Past Masters prove there is no substitute for experience

Foresters Past Masters v Foresters in aid of the Katie Walker cancer trust
Foresters Past Masters v Foresters in aid of the Katie Walker cancer trust

Forester Athletic Past Masters 5 Forester Athletic XI 5

(Past Masters win 5-3 on penalties)

Both teams were at full strength for the eagerly anticipated match at Matson Road, and it was the current players who started the strongest and fastest but were unable to break down the excellent defensive shape kept by the Past Masters who got into the game and began to look dangerous going forward.

It was no surprise to the Past Masters that they took the lead when a great run by Chris Milner was picked out by Zipfel with a cross that Milner headed past the stranded Guy Leddy.

The current team responded with a fortunate equaliser when Joel Rollinson poked home a rebound after Mark Searle in the Masters goal had saved the original effort.

Within minutes Luke Reynolds had put the current team ahead when his long range shot deceived Searle and ended in the net.

Thinking that the floodgates would now open the current players were stunned when they were unable to stop the yellow tide in full flow and were left chasing shadows as Chris Wray applied the finishing touch to a nine-man move to leave the scores level at the break.

The second half started spectacularly when Ryan Stockdale fired a volley into the bottom corner from outside the box guaranteeing him the goal of the game.

The Masters were not phased by this and the competitive edge came out which resulted in referee Ferguson having no option but to reach for the notebook on several occasions.

Wray again equalised for the Masters who within minutes were ahead again when Milner added another.

Then the Masters were down to 10 men after a second yellow to Avison. With a man down the current players went in search of goals and Rollinson found an equaliser.

More pressure was applied and with six minutes to go Paul Grainger headed in from a corner for a 5-4 lead and the current team celebrated what was looking like victory.

Referee Ferguson had other ideas though and when Colin Nalton was cynically taken down from behind he had no alternative than to award the penalty kick which Colin Bailey despatched into the bottom corner to leave a draw and send the game to the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

With the Past Masters converting their first penalty, Grainger stepped up for the current players and placed his penalty neatly into the top corner - of the allotments - for the only miss of the shoot-out as all the remaining players scored the ensure the trophy was coming back to The Friendly Forester with the Past Masters name on it.

Thanks to all who turned out on the day, players and spectators, thanks to Bob Ferguson for refereeing and thanks to all who helped make the day a success when £250 was raised for the Katie Walker Fund.