Laxey created a little piece of history on Boxing Day when goals from Ross Williamson (2) and Neil Shooter gave them victory in the Railway Cup for the first time since 1930. In fact this was the club’s first major honour since they won the Hospital Cup 47 years ago so all in all there are not too many who can remember us winning much !!!
After heavy overnight rain, the pitch at Castletown was a little heavy but the Greens went out determined to give the supporters a game to remember. In fact we so nearly had a dream start when Gary Williams’ looping cross hit the far post inside the first minute. St Marys immediately went up the other end of the pitch and created a half chance of their own in an exciting first few moments.
Ross Williamson almost broke the deadlock with a powerful header but Max Thomas saved well. Laxey appeared to get distracted however and lost their way a little bit, probably due to the appearance of the 3 bears in full Laxey kit on the sideline !!!
On 17 minutes St Marys took the lead when a deep corner was headed back across his own goal by Cowin and Langridge pounced to head the ball home with the aid of a deflection.
The Greens did not let this affect them and they equalised on the half hour when Williamson surged into the area and hammered a superb low shot past the keeper.
The remainder of the half saw chances come and go for both sides with Callow going close for Laxey and the ever alert Brown clearing off his own line from a St Marys effort. Daniel Wade also made an outstanding reflex save when a Dixon free kick was deflected whilst Reilly headed against the bar as Laxey rode their luck somewhat.
Early in the second half ‘Bomber’ was brought on and Barry Gaffney switched to right back. Gaffers almost put Laxey in the lead with a tremendous long range effort but the keeper tipped the ball round the post for a corner. From the resultant set piece Laxey took the lead when Johnny Callow’s dead ball found the head of Williamson who stooped to head home to prompt wild celebrations on the sidelines !
St Marys showed just why they have been the top Manx team for much of the past decade when they equalised within minutes. Paul Wright totally miss hit a cross which appeared to be going out of play, but the wind held it up and although Daniel Wade appeared to be fouled when trying to collect it, the ref allowed play to go on. The ball broke to Langy but his shot from only a few yards was blocked on the line. Reilly followed up to hammer in another shot which was again blocked but there was no stopping the 3rd effort from Paddy Horne who made it 2-2.
Laxey showed great spirit to keep going and were rewarded with the decisive goal with just under 20 minutes to go and yet again it was a set piece which did the damage. Brown’s far post corner was punched clear to Shooter but he neatly created room for himself before curling a brilliant effort into the far top corner. Yet again the crowd erupted and a mini pitch invasion ensued, and this time the greens held firm. Wadey was called upon to make another couple of great saves whilst Theobald, Thomas and Brown all made decisive interventions to snuff out St Marys attacks.
Laxey showed just how much they have progressed in the past 12 months as they played down the clock with Travers, Williamson and Bomber taking it in turns to take the ball into the corners. The final whistle was eventually blown and the celebrations began as Laxey had won a major trophy at last !!!
Man of the Match – Ross Williamson was his usual robust self and also weighed in with 2 goals, whilst Olly was superb at the back and Wadey magnificent in goals. It is impossible to split these 3 who I felt provided the backbone for the tremendous victory. Special mentions also to John Callow, Barry Gaffney, Neil Shooter, Jim Travers, Keith Brown, David Thomas, Gary Williams, Paul Thomas, Jason Price, Stephen Cretney, Steve Moran, Paul Bridson, Peter Kinnish, the 3 bears, the rest of our amazing supporters etc etc etc !!