Eaton Socon Reserves 2-2 Fenstanton AET (4-3 pens)
Fenstanton suffered penalty heartache in the Creake Charity Shield, bowing out 4-3 on penalties to Eaton Socon Reserves, who are currently second in the division above.
Fenstanton won the toss and decided to defend against the strong wind, and could have gone ahead when Ben Hall was clearly fouled as he went one-on-one with the keeper. With both sets of fans shocked when the referee awarded a goal kick. Despite Socon having a lot of possession, the Fenstanton defence held firm, and it was Fenstanton that looked close to taking the lead, but the Socon keeper kept out a good Ben Fuller strike.
Socon came close just before half time, by smashing the bar, with keeper Adam Buckingham well beaten. And on the stroke of half time, Socon’s full back tested Buckingham from long range with a fierce drive, stinging the palms.
With the scores 0-0 at half time, Fenny fancied their chances in the 2nd half. But after a sustained spell of Fenstanton pressure, Socon counter attacked and found themselves 1-0 up, with striker James Godfrey, firing through a lot of bodies to find the bottom corner. The small striker, decided to remove his top after scoring, to earn a caution. An odd decision given there was about 30mins still to play.
After the goal went in, it was all Fenstanton, but Socon were dealing with the treat pretty easily, a touch class from Ben Fuller nearly put Fen on level terms with pirouetted, left foot volley from 20 yards, magnificently tipped on to the bar by the Socon number 1.
With time running out, Buckingham rang the changes, replacing both full backs with wingers and playing almost a 2-4-4 formation.
Surprisingly it was goalkeeper Adam Buckingham that should have put Fenstanton on level terms. Up for a last minute corner and unmarked, he failed to connect with Dion Lee’s inswinging corner from 3 yards.
Just as Socon thought they were through, there was still time for a Ben Hall token goal. Hall who had been getting a lot of stick from the home fans, collected the ball on the far left, and hit a 25 yard wind assisted effort, dipping into the top far corner, on 95 minutes.
With the ref blowing for full time straight after, 30 minutes of extra time was to be played. And again Fenny defended against the wind, and held strong for the opening period of extra time.
Fenstanton nearly took the lead when Craig Flavell had an effort cleared of the line, but the yellows found themselves behind for the second time, with Sam Argyle finishing well putting the home team 2-1 up. Fenny really had to go for it, creating huge gaps on the pitch, that Socon exploited well, but Adam Buckingham, twice saving in one-on-one situations.
And these saves proved crucial, as on 118mins skipper Arran Balls headed in a Dion Lee corner to send the tie to penalties.
Unfortunately Adam Berrill missed his first kick, but Buckingham saved Socon’s first effort, to keep the scores at 0-0. With Ross Fairley, Salv Merola & Ben Hall all being matched by Socon by scoring. Unfortunately Dion Lee saw his effort saved, and with Socon converting their 5th penalty, Fenny crashed out but can be proud off their efforts.