WEST WOOD Strikers made amends for being unceremoniously dumped out of the league tournament of the Lendore Village Football League when they copped the knockout title with a 1-0 triumph over Young Money FC in Sunday’s curtain match for the 2014 season at the Chrissie Terrace Recreation Ground in Enterprise.
In its first season in the tournament, West Wood was considered a contender for league honours until being beaten 4-1 by Jordan Trace CRIL in their ‘Big 8’ fixture. However, the family-built unit returned to oust Cool It FC in the knockout semi-finals last Friday and book berth in the grand finale.
The first half of the contest could best be described as a feeling out process as both team seemed more focused on preventing each other from scoring as opposed to finding the back of the net. All that changed after the interval and West Wood’s forward Kareem Beckles was the first to break the shackles when he beat Glenroy Samuel, standing between the upright for Young Money, in the 50th minute. His joy was short-lived, however, as he had been flagged offside by the assistant referee.
Young Money’s charismatic striker, David Mandeville, would get in on the act seven minutes later when he received a pass to the left of goal. He raise his head and pick his spot before hitting a solid left-footed shot to the left of goalkeeper McKel James but the alert custodian, who was protecting his near post, went full stretch to his left to punch the ball away.
But it was Beckles who had the final say as he would rise above the defence in the 87th minute to meet a left side corner with a firm header that Samuels could not keep out.
Winning the knockout competition may not be as fulfilling as being declared league champion but in the end it was a worthwhile incentive for this season’s debutant to set their sights on bigger accomplishments next year.