08 Nov 22

Can Park Royals survive a heavy hit?



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Can Park Royals survive a heavy hit?

The Premier Cup will be contested by Park Royals, who have saved their best form for cup competitions this season, and Heavy Hitters, who slain the mighty Highgate Albion to reach the final. If Heavy Hitters are to win- they will have to get their vital players involved, such as Khamadi Ekemezuma-Edwards, whose unbelievable work rate is likely to cause Park Royals problems. The team in Red will be looking to their talisman Bertie Shelley. He has been in great form in their run to the final, scoring three goals in 3 games.

The game began with Park Royals trying to play out from the back but were dispossessed by an effective Heavy Hitters press. The subsequent cross from Edwards picked out Sanderson at the back post, who miscued his golden opportunity to break the deadlock in this final. 

Heavy Hitters started the brighter of the two teams, looking to release Edwards in behind with his pace proving a menace for the Park Royals defence. The Reds were struggling to get out of their half but finally did after a smart move, which resulted in them winning a free kick.

The subsequent free kick from Shelley flashed wide of the Heavy Hitters’ goal. As the half wore on, the Heavy Hitters captain Lwanga stood out, as he marshalled quietly but effectively in front of his defence, breaking up the play.

Park Royals went close to breaking the deadlock. A whipped-in free kick was flicked on and subsequently crashed against the crossbar, much to the relief of their opponents. Minutes later, a cross-field ball fell to Ekemezuma-Edwards at the edge of the Park Royals penalty box. He shifted the ball onto his left and fired a brilliant shot, which left Stopps helpless, and gave Heavy Hitters a 1-0 lead.

They continued to press brilliantly from the front, with Bezati and Edwards impressing with their trickery and effectiveness at running in behind the Park Royals full-backs. The work rate from all the Heavy Hitters players continued to cause their opponents problems. Great endeavour and skill from Clarke saw him slip by his marker before he delivered an inch-perfect cross, which was met by captain Lwanga, whose header flew past Stopps in the Park Royals goal to make it 2-0.

The rest of the half was comfortable for Heavy Hitters as Park Royals huffed and puffed, but they couldn’t create anything to trouble their opponents.

HT Park Royals 0-2 Heavy Hitters

Heavy Hitters outworked and outfought their opponents in that first half. Park Royals will need to find a way back into this game and will be looking to their talisman Shelley. 

Following impressive work from Yordanov in winning a corner, the subsequent corner was met by a Park Royals head, but Dwyer rescued his team, clearing the goal-bound effort off the line. A lofted free kick from Park Royals resulted in the referee giving what can only be described as a soft penalty. Shelley dispatched the penalty with ease, and now it really was game on!

Soon after the penalty, the ball found itself with Clarke, who held it up brilliantly before releasing Edwards. The Heavy Hitters attacker was only denied by a great save from Stopps. The game was more open now, with both sides realising how vital the next goal was.

With his team back in the game, Impleton grew frustrated with a referee’s decision and jostled over the Heavy Hitters player, which left the referee with no choice but to show the Park Royals player a red card.

With seemingly no danger, Stopps then passed the ball to his defender – but Ekemezuma-Edwards had other ideas and pressed immediately, forcing a mistake from the defender before side-footing it home to make it 3-1 to Heavy Hitters.

Despite being down to 10 men, and 3-1 down, Park Royals continued to press forward. Their endeavour was rewarded after great work from Brown, who squared it to Wallis for an easy finish.

Shelley dropped deep and drove forward in possession, winning a late free kick for his team. The subsequent free kick was cleared, and the referee blew the full-time whistle.

FT Park Royals 2-3 Heavy Hitters

Park Royals

Stopps (C), Lee, Stout, Mabbett, Spratt, Yordanov, Sadigh, Wallis, Hubbard, Shelley, Impleton

Subs: Sadigh (Parsa), Brown (Nick), Brown (George), Sellers, Austin

Heavy Hitters

Pontin, Dwyer, Joshua, Edwards, Carr, Reddin, Lwanga (C), Sanderson, Bezati, Ekemezuma-Edwards, Clarke

Subs: Ladipo, Harriott, Ngulube, Hamad, Quadri



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