Platt Overrun Cup Holders
Leaves Green 3 Platt Utd 6
Report courtesy of Derek Hodge
Platt United, competing in the competition for the first time, lifted the Craske & Wells Memorial Cup at Sundridge Recreation Ground last Tuesday evening defeating holders Leaves Green by 6-3.
The result was never in doubt with the Mid-Kent side controlling the tie from the start. Platt passed the ball accurately and played more as a unit with Rick Skilman prominent in defence. Included in their experienced line-up were Mark Penfold, the ex-Charlton Athletic defender and Roy Bedford, a former left-back with Slough Town.
The holders seemed overawed by the occasion and anxiety showed in their play as spasmodic arguments broke out among the players culminating in the booking of Peter Eels midway through the second half for a reckless tackle.
The introduction of the busy Chris Jackson soon after put new life into Leaves Green which suggested he should have been on the field from the start.
Platt took a 2-0 lead during the opening quarter. On eight minutes Leaves Green were stretched in defence when a shot by Dean Woodward thundered against the upright before rebounding to the unmarked Andy Bennett who thumped his shot high into the net and past the helpless Alan Greenaway.
Soon afterwards a diagonal run from the left by Darren Fisher carried the winger over the halfway line before releasing the ball to Woodward in space on the right. The former Dartford player had time to pick his spot before scoring with a left foot shot. The same player then saw a fiercely struck free-kick from the half-way line whistle over the crossbar with Leaves Green reeling from their opponent's opening onslaught.
The Green mounted their first serious attack down the right with Gareth Parsons prominent. He crossed the ball into the 18 yard area but the industrious Mark Broomfield shot wide of the target.
In another attack, Bennett forced Chris Fullone out wide to the left before conceding a corner. Emil Opacic's flag kick was headed away by the Platt defence but only as far as Broomfield whose tantalising cross was well held by keeper Ray Merry.
The game was effectively decided in a five minute spell on the half hour when Woodward took advantage of hesitancy by keeper Greenaway to score with ease. Then Darren Woodman blasted a 30 yard shot into the net via the crossbar with the Leaves Green keeper off his line.
P. Eels was lectured by the referee for a bad foul on Bennett and as the half drew to a close, right-back Tim Franklin made a timely tackle on Woodward but the ball was deflected for a corner.
Platt forced a second corner and Greenaway failed to collect the ball in a packed six yard area and it fell to Bennett who netted from close range.
Leaves Green came out for the second-half in a more determined mood with P.Eels shooting just wide in the opening minutes.
At the other end a shot by Platt substitute Peter Sebry just curved wide of Greenaway's upright and then as tempers frayed Broomfield was lectured by the referee.
On 55 minutes P.Eels got on the end of a high cross from the right to head powerfully beyond the diving Merry. As the Green mounted another attack Broomfield sent in a curling cross to Parsons, but this time the striker's header went wide of the post.
Platt began a good move in defence with Fisher finding Woodman on the right flank where the ball went for a throw-in. A long throw was flicked on by Skilman to Woodman, whose shot from close range went over the bar.
Fisher was again in the action forcing Franklin to concede a corner but Leaves Green eventually cleared the ball.
A good three-man move between Parsons, Fullone and Mick Eels which made full use of the wide pitch was wasted when the latter lost possession.
Jackson replaced Matthew Eels and he was soon in the action heading clear Woodward's cross. Franklin had to receive attention for a head injury and almost immediately afterwards confusion in the Leaves Green defence let in Paul Baker for Platt's sixth goal.
During the last quarter, and with Platt thinking the game was won, a mix-up in defence let in Broomfield to score at the second attempt.
This put new life into Leaves Green and Mick Eels had an attempt on goal deflected by keeper Merry.
Bennett was booked by referee Mr C.Jones. From the resultant free-kick P.Eels got on the end of Fullone's cross to score his second goal.
Team: R.Merry, M.Penfold, R.Bedford, L.Gill, R.Skilman, C.Cable, D.Woodman, A.Bennett, D.Fisher, P.Baker, D.Woodward, P.Sebry, D.Andrews.