Casuals inflict first defeat for Fulham Deaf in 2004
The Teck Intermediate Cup semi final between the top two teams went underway with Richard Jeffers passing the ball to Rowan Dixon. Early chances created by both teams were quickly dealt with by their opposing numbers.
It quickly became a colossal battle in midfield with both sides trying to find that early breakthrough. The tone of this tense semi final was set as early as the tenth minute when Casuals' number eight was yellow carded for a foul on Nick Beese from behind.
With fourteen minutes gone, the first real chance fell to Dixon who shot over from twenty yards out. Minutes later, Casuals were miles offside on a breakaway attack.
On an immediate Casual's attack, John Docker made a saving tackle and gave away a corner after a threatening attack by Casuals. The resulting corner was collected by Richard Parker and quickly thrown out back into the battle of midfield.
Westminster Casuals deservedly went ahead after an excellent through ball broke open Fulham Deaf's offside trap and their number ten coolly slotted past Richard Parker from just outside the box.
Less than sixty seconds later, Fulham Deaf's offside trap was again exposed but Casuals elected to chip over Parker which went wide. A huge let off for Fulham Deaf.
Jeffers broke through on an Andrew Vorster's through ball and was pushed wide of goal resulting in a free kick to Fulham Deaf's favour just outside the right hand side of the Casual's box. Ben Lambert wasted the resulting free kick with his shot going straight to the Casuals' keeper.
Docker was again in the thick of Casuals' breakaway balls, this time making a well timed sliding tackle to extinguish the dangerous attack for Fulham Deaf.
Nick Beese received a B. Lampert's throw in, turned well and let fly from twenty-five yards, which saw the ball go wide left of the Casuals' goal.
Ryan Pendley shot straight at the Casual's keeper after being put through by Jeffers' flip. Seconds later, a string of passes from Andrew Drury to B. Lampert, R. Pendley and R. Dixon saw the ball move steadily up field only to see it go wide from a Jeffers' drive.
Docker released a long ball towards Dixon, who is sandwiched by two Casuals' defenders and oncoming keeper. Dixon deftly flicked the ball over the Casual's keeper to equalise the semi final just before the half time whistle.
Early in the second half, Jeffers found himself on a one-to-one with the Casuals' keeper who saved well claiming the 50-50 ball.
Minutes later, Jeffers was injured and is replaced by Kevin Harewood. Seconds later, Drury was shown a straight red card by the referee after consultation by the linesman who saw an off the ball incident. Fulham Deaf was reduced to eight men for the remaining thirty-eight minutes.
Mark Gill broke through the Casuals' defence only to kick the ball just that bit too far ahead which was gratefully collected by the Casual's keeper.
Dixon chipped wide after snatching the ball from the Casual's defence. It was a huge let off for Westminster Casuals. A minute later, Harewood blasted over with one of his thunderballs.
Fulham Deaf soaked up the pressure and played as if they were on equal terms with the Casuals despite being a man short continuing to push up for the equaliser. After a magnificent battle, Fulham Deaf were unlucky to find themselves 1 – 2 down after Westminster scored from a corner with their man unmarked at the far post slotting the ball through the flurry of the defence.
With this goal, Westminster closed down their defence and pulled all their men back and despite an inspired Ewan McGreevy late substitution (on for Gill), Fulham Deaf could not find that much extra to push the semi final to extra time.
Westminster Casuals will now meet Maori Park Reserves in the Teck Intermediate Cup final on Monday 19th April, 7.30pm kick off at Hampton FC. Fulham Deaf wish both teams the best of luck.
Final score Fulham DFC 1 – 2 Westminster Casuals (half time 1 – 1)
Fulham Deaf FC Line up:
Parker, Vorster, Sarraf, Drury, Docker, B. Lampert, Gill (McGreevy 87), Beese, Pendley, Jeffers (Harewood 55), Dixon
Fulham Deaf FC Manager