FA Peoples Cup – Watford Win 1st Round!

Due to the confusion in arranging fixtures during our transition period, registration for the FA Peoples Cup was late with several players involved in sister clubs.  Ultimately Watford registered two teams to the first knock-up phase of the FA Peoples Cup held at Goals in Ruislip under the guidance of Glenn Cato and Will McCafferty.  Due to large number of unavailable players through injuries and commitments, both Watford had guest players in their squads, one at least who is likely become a member! On a very chilly yet sunny Saturday afternoon, 11 teams arrived for the 1st round.

Teams were divided into two groups (6 and 5), with games against each of the teams in your group.  The two leading teams in the group went into a semi-final and final, with the winners progressing to the next round.  The matches were played in cages similar to YMCA with added ability to play of side boards approximately a metre high.  The smaller group played matches of 12 mins with change ends at half time, while the larger group played 8 min games straight through.  Both groups were well refereed with only limited bad fouls. Glenn’s WWFC Yellows squad included George Ferrar, Gordon Sexton, Lakhi Nijjar, Paul Vinton, Pat Morrisey and Richard Manning (average age 59y 7mon) with Dave Green guesting in goal.

Dave proved to be an excellent addition to the squad pulling off a number of fantastic saves behind our normal tight defence.  This provided the foundation for goals from Paul Vinton (3) and Gordon Sexton to produce 3 wins and 1 draw with the Yellows heading their group by 3 points! Results were 1-0 vs. Barnet RIP (running is prohibited!), 1-0 vs. Wealdstone, 0-0 vs. Cedars and finally 2-1 vs. Barnet Jako.  Wealdstone included Steve Moss and captain Steve Dyett.

In the much tougher group Will’s Watford Walkers included usual League squad players Gary Shaw, Ged McLaughlin, Howard Harris, Kevin Schmid and Trevor Blake together with two guest players including the Arsenal centre-forward. Three wins and two draws had them tied with Barnet’s Back and Amber “A” ahead of QPR and ultimately 2nd on goal difference.  The Barnet Blues in the same group included our Maurice Waggenfield and Tony Bartolo. Hence the semi-final lined the two Watford teams against each other in an 8-minute match with the Yellows being slightly disadvantaged by playing on the other pitch with a new referee (:-)).

A tight and competitive game was finally won 1-0 by the Walkers after some confusion surrounding a free-kick just outside the box and Ged’s clinical finish.   Barnet’s Black and Amber easily beat the Barnet RIP to set up a rematch of the drawn group game for the final. Again, another very tight game, Barnet disadvantaged by two injuries putting up a very good performance.  Watford Walkers proved to be two strong in the end with captain Howard scoring the only goal (please direct email to Howard for a more detailed account of his goals and minute-by-minute performance). A great day for all WWFC club members involved (17 = 31% of the membership!).  So, Watford Walkers move onto the next round clearly having a god chance to progress when injured players return.  More friends were made with requests for games against the other Watford Trust club, the Cedars and opportunities with several others for friendlies.  Glenn and I will have our hands full hopefully!