Ormer FC well and truly put Guernsey on the footballing map, as they beat a strong and well drilled Kidderminster Harriers academy side in The Junior Premier League National Cup Final. The game was a repeat of last year’s final where the Islanders were beaten 4.3 in a see-saw match that eventually went the way of the professional outfit.
The game could not have had a more perfect setting, as Aston Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground would host this year’s final. The facilities are what you would expect of a top professional club and the playing surface resembled a bowling green, which these two quality footballing sides would relish. A large crowd assembled to watch this encounter and Ormer had a healthy following from both Guernsey and parts of the UK to call upon for support.
The opening fifteen minutes of the match would not have been in Ormers script, as they got off to the worse start possible and found themselves behind after only three minutes. Kidderminster scored with their first corner of the match and in truth it was probably self-inflicted from an Ormer perspective. As the corner was swung over Ormer keeper Jack Hamon palmed the ball back out into his own six-yard box, the ball fell to Ben Stevens who’s first time touch got away from him and fell kindly to Kidderminster’s Impressive Sebastien Adams. He took the shot first time as the ball flew high into the net from close range and in the process, gave Hamon no chance to react, 1.0 Kidderminster after 3 minutes.
The Harriers were that little bit sharper to the ball in the opening stages and seemed to settle into the game far better than Ormer. Although Kidderminster zipped the ball around the lush pitch and not giving Ormer a second to settle on the ball, they were not creating any opening’s or causing the Guernsey boys any further trouble in the way of goal scoring opportunities.
As Ormer started to grow into the game they would see themselves create numerous chance’s to draw level. The first chance of note fell to Alex Roussel after some fine work from Brandon Weysom. It was Weysom who cut in from the left and rolled the ball to Roussel 20 yards out, he tried a first-time effort which he sliced wide of the far post.
Keene Domaille would go close with two efforts in the space of a few minutes. The first attempt was when Brandon Wallace sneaked a pass to him on the edge of the area, with back to goal he swivelled and made Kidderminster keeper Logan Berridge pull off a fine save with his feet. The next chance for Domaille was a low drive across Berridge, which he again made a comfortable block with his legs and again to safety.
Ormer could have then found themselves two behind and in fairness should have been. One thing that was becoming apparent with Kidderminster was their quality of delivery into Ormers penalty area. This is where they so nearly got a second goal, Henry Thompson curled over an inch perfect cross from the left-hand side, which was put on a plate for Louis Mitchell to head home. The striker did not have to break stride as he meet Thompson’s quality ball, he let Ormer off the hook by heading straight into Hamon’s hands from close range.
Domaille would then create a golden chance for himself to bring the game all square again, only this time Berridge would thwart him once more. Domaille used all his strength and power to skip past the last man and take him one on one with Berridge, he set himself and struck the ball well only for Berridge to get down and push the ball around his far post.
The Guernsey boy’s possession and pressure would finally tell as Brandon Wallace would get himself on the scoresheet. After struggling to find a way past Berridge, Domaille would turn provider for Wallace and Ormers first goal of the afternoon. He held the ball up well and played a lovely weighted pass out to Wallace, who ran in on goal and with loads of composure fired across Berridge and into the far corner (1.1) after 28 minutes.
The Ormers were finishing the half with a spring in their step and were looking much the stronger side. Harry Tough had other ideas other than going into half time on level terms. He pulled a high ball out the air, spun off his marker with his back to goal and smashed a left foot shot from 20 yards out that Berridge could only watch, as it just cleared his bar.
Domaille would get one more chance to beat Berridge before the half was out. Joe Adams played a lovely delicate through ball to Domaille, but this time through eagerness drilled the ball wide of the far post and out for a goal kick. This brought a pulsating half to a close with the scores all square (1.1).
Ormer came out for the second half with plenty of pace and purpose to their play, which would keep Kidderminster on the back foot for large periods of the half. Domaille tried a high looping effort from distance that looked easy for Berridge to deal with, but he made his first mistake of the match that almost cost the Harriers, Berridge seemed to take his eye off the ball at the last minute and then somehow out of nothing had to push the ball onto the bar to prevent a goal.
The next chance should have seen Ormer go in front after some fine forward play by Domaille. He burst clear of the chasing yellow defenders and passed the ball into the box to the unmarked Finley Du Port who had all the time in the world to pick his spot, he completely scuffed his left foot shot that in the end barely reached the goal, but still somehow hit the foot of the post.
The warning signs were there for all to see, as Ormer cranked up the pressure and started to play their usual brand of attractive pass and move football. With almost a carbon copy of their last attack, Domaille passed the ball to the far post after great support play by Du Port, this time he went for power and made Berridge push the ball over his bar for an Ormer corner.
Ormer would finally take a well-deserved lead as Wallace assisted Domaille to put the Guernsey boys in front for the first time in the match. Wallace drove down the left and switched the ball inside to Domaille’s feet, he held the ball up well by the penalty spot, before turning and firing into the bottom corner, 2.1 Omer 58 minutes.
If this did not take the wind out of Kidderminster’s sails, only 60 seconds later Ormer would put the game out of reach as they took total control of the game. Archie Drillot who was having a fine game at left back, created a fantastic overlap for himself as he powered down the touchline and put in a quality ball for Domaille, who quite simply took a touch and finished with ease, 3.1 Ormer 59 minutes.
Ormer started to cut loose in the last 10 minutes and their superior fitness levels really started to take a hold on Kidderminster’s tiring team. It come as no great shock to the watching crowd that Ormer would score again. Wallace got put through on goal from a clinical Adams pass, as he skipped clear Kidderminster defender Nathan Appleton managed to make the ground back up, only for man of the match Wallace to unselfishly pass sideways for Domaille to tap home from close range, 4.1 Ormer 68 minutes.
The final whistle blew to massive cheers from the players and travelling supporters, as Ormer FC had become The Junior Premier League National Cup Champions 2017. The Guernsey boy’s attentions would now turn to The Junior Premier League’s National League Play-Off’s next weekend. Where six regional league champions come face to face and look to become The Junior Premier League Champions.