League Cup For The Taking

WESTFIELD are just 90 minutes away from securing their first silverware in five years when they take on Epsom & Ewell tomorrow night (5 May ’17) in the League Cup, writes Andy Fitzsimons.

After securing a highly respectable runners up position in the Combined Counties League Premier Division to Hartley Whitney last month, Westfield are now primed to move out of the shadow and into the limelight to be the team to beat.

Relaxed: Westfield boss Tony Reid. Picture by Andy Fitzsimons

Tomorrow’s cup final, to be played at Windsor FC, will also herald a significant marker in the sand for Yellows’ boss Tony Reid, who is seeking his first trophy as a manager after previously taking charge of Eastbourne Town and Walton & Hersham; and it’s one that he doesn’t intend to let slip through his fingers.

With the exception of goalkeeper Gary Ross, who is serving the final match of a three-match suspension, Reid hopes to have a near full outfield squad available for the trip to Stag Meadow on Friday (5 May).

However, The Yellows’ boss remains tight-lipped about whether or not he will have to go with a makeshift goalkeeper again, after defender Dale Burnham has stepped up to fill the void in recent weeks.

And while the goalkeeping predicament is not something that can be easily overlooked, Reid believes that it will all come good on the day.

“As a player, I was fortunate to win trophies and play in cup finals, but it’s quite different as a manager.

“This is my fourth season in management, and I have spent a large portion of that time trying to get clubs back on their feet and into a healthy league position, which I believe I have achieved.

“Last season was all about survival. When I joined Westfield (2016), the task was to keep the club in the Premier Division, which I achieved with the group of players I had.

“This season, though, was always going to be about trying to win the league. It may have seemed far-fetched to some people at first, but when they saw the squad of players we had, they knew that I was serious.

“I’ve accepted that finishing runners-up in the league is still a big achievement, but now we have a real opportunity to win some silverware of our own and put Westfield firmly on the map,” added Reid.

Sharp-Shooter: Max Blackmore. Picture by Andy Fitzsimons

For some of players, it will be their first appearance in a cup final, but Reid confessed that his squad are quietly confident and up for the challenge.

And with striker Max Blackmore having already netted 43 goals for The Yellows this season, the scene is arguably set for him to finish off what he started last August and fire Westfield into the history books.

Having won two of his last three encounters against fourth-placed Epsom & Ewell, Reid believes that Westfield now has one of the best teams they’ve ever had and that his players have what it takes and win by four or five goals.

However, the former Kingstonian frontman is all too aware of Epsom’s directness and physical prowess, which will certainly test Westfield’s backline if they don’t stick to the script.

“I know what Epsom are about,” explained Reid, “they certainly wont make it easy for us; but the playing surface at Windsor will suit us as we like to get the ball down and play.

Focused: Westfield line-up ahead of their Premier Challenge (League) Cup final.  Picture by: Andy Fitzsimons

“The players know what they’re capable of and they just need to step across that line tomorrow and prove it, as people will be watching them next season.

“Above all, it would be great to win some silverware for the club and the committee, who have been superb this season” he added.

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