Frenches Athletic First vs First Team
|Frenches Athletic First||1|
|26/11/2022||14:00||Surrey FA Saturday Intermediate County Cup||2022/2023||120'|
Lost 4-1 on penalties.
Reigate Priory faced local rivals and current Surrey Intermediate Cup holders Frenches Athletic in the second round of the cup on Saturday at Merstham FC.
In a first half of few chances, the first chance of the game fell to Frenches’ forward George Johnson whose well-struck shot from inside the box rebounded off the post. At the other end, a great move involving Max and Alex Bicknell saw the former hit a shot into the side netting.
With the scores level at half time, it was Frenches that re-started the game quicker and within the first minute a corner was flicked on at the near post and fell kindly for home skipper Liam Powell to have a tap in. James Bolton’s excellent run on the hour mark ended with his shot from outside the box being parried away by home goalkeeper Casey Bow, the ball fell to Callum Johnson but he was also denied by Bow from close range.
With few other chances in the game the result looked to be favouring the home side until late on when Priory midfielder Joe Elbishlawi broke through the Frenches defensive line and as he dribbled into the box he was fouled by Frenches skipper Liam Powell in a last ditch attempt to win the ball he brought the Priory man down and the referee awarded a penalty and somewhat fortuitously Powell was only booked for the challenge. Elbishlawi despatched the penalty with confidence and power with just moments remaining, ultimately taking the game to penalties.
The home side had won last season’s final on penalties and it was evident that they fancied themselves to win. Well-taken penalties from Liam Powell, Bradley Johnson, Daniel Shay and Junior Ogwal ensured the home side and holders advanced to the next round.
Priory Manager Dale Wyatt commented: “this fixture is always very competitive with bragging rights in Reigate up for grabs. On this occasion, we cancelled each other out really and there weren’t a vast amount of chances created given that both sides were well-organised defensively. I’m really pleased at our lads fighting to the end and getting what we deserved with the equaliser. Given that momentum was back in our favour and our lads were looking much the fitter side, I’d really have fancied us if it had gone to extra-time, but it wasn’t to be and Frenches held their nerve in the shootout to progress. We wish them all the best in the next round.”.