"It was third time lucky for Kings Heath in the NFA Sunday Vase Semi-final. Having been the defeated side in both other semi's reached thus far, there was a
hunger and determination from the moment the players rolled up for Chalky's
pre-match political debate and cuppa. Pre-match hype had focused on two main
aspects of this cup-tie, firstly, was it Burton in Derbyshire or Burton Latimer,
and secondly, just what has happened to Martyn Allen??"
As soon as the first whistle went, it was obvious to the capacity crowd that this was an authentic cup-tie. Kings Heath certainly settled the quickest,
difficult conditions meant that this was not an occasion for the romantic
'beautiful game' type. Heath, kicking into the high wind, were looking fluent
and focused in attack. A couple of half-chances for Chris Davies and Marc
Jeffrey had been created in the first 10 minutes. The Dukes defence couldn't live
with the intelligent running of Davies, and with Jeffers providing the link from
midfield to attack, Davies should have put Heath two up just moments later.
Defending the un-known quantity of the Dukes attack, coupled with a strong wind,
the back four of Page, Blenco, Morin and Billingham never really looked in
trouble. 50/50 challenges were being won, and skipper Rob Page was leading the
line in a masterful fashion. The deadlock ws broken mid-way through the
first-half, and it was no suprise to see Chris Davies eventually stick one in
the proverbial onion bag. A long range strike from Jeffrey was parried by the
keeper, and Davies was on hand to force the ball into the empty net. The only
threat from Dukes came in the shape of a few corner kicks. A swirlling corner
from the left was cleared of the line by Glenn Billingham. Blenco picked up the
clearance, and fed Chris Davies, Davies reached the bye-line and his cross
reached Billingham who had run the length of the pitch, only to see his
goalbound effort blocked.
Half-time, Kings Heath United 1-0 Burton Dukes Arms
In gaffer Ivey's own words, it was the easiest half-time chat of his managerial
career. Heath simply picked up where they left off. There were a couple of minor
cases of over-committing players forward, but nothing that caused problems.
Urquhart made only one save through the whole 90 minutes. It was the other
Urquhart brother who became the driving force in the second half. "Josh was
always an outlet and relieved the pressure on numerous occasions", said Ivey. It
was only matter of time before Heath doubled their advantage and stamped their
full authority on the tie. The cleverest of clever free-kicks from Bob Tansley
saw a most welcome 2-0 scoreline. Matty Newton was lining up a free-kick on his
well educated left peg, with the Dukes keeper busy being lanky, Tansley suprised
everyone with a well-placed humdinger. Marc Jeffers was the scorer of the third
and final goal of the morning, a well-taken finish and a well-deserved goal.
Jeffers was put clear after great work from Josh Urquhart, with the on-coming
keeper bearing down, Jeffers calmly lifted the ball over the stopper and into
the empty net. A very cultured finish.
Full-time, Kings Heath United 3-0 Burton Dukes Arms, Heath march on to the County Cup Finals!
Kings Heath United (4-4-2):
L.Morin, G.Billingham, R.Page, N.Blenco
M.Newton, B.Tansley, A.Blenco, J.Urquhart