Surf sail into final after fine win

Jul 28, 2023 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

Surf Select 4

Linfield 0

Report by Joel Bell

It was all to play for at the Warren in Portstewart today, Linfield took on a strong Surf Select side in the semi-final of the Globe in the Minor section. The first chance of the game came for the Americans, when Mason Curtis played a lovely ball through to Alvaro Garrido, unfortunately for him his shot travelled wide of the post. Linfield had a chance of their own when Noah Henderson gave Ben Mercer gave the ball, just on the edge of the box. However, his effort flew the bar.

Surf Select began to pile on the pressure to find that all important opening goal. Jesse Ebere was played through only to be pulled down by the goalkeeper. Referee Sam Naylor awarded the USA side a freekick just on the edge of the box. Zy’ Aire Champayne kept his cool and bent the ball around the 5 man Linfield wall. It smashed off the post and rolled into the net. This gave the squad the energy to push on for a second, and it paid off when Brecken Evenson picked up the ball on the edge of the six yard box. He slipped it past Matthew Belshaw in the Linfield goal.

Linfield responded to this with a chance of their own. Mercer played the ball out wide to Cameron Kennedy on the left hand side who then played the ball into the box. Henderson then had a shot at goal, only to be denied by Emiliano Pena who was between the sticks for Surf Select today.

Champayne tried his efforts from outside the box, his shot was blocked for a corner. The number 14 (Champayne) then crossed the ball which found the head of Mason Curtis who caught it in the air and finished it off into the free, empty net.

Surf could have added a fourth, but a brilliant hand from Belshaw cleared any danger. Linfield wanted to grab a goal back and Kennedy, with great skill, worked very hard down the left hand side, however the cross could only make it into the hands of Pena. Riley Gilmour did well to catch the ball on the edge of the box. He laid it back to Ryley Sloan who failed to hit the target. A great effort by the young number eleven. Just before the break, Henderson ran from the halfway line and neatly took it round three members of the opposition. With no one showing, he took his shot, but it was comfortably saved by the American goalkeeper.

Linfield were the far stronger side in the second half. The first real chance came as Jamie Hamilton played his free kick into the box. In the midst of the scramble the final shot came from Zach Lowry, which didn’t manage to hit the target, the Surf defence did well to keep it out. Completely against the run of play, Curtis picked out Champayne who tapped it home to make sure Surf booked their place in the final.

The blues tried their best to get something from the game. Alex McClatchey played through Kennedy who smashed it goalwards. Pena saved it and the follow up from McClatchey who hammered it in, however the referee was quick to signal for offside and that was the last meaningful phase of play as Surf secured their place in the final at Anderson Park.