Twenty-eight teams enter the area round and this was whittled down to 8 teams for the finals, competing in two leagues of 4. Gateway got off to a good start, gradually dominating in midfield against Woodside. There were plenty of chances created and Will scored from a cross, near to the corner, that ricocheted off the post and keeper to give a 1-0 lead at half-time. James and Cormac had been brought into to bolster the squad and they made an immediate impact working industrially in midfield. Dylan scored a neatly worked move and James added the 3rd, scoring from distance with a well placed shot.
In the second match it was Gerrards Cross who dominated the early stages playing some good flowing football. They opened up space and were clinical with their finishing. In the second half Gateway staged a revival. Jack Wa fired in from distance and Dylan equalised with just 3 minutes remaining. There were further chances at each end but it was GX who grabbed a last minute winner.
Due to other results, Gateway needed to win their final group match against Farnham Common, to progress to the semi-finals. Farnham had several skilful players who carried the ball at speed and put Gateway under sustained pressure. Gateway defended keenly but eventually Farnham scored. The team did not give up and Harry raised Gateway’s hopes when he scored early in the second half. Gateway pushed forward in a very exciting match and should had grabbed the winner on several occasions but Farnham’s keeper made some superb saves to secure the point they needed.
Well done to the Gateway squad for their exceptional behaviour and team spirit; the competition organisers have contacted all of the teams involved to compliment them on their determination and sense of fair-play.
Squad Freddie B, Zac R, Jack Wa, Joe N, Dylan B, Jack We, Harry O, Will N, James M, Cormac.