Thanks to Jacob Smith for taking the time and effort to write this wonderful report which I have sent off tonight to the local papers, The Somerset Guardian, Journal and Western Daily Press. I have also sent it to the Somerset Fa journalist to see if
he can publish it elsewhere and on the FA website. The only problem being Jacob himself is missing from the cup holding photo, where is he hiding???
PURNELLS WIN WHEN IT MATTERS
Purnells U18s run out
winners in the Somerset U18 Shield Final.
Newly -developed Purnells U18s played a resolute Weston St Johns U18s team at The Tannery, Home of Street FC, in the Somerset U18 Shield Final.
Purnells started the game well with prolific marksman Smith
putting the keeper to good work within the first opening minutes of the half. His strike partner Jennings also had a good chance to get the game rolling however fired narrowly wide of the target.
The solid defence of Young, Yarlett and Thomas dealt
well with the ever-present target man for the Saints, as well as 'keeper Rogers who had to be on his toes once or twice.
MacDonald showed great skill on the left hand side of the midfield to get his shot away, which was put out for a corner by the Saints
keeper. Sawyer swung the ball into the danger area from the corner and although it was cleared away, Hooper still found the back of the net through a number of Orange and Blue shirts to put Purnells into a 1-0 lead.
Macguire, Hooper and Sawyer all worked
the midfield well, and with Williams a constant threat down the Purnells right it was only a matter of time before Purnells doubled their lead. Manager Thomas wanted to keep the midfield fresh, replacing MacDonald with Horman and Bridges on for Williams.
Skilful winger Horman's first involvement was picking up the ball in the opposition half, beating his man with skill straight from the training ground, and crossing low for midfield maestro Sawyer to fire home and increase Purnells' lead at the end of the
The Saints came back at Purnells in the second half, and with the introduction of the impact subs the Saints grabbed one back. Purnells were starting to lack in midfield and attack, so to remove this Manager Thomas brought front-man Smith
off for creator White and Macdonald on for Bridges due to his more defensive workrate.
Saints moved further and further up the pitch, and after a top-drawer save from Rogers, Manager Thomas switched winger Horman for Williams to try and double up on
the danger man on the wing.
The Saints went through on goal again and it could have been all over for Purnells, if it wasn't for centre-back Young who put his body on the line and ended up coming off after the block with a serious nose bleed. Sturdy
centre back Brereton was still warming up, therefore Purnells had to play with 10 men for a few minutes.
Young was ok to come back on, however after a Vinny Jones-esque challenge on the opponent that left him injured, Hooper was the one to be replaced;
meaning commanding captain Yarlett moved up into central midfield and Brereton slotted into the heart of the defence.
Thomas and Williams had the Saints left winger in their pockets, however Young and MacDonald could not cope with the pacey right winger;
and after a run into the box Young brought the winger down and the Saints scored the resultant penalty to make it 2-2.
From there it was end to end, with Purnells having a penalty shout turned down and a fine save from Rogers who kept Purnells in it
with 10 minutes to go.
Following great work from striker Jennings and White, who was brought down for a free kick, Thomas whipped the resultant kick in gloriously and Captain Yarlett used his long legs to stab it into the back of the net to put Purnells
3-2 up with 5 minutes to go.
The referee blew his whistle for the final time, and all players shook hands and Weston St Johns presented with their medals, and of course Purnells who were also presented with their well-earned trophy. Manager Thomas said
that he was 'as happy as Larry' when picking up his medal, and is hoping to add to it next season.
The Players would like to thank all supporters who have supported them throughout this season, as well as Kit Sponsors Andrew and Vicki Smith. We would
also like to thank the Gaffer Dave Thomas for his hard work and commitment this season.
Just to add at the bottom:-
We as a committee are extremely proud of each and every one of the squad, and would like to thank Dave for taking the team over
when the lads were let down and the team nearly ended folding approximately 6 months ago. What a way to end the season. Well done everyone!!