Newmachar United beat Culter Boys 2-1 to win the Frank Waugh Memorial Trophy. In what was an extremely close contest, a bit of individual quality from playmaker Alex Durrand was enough for Newmachar to get their hands on the trophy. The game looked destined for extra time until Durrand intervened with a wonderful 25-yard free kick to win the game. Before that, Newmachar took the lead within the first two minutes through striker Sam Garnham but that was cancelled out just a few minutes later by Culter winger Amir Panahi.
An even game was almost inevitable as both sides finished their league campaign with identical records. Both Culter and Newmachar played 15, won nine and lost six accumulating 27 points. Although before the final, Culter had the edge in the teams’ previous three meetings this season, winning two with Newmachar winning the other.
Despite that, Newmachar started the match in the ascendancy. Their winger Danny Milnes had already shot wide when they took the lead through Sam Garnham after two minutes. Garnham showed great pace and intelligence to cut across his defender - so he couldn’t touch him – and run from the half way line all the way to the edge of the penalty area before shooting past the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner.
They almost doubled their lead shortly after when Alex Durrand’s in-swinging free kick from the left missed everybody and narrowly whizzed wide of the back post.
But credit to Culter, they altered the flow of the game almost immediately and equalised after five minutes through Amir Panahi. The infectious nature of their manager Sid Merrakech clearly rubbed off on Panahi as he never gave up on a loose ball in the penalty area, despite how astute the angle was, and he managed to squeeze the ball into the net at the near post from almost the by-line.
The end-to-end nature of the opening minutes understandably subsided after Culter’s equaliser as both teams started to cancel each other out.
Good combination work on the left wing from Culter’s Jack McGregor and Ben Chapman allowed McGregor to shoot from the edge of the box but his effort was well held by Newmachar goalkeeper Lewis Johnson.
Newmachar then missed a golden opportunity to retake the lead just before half-time. A great team move resulted in Milnes producing a superb cross from the right but Garnham could only knock the ball over the ‘bar from six yards.
Just before the interval Culter striker Chapman’s Dad shouted to him:
“Ben, you’re standing offside every time.”
And the striker responded:
“I know I am doing it on purpose.”
Chapman stayed on the last man throughout the match, trying to exploit his pace. And standing offside and getting back onside when the ball is played to gain a yard advantage over the defender is a tactic Michael Owen used successfully for years.