The Summer Cup final proved a step too far for ActiveWin, who fell to a 5-2 defeat to arch nemesis Steel’s Tips.
It was a disappointing evening for AW, who were hit with an early Steel’s Tips opener and never entirely recovered.
There were a few changes from the side who cruised into final. Player-manager Adam Jackson dropped back into a defensive role, whilst a returning Adam Rowley took up a midfield position. Bryn May, Chris Prentice and Ben Skeer were named as substitutes.
Following ST’s early goal, Rowley, Liam Tyler and Jordan Rudge were trying hard to create opportunities, and push up the pitch through Sam Benson.
Jackson forced a corner but Eddie Jordan was unlucky not to get the contact he needed to put it away.
A foul on Tyler gave AW a free kick, which Jackson took. Rowley tried to head home but couldn’t quite get the angle on it.
May came off the bench and made an immediate impact, leading to an AW chance.
1-1 GOAL! – Finding himself on the edge of goal, Rudge side-footed the ball, the keeper seemed to misread the bounce and it ended up in the net, drawing AW level.
Another substitute who quickly made an impact was Chris Prentice. Playing further forward than he’s generally used to, he never stopped running and proved tricky to get the ball off of.
Rudge kept up the momentum, whilst Harries made a good save to keep the scores level.
1-2 ST’s GOAL! – Harries got a hand to the initial shot but didn’t secure the ball, allowing ST’s to score the rebound.
1-3 ST’s GOAL! – ST’s scored both sides of half-time, from another set piece.
2-3 GOAL! – AW managed to pull one back. A few simple passes released Allan Stevenson, who struck low and hard from distance, to keep AWs Cup hopes alive.
2-4 ST’s GOAL! – ST made it 4, burying a free kick in some style. It was a great finish, but just piled on the misery for AW.
AW didn’t give up, and there was some good movement from various players, but it became increasingly clear that it wasn’t going to be their night.
Harries made a stunning save to deny ST’s, but he was only postponing the inevitable.
To add injury to insult, Tyler was forced off with cramp in what will most likely be his final game for the club.
2-5 ST’s GOAL! Not too long afterwards, ST’s made it 5, heading home to seal their victory.
Line-Up: Harries, Jordan, Jacob, Jackson, Booth, Tyler, Rowley, Maiden, Rudge, Benson, Stevenson
Subs: May, Prentice, Skeer
Man of the Match: It wasn’t a great night for many of the ActiveWin team, but Chris Prentice probably came out of it best.
Verdict: It wasn’t the end to the season that ActiveWin were hoping for, but there’s no shame in being beaten by superior opposition in the final. We’ve come along way in a few months and will start the new season with a strengthened core line up. Fingers crossed we can bring home some silverware next year.