Stranger Cup Winners 2013

At the 3rd time of asking in the last 5 seasons Sylvans finally got their hands back on the Stranger Cup after a deserved 2-0 win at the Corbet Field. It was probably not the reds best performance of the season but the young reds side showed all of the qualities that are required to win this sort of match. The final whistle not only begun the celebrations but hopefully signaled the start of something special out west.

Sylvans were at it from the start, the much brighter side with some good spells of possession. The midfield trio of Aaron Fernrache, Matt Le Prevost and Luke Staples bossing proceeding in the middle of the park. However, for all of their possession and nice play, it was Vale Rec who were creating the clearest chances on the break. Matt Roland did well to snuff out an early chance and when Rec looked certain to score they blazed over when some composure was required.

The breakthrough goal came after 25 minutes. Euan Melrose picked up the ball on the corner of the Rec box. He dribbled inside across the box before firing a scuffed shot back across goal and out of the reach of Jody Bisson to give the reds the lead.

Rec responded well though and put the reds goal under some pressure. They were hitting the reds on the break and looking very dangerous from set pieces as they looked to use the aerial advantage given to them by ex-red 6ft plus Naro Zimmerman. The reds held on till half time and that was important.

The second half was more open, both side going in search of goals, Sylvans this time creating the lion's share of the chances. The game looked as though it might turn mid way through the second half when the otherwise impeccable Ashley Williams gave away a second half penalty. The Sylvans No.1 atoned superbly for his mis-judgement producing a match winning double save from the spot kick and rebound.

Two Goal Euan MelroseWilliams made further stops to deny Rec an equaliser, a superb one-on-one stop with his legs and a great stop at his near post just two of those.

Rec had to go for it now and they threw everything in to attack including centre half Zimmerman. That left them open at the back and after missing some good openings the reds finally sealed the deal about half way in to what seemed like an eternity of added time.

Captain Jonny Loaring superbly released Melrose from inside the centre circle. Melrose burst down the left wing cutting in on goal and planted an unstoppable finish in to the far corner to seal the victory.

Goalkeeper Ashley Williams picked up the man-of-the-match award for his stupendous double save from the penalty, arguably as much of a match winning moment as Melrose's (pictured above right with the trophy) two goals.