Smiths Cup (Senior) R/U 1972-73

Platt's hopes fade as Brown strikes.

Greatness   4     Platt    3

A tremendous 20-yard shot by David Brown decided this fast and closely fought match, and Greatness' victory over a defiant Platt side in the final of the senior division of the Smith Charity Cup competition at Raleys Field, Sevenoaks, on Boxing Day.

There was plenty of good football to delight the fair crowd that came to watch this Christmas struggle, as Greatness and Platt overcame a cold stiff breeze to produce a final full of skill, excitement - and goals.

But as always, there has to be a winner and a loser - and on the day Greatness proved the stronger side. They hit two vital goals as Platt clung desperately to a precious 3-2 lead, which were enough to end the challenge of the Platt side.

For the first quarter of an hour there was little to choose between the teams, with play moving from end to end. Greatness however, took the lead after 15 minutes when their captain, John Spice, came up out of the back four to drive the ball through a crowd of players into the net.

Greatness now exploited the territorial advantage they had won, attacking from several good moves which showed a high standard of football. They were rewarded by a second goal, scored by their centre-forward, David Parkin, who headed the ball into the corner of the goal, after a cross had beaten Platt's goalkeeper.

Just before half-time the claret and blues pulled back a goal from another move which brought a defender up into the attack. Malcolm Bowen was the scorer for Platt, with a fine angled shot which went into the net almost over his own shoulder.

Leading 2-1 at half-time, Greatness soon discovered that they were not going to have the second-half all their own way. Platt scored an equaliser when arch-opportunist Nobby Masters pounced on the ball in a goal-mouth scramble and fired it into the net. They then took the lead two minutes later from a neat score by Robert Webb.

The run of play, however, was strongly in Greatness' favour in the later stages of the game and as the Platt defence wearied, Greatness scored two vital goals.

David Parkin hit the first, his second goal of the match, from a good attacking movement and cross, while the winner came 15 minutes from the end from perhaps the best kick of the game, a powerful 20-yard shot by David Brown.

John Spice, the Greatness captain, received the cup afterwards from Ron Hubbard, chairman of the Kent County Football Association Third Division, who congratulated both sides on the quality of the final. He had special praise for Platt on reaching the final after "one or two lean seasons."