Falcons beat Newcastle Panthers 6-0 in the preliminary round of the GFSN Cup.
With Paddy and Lewis unable to recover from injury in time for the trip, we were very grateful to welcome back Duncan who made the short trip over from Leeds after moving from London only a few weeks earlier. We also welcomed in Jordan for his first appearance since Paris. Unfortunately for him he was subjected to a rather quiet day in goal with Matt's broken finger restricting him to outfield duties.
After an early train ride up, Falcons arrived at the ground and were encouraged to see an understrength Panthers team take to the field. We made a good start, passing the ball around nicely, but there was a lack of composure in the first 20 minutes which meant that the goalkeeper was rarely tested. However, we got the scoring underway when Will was tripped in the area and then smashed in a penalty for his first Falcons goal*.
*Scuffed it so badly it barely made the back of the net.
Thankfully we got better as the half progressed and really good work from Rob on the left created the chance for Will to double his tally and the scoreline to 2-0 with ten minutes to go before the break. At the other end, there was very little to do as the opposition were outnumbered in midfield and both Ben and Kieran covered a tremendous amount of ground up the wings. Sadly, the half ended with another injury as Pete was forced off with a groin strain to make way for Jack.
Obviously an injury wouldn't stop the manager from having a moan at half time about the lack of composure in the final third. If that part of the pitch was sorted out, we would score four or more goals in the second half. And so it turned out that way.
Jimmy's commanding performance in the middle of the park set up two very similar goals for Rob and Kieran, both arriving on the left of the penalty area and hitting fantastic shots in the far corner with their right foot. And Will not only scored a hat trick after good work from Steffen but even pinched a fourth to make it 6-0.
And then, with everything going perfectly, the injury woes continued. With just ten minutes to go, Will went over on his ankle and a small fracture looks set to keep him out of action for a couple of months.
So, a fantastic win but the injuries do keep mounting up ahead of a busy autumn schedule of football. Despite that, it was a tremendous weekend on the Toon and we made sure we had a cracking night out before heading home on the Sunday. We will face London Romans FC in the next round on October 21st. Well done everyone!
Squad: Jordan, Matt, Pete (Jack 46), Duncan, Kieran, Ben, Steffen, Jimmy, Brady, Rob, Will
Scorers: Will (4), Rob, Kieran