17/18 May 2008 @ Haslemere HC
|Sun 18 May - PB 13:00 - Final|
Andrew Just 26m pc 48m pc, Henry Mumme-Young 41m fg
|3 - 2|
(1 - 0)
Ramiz Inga 57m fg, Dave Beales 60m fg
Report by Gareth Evans, Tournament Director
A pulsating final saw London Wayfarers hang on to win the Playoff and a place in next season’s South Premier League. After just two minutes Chris Binns pulled off a great save to deny Wayfarers the lead. The first half was very cagey with little to choose between the two sides, but with Wayfarers winning more penalty corners. It was from their sixth corner of the half that Andrew Just squeezed his shot in the bottom corner to give Wayfarers a 1 – 0 lead at half time.
Worthing had a golden chance to equalise three minutes into the second half when they were awarded a penalty stroke after Bryan Lock had been impeded when one on one with the keeper. However, Alex Warner’s stroke hit the crossbar. Wayfarers extended their lead after 41 minutes when good interplay in the circle left Henry Mumme-Young with the simplest of tap ins. Worthing were then reduced to ten men with a yellow card for Alex Warner. A penalty corner in the 48th minute seemed to sew the game up for Wayfarers when Andrew Just scored with an unstoppable drag flick, but Worthing had other ideas. A brilliant advantage by the umpire allowed the ball to reach Ramiz Inga at the back post who slotted the ball home to reduce the deficit on 57 minutes (Worthing’s third short handed goal of the tournament). Restored to eleven players Worthing were the stronger side and they set up a grandstand finish when Dave Beales applied the final touch after a scramble in the Wayfarers circle to make it 3 – 2.
The last 10 minutes were frenetic with action at both ends and Chris Binns pulling off another spectacular save in the Worthing goal. Wayfarers were reduced to ten and then nine men as they stretched but did not break in defence. Wayfarers held out for a victory in one of the most exciting playoff games of recent years.