Worcester Park crowned Saturday Intermediate Cup Champions
Frenches Athletic and Worcester Park met under the lights at Meadowbank in front of a bumper crowd as they battled it out for the Saturday Intermediate Cup.
After winning on penalties last season, Frenches Athletic was looking to retain the cup, while Worcester Park was hoping to add their name to the list of worthy winners.
Frenches started the game well and looked to take an early lead as they were awarded a free kick on the right of the Worcester Park box. Capitan Liam Powell and Brad Johnson stood over it, and it was Johnson's powerful effort, which was inches away, that struck the bar and cleared for a corner.
Soon after, Worcester Park started to put pressure on the Frenches' defence and looked to catch them on the counter as Jordan Bridge slipped in Bonsu. However, an excellently timed last-ditch challenge by Frenches Liam Powell prevented a 1-on-1 situation with goalkeeper Casey Bow.
As the first half progressed, Frenches had a great chance to open the scoring at the 20-minute mark, as Cecil Thomas held up the ball well and laid it off to Dale Burgess, whose powerful shot was well parried by Dan McKerracher.
After good work from Worcester Park around the box, the ball fell to Joe Blendell, whose shot from the edge of the box had to be tipped over by Bow in the Frenches goal. Minutes later, Bow had to make another fingertip save to keep the scores level, as a long throw was launched into the Frenches box, and a header looked to sneak in at the near post.
In extra time of the first half, Frenches Thomas found Michael Georgiadis in the box, whose driven cross was almost inevitably put into his own net by Declan Teuten. But this rattled over the bar, and the resulting corner was well-defended.
Worcester looked to take advantage as they broke quickly up the pitch, but Chris Burke's shot from the left of the box, which looked destined for the top right-hand corner, was well tipped away by Bow. An eventful half ended goalless at the break.
With the ties level at the interval, the match was delicately poised. It was Worcester Park who opened the scoring in the 47th minute. Joe Blendell disposed Albi Baker on the edge of his box, and although his shot was well blocked, it fell to teammate Declan Teuten, who thundered the ball into the top right-hand corner, well out of reach of Bow in the Frenches goal.
Frenches Athletic looked knocked by the early goal, but their supporters rallied them, and in the 70th minute, they had two great chances as Michael Georgiadis' low shot was well saved by Dan Mckerracher.
As the game descended into the last quarter, it became stretched as Frenches looked for a route back in, with both teams starting to tire. Worcester Park looked to add a second and kill the game off as they received a free kick on the right of the Frenches box, but the shot from Burke fizzled over the bar.
Worcester Park had another golden opportunity to double their lead as the ball fell to Cheesman, who was unmarked in the box and looked destined to stroke home to secure the tie for Worcester. But a brilliant last-ditch save from Bow kept Frenches in the tie.
As the clock ticked closer to 90 minutes, the Frenches Athletic fans thought they had scored, but Thomas' chance nestled the side netting. Moments later, they had another opportunity as substitute George Johnson wriggled past his defender, but his low shot from the right-hand side of the box was well held by Mckerracher.
Frenches were desperately trying to score, and the ball rattled around in the box, but Worcester Park well cleared the danger. Wilson was away down the left and looked to double their lead, but he was dragged down by Frenches captain Liam Powell who was shown a straight red card by referee Patrick Jolliffe for his efforts.
Frenches Athletic had a great chance deep into stoppage time, as Liam Aspinwall got ahead of his man, but Mckerracher securely claimed his header and Worcester Park was crowned champions at the final whistle.
Goal (Worcester Park): Declan Teuten
POTM (Worcester Park): Declan Teuten
Referee: Patrick Jolliffe
Assistant Referee: Gulam Danji
Assistant Referee: Matt Leaning
Fourth Official: Ben Maskery
Frenches Athletic: Casey Bow, Brad Dell, Liam Powell, Shay Daniel, Will Worsfold, Albi Baker, Liam Aspinwall, Brad Johnson, Dale Burgess, Michael Georgiadis, Cecil Thomas, Sitch Ward, Ben Simons, James Francis, Lamek Ogwal, George Johnson.
Worcester Park: Dan Mckerracher, Charlie Wood, Archie Watkins, Adam Carvall, Tom Resch, Tom Batten, Tom Resch, Declan Teuten, Joe Blendell, Joe Cheesman, Chris Burke, Jordan Bridge, David Bonsu, Arron Wood, Adam Carvall, Joesph Goodman, Lee Wilson, Kevin Wheller, Anthony Dignan, Arron Wood, Tommy Searles.