This match is featured on the latest edition of the Nouse Sports Podcast.
GOODRICKE FIRSTS 2
WENTWORTH FIRSTS 0
There’s not been a lot of hype surrounding Goodricke firsts so far, but after topping Group A with a game to spare – and without even conceding a goal – there perhaps should be. It wasn’t an outstanding performance today, but a 2-0 win over Wentworth firsts means that Goodricke are the first team to progress into the last eight.
As is often the case with Goodricke, excellent build up play and dominance in midfield was let down by a poor final ball. It took two goals from Chris Grayland, who also had an exceptional defensive game, to break down a resilient Wentworth.
His first was scrappy, he bundled the ball in after a Ben Smith free-kick was spilled by Wentworth keeper Matt Taylor. It helped to settle a Goodricke side that had started steadily in a disjointed first ten minutes. For the rest of the half they played well, putting together some excellent moves but struggled to kill the game off with a second goal. Grayland stepped up again after the interval, connecting cleanly with a corner to grab his second, and sent his team into the next round.
Goodricke captain Dave Coupland said that he didn’t think it had been “Goodricke’s best game” but highlighted individual performances as making the difference: “Adam Leadbeater and Chris Grayland were outstanding today. We deserved the win, Wentworth looked alright but never look that great.”
Leadbeater was at the heart of a midfield that for periods of the game played some notably attractive football. Goodricke came close to a second when a fluid move involving the whole of the midfield was ended with Ben Smith striking the post. Smith also saw a half-volley blocked by the Wentworth defence later in the match.
Despite not creating many chances Wentworth remained threatening but the strong presence of Dom Green upfront was dealt with competently by Goodricke’s centre-back partnership. The introduction of Samik Datta at half time brought some urgency into Wentworth’s attack that was only silenced by Goodricke’s second goal.
Wentworth manager Dan Horsfall said after the match that his side “were unlucky to be undone by two set pieces.” Qualification is not a certainty for Wentworth and they will view their upcoming game against Alcuin seconds, who won today, as being crucial.
Wentworth are still favourites to progress to the next round,but will face a challenge from Derwent and Alcuin seconds in what is being called the ‘Group of Death’. Photograph by Maggie Aslet.
In the final minutes Wentworth at last began to create clear chances. A superb pass from Datta put Kitson on goal and only a very late offside whistle stopped him from halving Goodricke’s lead. Goodricke’s Ben Smith had another good opportunity to score after fighting his way into the left hand side of the D, but was only able to hit the post.
Despite late attempts Goodricke managed to keep their impressive record of not yet conceding in this tournament. With three games and three relatively comfortable wins, Goodricke have quietly qualified without turning too many heads. They might find that their rivals start paying attention soon.
Goodricke firsts line-up: Ed Foster, Niall Walsh, Chris Grayland, Sam Astbury, Danny Munro, Dave Coupland (c), Adam Leadbeater, Josh Barker, Sam Lewis (Oliver Braid), Nick Dheir (Adam Botterill), Ben Smith
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Chris Grayland
Wentworth firsts line-up: Matt Taylor, Lachie Murray (Samik Datta), Seb Schmerold, Matt Beacham, Matt Lakins, Ziad Chami (Simon Davidson), Andy Suggitt, Luke Fleet (c), Seamus Kent, Russ Kitson, Dom Green
Nouse Fantasy Football Man of the Match: Seb Schmerold