FA Cup Final

Earl Best
Date Published: 

EVEN the presence of members of the national squad on both teams failed to rescue Monday night's F.A. final from the scrappiness that characterizes end-of-season matches in the N.S.L.

Although both teams managed to create a few scoring chances the game lacked real excitement throughout the first half an hour.

Essex were showing signs of being able to produce good football. But it was the TECSA pattern of kick and run that predominated.

And even as I mused aloud about reversion to the days of two concept football, a TECSA defenceman yelled into the night "Anywhere! Eh-nee-ware!!". His teammate happily complied.

Suddenly, as if he'd overheard the remarks about the extreme vulnerability of the TECSA wing-backs, 'Sammy' Llewellyn moved out to wing and thrice dribbled his way down the flank onto the retreating stoppers.

For the rest of the first half it was a battle of nimble brains against frustrated brawn as Figaro and co. restorted to fouling Llewellyn, Najjar and company to stop their advance.

It was in this period that national defenceman Steve Pierre was shown the yellow card.


Just before half time, Essex won a left-side corner and as Najjar hurried off to take it, he was summoned for a hasty consultation with Sammy.

The kick dropped right onto the head of Sammy, standing unmarked on the first post and he screwed a header into a chink between the defender and the post.

The evidence of the rest of the game — there were, for instance, very very few occasions when the Essex goalkeeper's goalkicks were not collected by an Essex forward running a diagonal in front of the stationary TECSA defencemen — suggests that the goal was by no means a matter of luck.

The second half began with the whole Essex team being assembled in midfield for a brief harangue from their professional Sammy Llewellyn.

He continued to keep a tight rein on the team throughout the second half setting up a defensive barrier here, castigating aloud a disgruntled defender there and the scurrying off to inspire the whole team by dribbling cleverly through a cluster of opponents.

However, their midfield superiority never translated itself into goal although quite a few shot went past the TECSA upright.

Where I sat, it was taken for granted that Kelvin Barclay would have replaced Michael "Trabosky" Celestine in goal for TECSA shortly after the start of the Match.

The national goalkeeper had crossed the field in mufti and then disappeared into the dressing room whence he emerged in full football togs five minutes later.

That he did not is, somehow reassuring.

At any rate, the TECSA performance in the second half was far better than the first.


Steve Pierre and Renwick Williams managed to assert themselves quite often in midfield and Godfrey Harris and Marlon Charles put the Essex defence under pressure for longish periods.

Too often, though, they failed to accept the half chance and only once did Bain have to extend himself to prevent a high drive from Harris from entering the net.

TECSA's best chances came from their corners which Kenwyn Cooper contrived to drop agonizingly close to the goalkeeper but never near enough for him to make his.

The Essex defence held firm although for one period they were themselves content to "get rid, get rid!" without seeking to start the attack from defence as they had been doing before.

The eventual result — TECSA 0 Essex 1 — is an accurate reflection of the standard of play as well as the relative strength of the two teams.

Essex will certainly be near the top of the Championship Division standings next year, all thing being equal.