativity makes AW a force to be reckoned with.
Man of the Match: Eliot Jacob. The armband had the desired effect on Jacob who was typically rock solid at the back but also played with more impetus than usual. The diminutive defender barely put a foot wrong and capped a great night with a cheeky goal. Tyler, Levy and Jackson also put in excellent performances.