The Shaun Hocking Memorial Trophy will spend the next twelve months in the Borough Park Boardroom after a mixed Reds XI retained the cup with a comfortable win at the County Ground.
And as well as the match providing a good work out for the respective teams, the 150 strong crowd raised over £600 for British Polio – the Hocking family’s chosen charity.
The Reds team, made up by nine members of the Development Squad, six seniors and a trialist goalkeeper dominated much of the first half and established a three goal lead by the interval.
Charlie Bowman scored twice in the opening twenty minutes and the hosts, at that point, were left to rue what might have been. They could have been in front after just two minutes had it not been for Danny Eccles who pushed a firm shot over the bar.
Bowman got his first after thirteen minutes turning to stab a shot beyond Tom Fowler after Dav Symington provided the assist.
The same two players combined for the second goal seven minutes later with Symington crossing from the left on this occasion. He again picked out Bowman whose well directed header doubled the lead.
Symington wasn’t quite firing on all cylinders, with his shooting awry, but he laid on another assist for Reds third – calmly slotted home from twelve yards by Robbie Hebson in the thirty-eighth minute.
Teenage centre half Tom Skinner met a Conor Tinnion cross but he headed against the cross bar as another chance went begging.
Both sides were guilty of sloppy defending in the early stages of the second half and were duly punished.
Whitehaven introduced wholesale changes at the break and the new line-up made a positive start. They won the ball deep in Workington territory and Kian Goulding accepted the gift before guiding the ball beyond Eccles.
But Reds restored their three goal advantage after fifty five minutes when Whitehaven, backed into a corner, lost possession enabling Tinnion to side foot home a fourth.
When the goal-bound Symington was brought to ground in the area, the referee penalised Tom Powell’s awkward tackle by awarding a spot-kick. Symington took the penalty himself but his low shot was kept out by Fowler’s unconventional save.
Fowler was keeping the score line respectable, thwarting Jack Burns and Hebson with fine saves in a matter of seconds, but he was beaten again ten minutes from time. Thomas Houghton had just been introduced as a substitute and made an immediate impact by scoring the fifth after another swift Reds’ raid down the left.
Such was Burns’ contribution as a second half substitute, he was selected as the man-of-the-match with his cameo appearance appreciated by home and away fans alike.
He wasn’t the only teenager to impress with the Reds’ youngsters all doing enough to enhance their growing reputations.
Apart from the reliable Fowler in goal, Whitehaven fielded Nathan Dryden, Shaun Carter, Stefan Scott and Owen Durham who have all spent time with Reds in recent times.
- The trophy was presented to Conor Tinnion by Whitehaven official, Neil Robinson, after the Reds skipper completed his first ninety minutes of the summer.
Team: Danny Eccles (Scott Paden Gale), Robbie Hebson, Dan Whitehead, Aidan Howarth, Tom Skinner, Ceiran Casson (Harry Atkinson), Dav Symington, Brad Hubbold (Jack Burns), Charlie Bowman (Thomas Houghton), Carl Lightfoot (Ciaran Booty), Conor Tinnion.
Referee: Adam Pattison
Steve Durham’s post-match interview with Steven Rudd