Fulham DFC 3 – 2 Doncaster Deaf FC

British Deaf Cup Final, Goodison Park

16th May 2010

FDFC played their final and most important match of their
season on a warm Sunday afternoon at Goodison Park, the home of Everton FC. The
squad, who had taken the decision to stay overnight near Liverpool in order to
maximise preparation time for the match, were all ready to give it their all in
order to secure the BDF Trophy for the third time in seven years. The lustre of
playing in a Premier League stadium simply added to the occasion, particularly
for one die-hard Everton supporter amongst the squad.

With a almost full-strength side to choose from, the Gaffer
had yet another tough decision to make. In the confines of the spacious home
dressing room (there was much debate amongst the players as to who was sitting
in Wayne Rooney’s seat!), the squad was decided.

Michael Roberts kept his place in goal, playing behind a
back four consisting of Vorster, McDougall, Harding and Captain Evans. Lampert
and Gregory were selected as centre midfielders, with Swift and Monksfield
operating down the left and right flanks respectively. 46-goal striker Ailey
and Hogan continued their ‘Little and Large’ partnership, and completed the
first eleven selection. Rumours that the Gaffer was to select himself as one of
the subs proved to be, thankfully, unfounded…..

After a few words of encouragement from the Chairman (which
mainly consisted of his moaning about how lucky we all were and ‘it wasn’t like
this in my day’) and the Gaffer, the team went out to face Doncaster Deaf FC, a
team which Fulham had never beaten before, and who knocked out FDFC after extra
time in the semi-finals of the EDF Cup a month previously. Everyone was under
no illusions about the need to stay focused and determined in order to achieve

Once the match went underway, Doncaster started very
strongly, pressing the FDFC midfield with a high tempo performance and putting
in some very solid tackles. The FDFC rearguard was stretched on occasions, but
never quite broke. Early opportunities for Hogan and Ailey to counter-attack
quickly came to nothing in the face of Doncaster’s capable custodian, Sam

The action wasn’t confined to the pitch, with the Gaffer
rapidly exhausting his supply of chewing gum and prowling the technical area
with the air of a Icelandic volcano due to erupt.

The eruption was not long in coming, when Doncaster drew
first blood, centre back Seon Anderson rising well to meet Naylor’s corner to
plant a header past Roberts and Swift at the near post. FDFC really should have
done much better to snuff out the cross, and it was now clear that the road to
victory had just become that bit longer.

Nonetheless, going behind had woken up FDFC’s as yet dormant
midfield, who began to spark into life. Several chances soon came, with a
headed chance for Ailey from Monksfield’s excellent cross after great interplay
in midfield being the highlight. Hogan also almost got on the receiving end of
an intuitive no-look pass by Lampert, only to see the ball take a cruel bounce
and take the ball away from him as he closed in.

With Gregory beginning to take the game to Doncaster in the
midfield engine room, it only seemed to be a matter of time before Fulham
profited from their new-found dominance of the game. However, it was Doncaster
who came closest to scoring again, when a bye-line cross dipped over Roberts in
the FDFC goal, only to be cleared away off the crossbar by Evans, who insisted
that his clearance was all ‘part of the master plan’…..

As the half-time whistle blew on a frenetic and even first
half, FDFC knew that they had to come out stronger and take the game to
Doncaster more. After the Gaffer spouted lava in the dressing room, that
feeling only became stronger! Funny that….

The second half started, with FDFC looking to get back into
the match. Swift, who had settled down after a poor first half, provided some
entertainment by skinning two Doncaster players on the left flank before
playing the ball across the mouth of the goal. The Doncaster team smothered the
danger, but it was a clear show of intent by FDFC.

As Fulham continued to take control of the second half,
Doncaster started to falter, and several tactical fouls were given in FDFC’s
favour, which allowed the Whites to build up increased pressure.

On the hour, the much-needed equaliser came. A FDFC corner
was half cleared by the Doncaster rearguard and the ball fell at the feet of
Swift, who played the ball across to Gregory. The Welshman, perhaps remembering
his misses in the first half, opted to put the ball into the box. An umarked
Evans was on hand to rise and flick the ball in off the near post from fifteen
yards out. A well-taken goal, and a much needed one. Looks like the Captain’s
‘master plan’ might have worked out there…..

Encouraged, FDFC continued to attack, with further chances
falling at the feet of Gregory and Lampert who unsurprisingly, missed the
target. Doncaster started to get back into the game, and Roberts had to be at
his best to tip over a dangerous Denmead shot over the crossbar. In the
meantime, Gill came on for Harding at left back.

FDFC then took the lead with ten minutes of normal time
remaining, when Hogan ran behind the Doncaster defence to get on the end of a
great cross-field ball from Lampert, gathering the ball and hitting the ball
past an exposed Kitchin at the near post. Soon after, Vorster came off for
Willis, with Monksfield dropping back into defence.

Any joy FDFC felt at taking the lead was quickly tempered
when Doncaster equalised soon after, following FDFC’s failure to clear away the
initial cross sufficiently enough. Ailey and Evans then had the opportunity to
win the game in the last few minutes, but both were denied by a Kitchin double
save, saving Ailey’s follow-up shot from a free-kick and saving Evans’ shot on
the rebound.

And so the game went into extra time. The Gaffer, smoke
still blowing out of his top after his latest volcanic eruption, urged the team
on and pointed out that FDFC looked the fitter of the two teams.

The fresh legs of Willis were used to great effect in the
first half of extra time, with Hogan heading just wide of the post after a
searing run and cross by the youngster. There was also time for Evans to make a
nuisance of himself at yet another set piece, rising to flick on a deep ball
from Monksfield on to the post and out.

However, it was early in the second half of extra time when
FDFC finally made their pressure count, with Ailey meeting Hogan’s cross to
knock the ball past Kitchin in the Doncaster goal to give FDFC the lead for the
second time in the game. Ailey’s goal was his 47th in all
competitive matches this season, easily a new club record.

Undeterred, Doncaster roused themselves for one final
effort, and were almost rewarded for their adventure as an increasingly anxious
and defensive FDFC (after Hogan had gone off for Burns, FDFC switched to a
4-5-1 formation), struggled to clear their lines, giving Doncaster some
half-chances inside the box. However, FDFC managed to survive the late
onslaught as the referee blew the whistle for full-time.

As the FDFC dugout celebrated, the players made sure to
shake the Doncaster players’ hands as both team played a part in making the
match an extremely competitive final. FDFC claimed the BDF trophy for the third
time in seven years, with captain Evans lifting the trophy aloft, much to the
delight of the players.

To round things off, Evans also collected the Man of the
Match award, selected by the referee, although the award could have gone to one
of several candidates on both sides.

The new season will see FDFC strive to keep their hard-won
BDF trophy at Craven Cottage and to build on this success in the new up-coming
league campaign.

score Fulham Deaf FC 3 – 2 Doncaster Deaf FC after extra time (HT 0 – 1, FT 2 –

Line-up :- Roberts, Vorster (Willis 80), McDougall, Evans, Harding, (Gill 70),
Monksfield, Gregory, Lampert, Swift, Hogan (Burns 110) and Ailey

Subs not
used :- Bovino and Rumney


All the goals and celebrations from Sign Tube – Click here

Extended video of celebrations from Sign Tube – Click here

All photos taken by Richard Weinbaum – on Facebook – Click here

Huge thanks to Richard Weinbaum for all these great photos!