Floodlit dream still alive for impressive Aidan’s



Aidans A advanced to the semi-finals of the Floodlit Cup with a resounding 4-1 victory over John Snow A. On a bitterly cold Wednesday night, they produced a scorching display which has led to many believing this is the strongest football team Aidan’s has produced in recent times. A performance like this has now marked them out as genuine contenders for this prestigious trophy.

With a full strength side that has retained most of the spine of last year’s squad, along with new promising Fresher talent stepping up to play at the highest level, Aidan’s looked in a position to progress further than their penalty shootout exit last season. John Snow A also had reason to be confident going into this fixture. They had recorded an impressive scalp in the previous round, knocking out Premiership leaders Hild Bede A. Therefore this match was poised to be an entertaining contest.

The game began with the quality you would expect of a Floodlit Cup game at this latter stage of the competition. Aidan’s took the initiative with some good early pressure. Jamie Turney found himself in a brilliant position in the box with an early chance for Aidan’s but spurned the opportunity to put them ahead. However, a few minutes later, Aidan’s did take the lead through a Ferdy Campbell free kick. The free kick arced over the wall past the outstretched arms of the John Snow keeper to put Aidans in the ascendancy.

John Snow responded well to this setback and searched for an equaliser. A well-worked passing move penetrated the Aidan’s defence, putting the John Snow striker through on goal. However Ben Dudzinski produced a solid save to preserve the lead. With this warning, Aidan’s recovered their early momentum. Dan Firoozan, a constant menace all night, was clumsily fouled by the onrushing John Snow keeper, after a searching through ball. This time, the free kick was taken by but he was unable to find the net, with his effort flashing just over. A few minutes later, Ben Stephens rattled the bar with a thumping header. A second goal seemed imminent for the Hill college.

This good fortune seemed to revitalise John and they pressed once more to claw their way back into the game.  Dudzinksi was forced into making two fine saves, the second the more impressive, as he beat away a strong effort with two hands. However this momentum was halted as they conceded a soft goal, to put Aidan’s 2-0 up. The ball was whipped in from a Dan Firoozan free kick and managed to sail through the forest of bodies without a touch, finding its way into the back of the net. Aidan’s finished the half with a comfortable two goal cushion

John Snow began the second half with renewed determination to get back into the game and were immediately on the front foot. They almost had a goal back after an excellent header from an in-swinging corner was hooked off the line by the industrious Rory More O Ferrall at the front post. However this early pressure from John Snow was undone after another calamitous misunderstanding by their left back. A wayward long ball from Aidan’s was not dealt with accordingly and was instead led to a misjudged volley back pass, which lobbed the John Snow keeper. At 3-0, Aidan’s were now able to turn the screw.

Dan Firoozan continued to cause havoc and was unlucky to score after an incisive run into the box left him one on one from the keeper. However the tight angle saw him drag his shot narrowly wide of the post. Aidan’s continued to press for the fourth. Jamie Turney worked hard up front and on another day would have had two or three. He was brilliantly denied by a close range reaction save from the John Snow keeper after a clever King reverse pass had split the John Snow defence wide open. King was the next to be frustrated by the keeper, who made another stunning save to prevent King’s low drilled effort that seemed destined to nestle in the bottom left hand corner.

At 3-0, the game fell into a lull in which Aidan’s seemed to be comfortable to settle for the result they had while John Snow struggled to get any real opportunities to get back into the game. Their valiant resistance was destroyed when Dan Firoozan scored his second and Aidan’s fourth of the game. From a direct free kick from roughly 20 yards out, Firoozan rifled a thunderous effort into the top corner to the jubilation of the strong Aidan’s support on the touchline. The place in the semi-final now looked secured.

John Snow finished the game with a flourish and were able to claim a consolation goal in the dying minutes of the game. A good break down the left wing saw the ball played in the box to an advancing striker. He flicked the ball up with his first touch, before striking a sweet volley that lobbed Dudzinski. Immediately from the restart, John Snow burst through the Aidan’s back four once more and forced Dudzinski into another reasonable save. Alas, it was too little too late. The referee signalled full time with 4-1 the final score. Aidan’s A will now surely fancy themselves against any of the teams that now remain in the Floodlit Cup competition and maybe now can begin to dream about bringing that coveted trophy to a new home on top of the Hill.

Photograph: Jarrett Campbell

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