Isle Of Man 2-1 Southern Amateur League
The FA Inter League Cup
Saturday 24 March 2012
The Bowl, Douglas, Isle Of Man
The Isle of Man took a massive step towards regaining The FA Inter League Cup with a hard fought 2-1 victory over the Southern Amateur League in front of over 2000 spectators at The Bowl in Douglas on Saturday.
Kevin Manning’s side won The Cup back in 2006 and had to fight every inch of the way to beat their visitors from London, who triumphed in 2008.
The Manxmen’s run to The Final has been based upon a series of inspired second-half performances and this match was no different as the visitors took the lead on the quarter-hour with Alex Ewin cashing in on some sloppy home defending to fire home.
Although the home side had much of the play, it was not until the 51st minute that they levelled the scores with Ciaran McNulty slotting the ball past Dan Ashley following good work down the right by Frank Jones.
The home side continued to push forward, urged on by the partisan home crowd and should have gone ahead in the 57th minute when Julian Ringham was fouled in the box. However, Nick Hurt’s penalty was well saved by the excellent Ashley in the visitor’s goal.
This set-back seemed to lift the home spirits further and it only took a further four minutes for them to find the crucial second goal which was converted by Jones following good play by Ringham and Hurt.. The home side continued to push forward in search of a killer third goal with McNulty and Jones both going close, before Johnny Myers had a goalbound effort cleared off the line as he tried to force home a rebound from a Chris Bass corner that came back off the bar,
The visitors were still very much in the game but could not find a way through a very well organised home defence. The final ten minutes were a very nervy affair, with the visitors almost forcing extra time when Dan Field’s header from a deep right-wing cross came back off the post and was cleared to safety before the final whistle was greeted with huge delight by the home crowd.
Speaking after the match, Island manager, Kevin Manning, spoke of his delight at the result:: "I’m over the moon, absolutely delighted. Fair play to the lads, they put in a fantastic shift today.
"They lost a goal but showed great determination to get back into it. They were a tough side, as you would expect at this stage of the competition and they will be bitterly disappointed, but we deserved to win.
"We made more chances, we played better football and the longer the game went on, the more likely we were going to win it. Even if it had gone to extra-time we knew we could win it as we had the fitness and great determination as well as the never-say-die attitude."
Isle Of Man hoping to regain Inter League Cup.