Franklin United were ready to play against the only team to have beaten them in the first round, East Coast Bays. Franklin were struggling for players due to several factors but were still able to put out a very competitive team. Franklin quickly settled into their routine style and soon took the lead and were creating some good chances one of which led to a penalty after a clumsy challenge. Up stepped Simarpreet Dhindsa and hit it low into the corner but seemed to lack any power which allowed the East Coast goalkeeper to make a good save. This lifted East Coast Bays and they created a number of good chances until finally one was scored past Kaenan Grey our 14-year old stand in goalkeeper for injured keeper Max Blacket. At this point the game was fairly even and 15 -year old Dean Petersen was sent on up front and soon found himself in a one on one with the keeper only to be stopped by another very good save. Up stepped Fraser Smith and slotted in another goal after some nice lead up work to make it 2-1 to Franklin. East Coast Bays responded a short time after. After the break, East Coast Bays seemed to have grown an extra leg and dominated the first 25 mins and added another 3 goals to lead 2-5. Franklin were still in the game and when Max Wallen scored making the score 3-5 it looked like Franklin were in with a chance. East Coast Bays soon put paid to that with an excellent volley that once again gave Kaenan our keeper no chance. Franklin made some minor positional changes and pushed an extra player forward and also reintroduced another 14-year old Marshall Robertson to the game. Franklin managed to pull one goal back but left some large gaps at the back which led to some desperate defending and good goalkeeping to keep East Coast Bays strikers out. Franklin were still creating chances but poor finishing was letting them down.
Final score 4-6 to East Coast Bays, a fair reflection on the game. Regardless of the final result, Franklin can’t be overtaken at the top of the league and remain Champions. Big thanks to the 3 under 15 Drury players who stepped into assist and certainly never let the team down.
Player of the day Fraser Smith.