Goldsmith Williams (Eng)

3

V

0

9 Nana Budds (Eng)

Eagles Athletic (Eng)

3

V

1

Maritimo FC (Por)

Hebden Bridge (Eng)

0

V

1

9 Nana Budds (Eng)

Goldsmith Williams (Eng)

2

V

0

Maritimo FC (Por)

Eagles Athletic (Eng)

0

V

0

Hebden Bridge (Eng)

 

We were 5 games down, 5 to go in Group C as Goldsmith Williams met 9 Nana Budds. This was the first game in the tournament between two past winners and was a top of the table clash in the context of Group C. A win here would pretty much confirm Cup qualification and be a strong indication to who could potentially lay claim to the 2011 Algarve Open title.

Following three 0-0 draws we were desperate for goals and it was Liam Currie who obliged scoring his fourth of the tournament to give Goldsmith Williams the lead. Chris Williams added a second before half-time and Goldsmith Williams were well on course for their second win. In the second period, Chris Williams made it 3-0 and the points were in the bag. It put Goldsmith Williams on 7 points in sole custody of first place.

9 Nana Budds were in second place still a healthy position but needing a result in their final group game.

 
 
 

Game 7 saw Eagles Athletic take on Maritimo FC. Both teams sat in 4th place on 1 point but a win here could put them joint 2nd and spark a realistic challenge for Cup qualification. Which team could step up to the plate and propel their team up the table.

Eagles captain Julian Smith struck the first blow to give his team a precious 1-0 lead at half-time. Things got even better for them in the second half as Olly Luchoomun and then John Payne added further goals. Portugal's Maritimo FC could only muster the one goal in reply through Antonio Lima as Eagles Athletic secured a great 3-1 win.

The victory put them level with 9 Nana Budds in 2nd place but occupying 3rd on goal difference. Crucially though there was just one goal in it so all to play for in the final round of fixtures. For Maritimo FC the defeat meant they were rock bottom of Group C.

 
 
 

We were now coming to the business end of Group C as Hebden Bridge met 9 Nana Budds. This was 9 Nana Budds last game and they needed a win and to hope that their win would better anything Eagles Athletic could do in their final game. For Hebden Bridge they were looking to build on draws and a win would see them rise into 2nd place and qualify for the Cup just like they did in the 2009 Algarve Open.

At half-time we were locked level at 0-0 and if we had an on-site bookmaker I am sure he'd have been taking plenty of money on the final score reading the same. It wasn't to be though and our imaginary bookmaker would have cleaned up. The goal that prevented a third goal-less draw for Hebden Bridge was an unwanted one as it came from 9 Nana Budds Jack Kennedy. It was the only goal of the game and one that gave a crucial 3 points to his team.

The result lay down the gauntlet to Eagles Athletic as it meant they would need to beat Hebden Bridge by two goals in their final fixture to qualify for the Cup and oust 9 Nana Budds in the process. For Hebden Bridge it meant Cup qualification was no longer possible but a place in the Plate was very much up for grabs.

 
 
 

The team that could prevent Hebden Bridge making the Plate were Maritimo FC who sat 1 point and 1 place behind them. Their last fixture was far from easy though as they met Goldsmith Williams who had already qualified and, barring an unlikely avalanche of goals for Eagles Athletic versus Hebden Bridge in game 10, were Group C champions elect. Maybe Maritimo's best chance was if Goldsmith Williams took their foot off the pedal?

From knowing Goldsmith Williams though they were unlikely to relax such was their hunger for victory and they didn't let off in this game. Everything was pretty much done and dusted in the first half as Liam Currie struck twice. He was unable to claim his second hat-trick of the tournament though and Goldsmiths Williams would have to settle for a 2-0 win. Whilst Liam Currie had taken much of the attention with his goalscoring we would like to raise a glass to Gary Dean in the Goldsmiths Williams goal who had not conceded a goal in all four group games. A great record for him and his defence.

The result confirmed three things Goldsmith Williams were champions, Maritimo FC would play in the Wooden Spoon and Hebden Bridge would play in the Plate. The fate of the other two teams was to be decided in the next game.

 
 
 

The final game of Group C was between Hebden Bridge and Eagles Athletic. Hebden Bridge could overtake their opponents with a win and thereby take 3 rd place and secure a (theoretically) easier Plate Quarter-Final tie. Eagles Athletic could still make the Cup but they would need to win and win by two goals to move above 9 Nana Budds on goal difference. Anything else and the status quo would remain with the teams finishing 3rd and 4th .

In many tournaments a two-goal win against a team in 4 th would be an achievable target. Not in this tournament though as Hebden Bridge were rock solid at the back conceding just one in three games. Their problem was at the other end trying to put the ball in the net.

The two teams arrived at half-time 0-0 and time was running out for Eagles Athletic. As the game went on the chances of scoring one let alone two were slipping away and in the end the scorer's pencil would be redundant as time ran out and we finished 0-0. The third goal-less draw in four games for Hebden Bridge who, with an average age of 44, had shown many teams a lesson in defending. If they could add goals to their performances they would be a real tough nut to crack.

The result meant both teams would play in the afternoon Plate and 9 Nana Budds would play Cup football.

 
 
Team
Pld
Won
Drawn
Lost
For
Agst
Pts

Goldsmith Williams (Eng)

4

3

1

0

8

0

10

9 Nana Budds (Eng)

4

2

1

1

4

3

7

Eagles Athletic (Eng)

4

1

2

1

3

4

5

Hebden Bridge (Eng)

4

0

3

1

0

1

3

Maritimo FC (Por)

4

0

1

3

1

8

1

 
 
 
Group Phase
 
 
Wooden Spoon
 
Plate Knock-out
 
Cup Knock-out
 
 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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