Franklin headed to Seddon fields on Saturday evening, 29 July, knowing a tough task was ahead.
Western Springs team scattered with National League and NZ Rep Players really showed their class.
Right from kick off they showed their intentions testing Franklin keeper Glen Pascoe.
The first 25 minutes were pretty even with Franklin soaking up the Western Springs’ attacks although it was only a matter of time before the lightning pace of the Springs created their first goal. A cross came in from the left, the midfielder let go a fierce shot which Pascoe could only parry into the path of the on-coming striker to score.
Franklin seemed to let this affect their concentration as two more quick goals came in the space of five minutes. However they regrouped and created a number of chances. A superb through ball from the very talented young Jake McCoy found striker Chris Abbott, he turned his defender inside out before letting fly a rasping shot that had the keeper beaten only to see it rebound off the crossbar to safety. This seemed to lift Franklin and two minutes later they had the ball in the net, when Mark Thompson made a great run from midfield to receive an excellent pass and finish in style, only to be denied by the referee’s assistant flag for off side.
Western Springs then went on the attack and added two more goals before half time. Their pace, skill and movement continuing to cause the Franklin’s back line problems.
Half Time Score 5-0
The second half saw Franklin on the attack. Changes were made to try and deny the pacey Springs’ wide men the space to work in. With a good passage of play, the ball found its way to Chris Abbott on the edge of the Springs’ box. He let fly, the ball taking a slight deflection and beating the Springs’ keeper to claw one back for the away team. Western Springs seemed angered by this and attacked again with accuracy and pace to score again. Franklin though to their credit did not throw in the towel and scored another when Marc Lyndsey scored from 25 yards. The keeper having a howler as the ball squirmed through his hands and rolled slowly over the goal line.
Pascoe in the Franklin goal made a few excellent saves as Springs tightened the screws, with the defence tiring under relentless pressure Springs added three more goals before the final whistle.
Franklin United came up against a very quick and talented Western Springs side who showed they are definitely a premier league side.
Final Score 9-2. Next week’s game against Mt Albert, 3pm at Anderson Park.