Value storm the Plate
Where the Value binned so many flicks
A cup final is often considered hallowed ground. Only the best may walk onto its surface, and in doing so, the players submit themselves to the most significant roller coaster ride the world knows. The Value reached this point rather comprehensively, with a bye, a 4-1 win and a 4-0 win against Derby and Anglia Ruskin; Oxford Brookes reached this point after a 12-0 victory against Harper Adams followed by two Penalty Flick victories (3-3 and 1-1 respectively at full time) against UEA and Loughborough. As any keen football supporter will know, anything can happen in the cup, but it's fair to say that none of the expectant fans were expecting the game to be this much of a spectacle.
Pushback occurred, and it's fair to say that it was an even contest from the get-go. The Value pressed well and attacked with malice, but so did Brookes over the course of the half. The Value will feel slightly aggrieved by the fact that they earned so many short corners but couldn't convert from any of them, whereas Brookes were kept at bay by the excellent defending from George, Jamie, Ben, and Chris, with Barrett providing that final line of defense only occasionally required.
The second half began, and Brookes started on the front foot - and it was from one of the many attacks that they had the best opportunity of the game, cleverly put away by their captain. The goal did not discourage the Value, and over the next 15 minutes, they were the better side. But with 10 minutes to go and legs running tired, most of the supporters thought it a foregone conclusion that the Value would slip up at the final step.
However, with less than a minute to go, Captain Cameron McLean broke from the midfield, played a neat one-two with Rahul before promptly dispatching the ball between the keeper and the near post to level the game and bring about Penalty Flicks as the decider.
With the fact that it is a World Cup year, and with two Germans in the club, Cam thought it best to accept the pressure and go second in the flicks. The flick takers were chosen, and the process went like this...
1) Brookes scored a flick bottom left.
2) Piglet dispatched his flick in off the keeper to the right of the goal.
3) Brookes scored with a flick just above the backboard to the left of the goal.
4) Rahul binned it better than the previous flick.
5) Barrett tipped the Brookes flick onto the bar to save and give the Value the advantage.
6) Ash binned two flicks in the bottom left of the goal, only one of them being legal but it counting to leave the Value 3-2 up.
7) Barrett made a flair stick save to his right.
8) Geroge Downing steps up and bins it to the keepers left.
9) A pitch invasion occurs, but no-one really cares as the Value have won the game and hence the Plate.
In short, flicks were probably the best outcome for both sides, as each team put in a massive shift for the occasion and deserved to come away with something. Unfortunately for Brookes however, despite winning their previous contests with flicks they had yet to come up against the might of MOTM Matt Barrett in goal, and the clinical flick taking of all of the Value members. They must be credited in giving the best performance the Value have played against all year, but for a team now 22 games unbeaten it just wasn't enough in the end.
Two games remain to seal that mythical double and to put forward the teams' case for "Team of the Year" - however, more presently a heavy night is to be had and celebrations to continue long into the night (Or at least until Pop! kicks all of the boys out)