Mildert claim Floodlit title

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With the dubiously immoral spirit of Bishop van Mildert watching on from the heavens, Van Mildert Association Football Club claimed their first ever Floodlit Cup victory in a 5-1 rout of St Hild and Bede.

The deadlock was broken about five minutes in, and, even then, it could be said that the goal was coming. Ned Ventham dropped out of the forward line to collect a ball to feet with his back to goal, then turned to his left and sprayed a ball out to Freddie Walton. With just a few deft touches, he delivered a cute through ball to the onrushing Ventham, who dispatched his shot into the near post through an impossibly small gap it seemed.

Mildert were in no mood to hang around and were roared on by their large support, who engaged in some ferocious back and forth chanting with Hild Bede fans for the majority of the game. Whilst the Hild Bede fans started the game perhaps the louder, they quietened down with each goal scored by the men in yellow.

Soon, Mildert had a golden opportunity to double their lead through a penalty. I can’t remember how they earned it, so it can’t have been controversial. Probably. Ventham, who had until this point been unplayable, saw his accurate effort well-saved by Ned Andreae down to his right. A true Ned-to-Ned encounter one might say.

The second goal was painfully predictable. Mildert left-winger, Caine McCartney, had been afforded far too much space by Hild Bede’s backline regularly the first fifteen minutes but had failed to produce any end product. This time, he checked inside onto his right foot, setting his curling effort outside the post and allowing it to bend gloriously back inside the top corner.

With their confidence in bits, everyone’s favourite college that isn’t on the Hill or Bailey contrived to allow another goal to be scored

With their confidence in bits, everyone’s favourite college that isn’t on the Hill or Bailey contrived to allow another goal to be scored. This time it was their own player who, under pressure from Ventham, diverted a Mildert cross agonisingly past his own goalkeeper. 3-0 and it wasn’t even half an hour in.

Remarkably, Hild Bede struck back within 30 seconds, having not got anywhere near Mildert’s goal for the prior 30 minutes. Fin Gwillim was afforded the luxury of getting goalside of his man and his quick effort spun past Maz Panzer. A sliding Mildert player on the line could only join the ball in the back of the net.

Unfortunately for Hild Bede, Zach Alfalahi of the DU 1s, had to make way at half-time, reducing their impact in the midfield to near zero, as the Mildert trio of James Webb-Wood, captain Jed Phillips, and Rory England outthought and outworked them. It was England who would score Mildert’s fourth, capping another capable performance with a strong penalty to the keeper’s right.

Hild Bede huffed and puffed but couldn’t blow Mildert’s doorknocker, let alone the house down. Semi-final hero Fabio Ramzi had some gorgeous first touches and was probably their best outfield player, but he cut a lonely figure at the top end of the pitch.

Finally, a fifth goal came for Mildert. McCartney drove down the long and winding road of the left flank, saying hello, goodbye to their right back and delivering what is quite frankly the best weak footed cross I have ever seen. Ventham tucked his header away for his second of the game.

There was just enough time for club president Mat Kemp to miss a penalty, but the day belonged to Mildert. My man of the match was McCartney after leaving the Hild Bede right back twisting and shouting, and he and the Mildert fans would go on to celebrate with a magical mystery tour through the streets of Durham.

Mildert XI: Panzer, Dodd, Wild, Blake, Koehne-Mitchell, Webb-Wood, Phillips, England, Walton, Ventham, McCartney

Hild Bede XI: Andreae, Barker, Lyons, Boyle, Shaw, Jones, Browne, Alfalahi, Maher, Ramzi, Gwillim

Image: Gavin Murray

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