Hendon manager David Garbacz said beating AFC Flixton to clinch the Peter Morrison Cup was a ‘massive win’ and earned them a piece of silverware their efforts deserved over the season.
Peter Morrison Cup Final:
AFC Flixton 0 Hendon United A 2
Sunday, 17 May, 2015
Goals in each half from Dave Seitler saw Garbacz’s side retain the trophy at Oldham Athletic’s Boundary Park in what was an ultimately routine win, and he believes the win wrapped up a great season for his side. He said: “It was massive that we won today though as it would have been tough to take to finish runners-up in everything. We deserved to win some silverware and it puts the icing on what has been a great year again.
“We’ve had an excellent season. We’ve suffered many injuries to key players this year and to have challenged so strongly on all three fronts is a fine testament to the players who came in and the attitude and skill of the squad. It’s always much harder to defend a trophy than to win it once and we went mighty close to defending all three.”
After a cagey opening, Hendon goalkeeper Russell Corin was forced to produce two smart saves, though Seitler opened the scoring two minutes before the break when the overlapping Ben Kon produced a superb cross to the far post which was brilliantly met by Seitler’s diving header into the bottom corner.
Any pressure from the then quadruple-seeking Flixton was comfortably soaked up by Hendon’s back four, before Dovi Fehler fired just wide to double their advantage. However, the win was sealed eight minutes from time when with Flixton pushing high up the pitch in search of the equaliser, Seitler charged down their defender at around the halfway line before running half the length of the pitch and ending the run by slotting the ball under the on-rushing goalkeeper.
Saying his side were determined to right the wrongs of their Cyril Anekstein cup final display, Garbacz said: “The game plan and most of the pre-match team talk was probably already done for me due to that poor performance. We were determined that such a showing was not going to happen again and we put everything we did wrong that day, right today.
“We were far more aggressive for one, and challenged much stronger for midfield supremacy in particular. In defence we decided to defend deeper than usual so as to be able to soak up any pressure easier and not let them get in behind us where we have been susceptible in the past.
“We felt we ran out deserved winners. We soaked up some early Flixton pressure but took control of the game after Dave;s opening goal. We had numerous chances in the second half to make it really safe, but overall reduced Flixton to long balls down the channels and restricted them to few chances.
“We put on a superb show and it was great to see us back to our best. From goalkeeper Russell to our one substitute Avishai Kestenbaum, everyone played superbly and executed the game plan to perfection.
“Flixton were strong and competitive as we thought they would be. They were well organised but unfortunately for them came up second best today. They contributed to an excellent game, were always a threat and were extremely generous and gentlemanly in defeat.
“We wish them all the best in their remaining cup finals but for the moment we are delighted to have brought the Cup back down South with us.”
Looking ahead to next season, he said: “For the moment we are reveling in our win and enjoying this success. Once the dust has settled we will get together and have a look at the plans for next year.
“We have a brilliant nucleus of players and as long as we keep attracting new young talent like Dave Seitler and Dovi Fehler who we picked up this year, this squad will challenge for every competition they enter in year in year out.”
Flixton’s management had no complaints with the defeat, conceding the better team had won. Manager Stuart Delmont said: “We were beaten by the better team today, all over the park they were the superior side.”
Insisting being without four key players wasn’t an excuse for the loss, he said: “We can’t use that, we didn’t turn up today and our most reliable players all season had below par performances. The scoreline was a fair reflection on the game overall and Hendon are a very good footballing team who dominated key areas and deserved the win.
“Both myself and Tony Rosenberg (assistant manager) are proud but bitterly disappointed, next year we will learn from this mistake.”
Rosenberg said: “Hendon deserved it on the day. We reserved our worst performance of the season for what was the biggest game
“We have absolutely no excuses. We can’t blame the defeat on players not being available. We just didn’t perform on the day Hendon are a very well organised team. They play as a unit and have an understanding. They thoroughly deserved their win today.
“We are though extremely proud of our group. They’re a superb bunch who have given Stuart and myself 100 percent all season and we can’t ask for more than that.
“This is our third season and so far they have won seven trophies, with us having two more to play for. As to next year’s tournament, we always set out with the intention to win, whether we do or not only time will tell.”