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By Andrew Finch 24.07.09

Walton Casuals 2-2 Molesey
(Molesey win 8-7 on penalties)

Molesey’s pre-season preparations continued with victory in the second Mick Burgess Memorial Trophy against neighbours Walton Casuals on Saturday.

A dominant first half display from the Moles saw them go in at the interval with a 2-0 lead courtesy of a double strike from Matt Baxter – his 5th and 6th pre-season goals in just his third outing – before a flurry of second half substitutions affected the flow of the game and Casuals fought back with goals from Craig Lewington and Gavin Bolger.  The moles emerged 8-7 victors from a marathon penalty shoot-out.

It was the Moles who did all the early running, with Moses Spencer and Paul Corss both having half chances to put the Moles in the lead, before Luke Edgehill met a deep James McShane cross at the far post but saw his header hit the side netting.

Edgehill had another chance shortly afterwards, and after cutting inside Michael Cayford saw his left footed drive take a deflection which was acrobatically saved by Aaron French.

The Moles midfield were hunting in packs high up the field and on one of the frequent occasions they nicked the ball of a Casuals boot Daniel Coombes played a terrific through ball to Baxter who, without looking up hit a volley from 20+ yards that sailed over French and landed in the top corner to give the Moles a deserved lead.

Two minutes later Baxter doubled Molesey’s advantage, as the unmarked Spencer met Steve Brown’s deep free-kick and pulled it back across goal to give Baxter the simplest of tap-ins.

Casuals had the opportunity to pull one back within a minute as ex Moles James Rose went down rather softly under a challenge from a clearly disappointed triallist, Genc Shabanaj, however the impressive Sheil Ceesay guessed the right way and kept out Rose’s spot kick.

It was another ex Mole who came closer still for Casuals at the start of the second half, as Anthony Gale saw a curling strike with his weaker right foot come back off the post, before a deflected 25 yard from-kick from Lewington left Ceesay wrong footed and gave Casuals hope as it flew into the net.

Ten minutes later they were back on level terms as Bolger rose unchallenged at a corner to head home from close range.

Substitute Michael Riggon nearly restored Molesey’s advantage moments later having been put through by man-of-the-match Brown, but saw his effort kept out by French, and the final action of the 90 minutes saw a strong claim for a Molesey penalty turned down when Spencer appeared to be bundled over off the ball.

And so onto penalties – the manner in which Casuals were victorious last season – and after all ten opening penalties were converted, the shoot-out went to sudden death.  Molesey saw a glimmer of hope as Casuals’ 7th penalty was well kept out by Ceesay, giving Andy Graves the opportunity to play the hero, however after being ordered to re-take his original kick – which sailed into the top corner – French pulled off a splendid save to keep out his retake.

Ceesay saved his third penalty of the afternoon on round nine, and Spencer slotted home to ensure that Brown was the man to lift the trophy, which was fittingly presented by Mr Burgess’s son.

 

Molesey line up:  Sheik Ceesay, Genc Shabanaj (Dan Lucas), Luke Elliott, Ollie Dicks, Moses Spencer, Steve Brown [C], Luke Edgehill (Andy Graves), Daniel Coombes (Joe Pratley-Jones), Matt Baxter, Paul Cross (Michael Riggon), James McShane (Sam Lampard).
Subs (not used): Jake Jenkins, Ross Defore (both carrying injuries)

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