Fulham All Stars lifted the Shooting Star CHASE Cup after a 7-5 win over Sealand All Stars at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon.
The game was played in aid of the club’s official charity, Shooting Star CHASE, a local children’s hospice service who provide expert care for local families with a child or teenager with a life-limiting condition.
A little way away from their Cottage heydays, a whole host of former Fulham stars turned out for the Whites, while Sealand’s side included the likes of England rugby ace Ugo Monye and X Factor contestant Kye Sones.
Led by a three-pronged managerial team of Les Strong, Tony Gale and Simon Morgan, Fulham were in front with less than a minute on the clock. Mark Pembridge floated a ball over the top and, after hesitation in the Sealand defence, Barry Hayles - still playing for Truro City at the ripe old age of 41 - nipped in to slot home.
Fulham Foundation staff member Ryan Moore fizzed a free-kick just wide at the other end, before Sealand drew level on eight minutes when the powerful Monye ghosted past Andy Melville and Chris Coleman and beat Dave Beasant.
On 13 minutes, Fulham’s Paul Peschisolido skipped round goalkeeper Bobby White, but saw his shot from a tight angle hit the outside of the post, before Beasant tipped a header from Monye over the bar.
Sealand were in front on 16 minutes when Phil Eceranno beat the offside trap and poked the ball through the legs of Beasant. But Fulham equalised two minutes later when Pembridge’s corner was nodded towards the net by Neil ‘Smudger’ Smith with Sones only able to head the ball into the roof of the net.
Monye had his second of the game to make it 3-2 on 22 minutes when he collected a Somes pass and sent a fierce drive past Beasant at the near post.
It was 4-2 to Sealand on 34 minutes. The impressive Monye again caused the Fulham defence problems and when the ball eventually found its way to Moore on the edge of the area, he curled a delicious effort past Beasant.
Fulham reduced the deficit on 36 minutes when Hayles controlled a cross and fired past Great Britain handball ace White and it was 4-4 on 41 when Peschisolido collected a pass from substitute Gordon ‘Ivor’ Davies and slotted home.
A minute before the break, Sealand got their noses back in front, Mohammed Diakite bursting through, bundling past Beasant and smashing into an empty net.
At the start of the second half, Beasant tipped a rising shot over from Monye, but it was 5-5 on 52 minutes when Andrejs Stolcers’ cross eventually fell to Peschisolido who scored from a few yards out for his second of the match.
Fulham were back in front on 65 minutes when Motspur Park Security Manager Leighton Jones tapped in after great work by Hayles.
Beasant made a fine save to deny Temi Williams, brother of JLS star Oritse, on 69 minutes, while Hayles went through but hit the post at the other end as he looked for his hat-trick.
Adam Green forced a good save from White shortly after but the Fulham man made it 7-5 on 80 minutes when he smashed a half-volley into the right-hand corner of the net from 12 yards after good work down the right by Brian Greenaway. It was to prove the final goal from an entertaining fixture down on the banks of the Thames.
Afterwards, Gale said: “It was a good game for a good cause and it was lovely to see some of the old boys. I must give a special mention to Brian Greenaway, who’s 55, and Ivor, who’s 56.
"It was my first delve into management and it was easy, I don’t know what all the fuss is about! No, it was fun with Les and Morgs and it was a great crowd. There’s no better place to be than the Cottage when the sun’s shining. My man of the match would be Barry Hayles, who scored two and is still really fit. He got the hump when we substituted him twice, mind!”
Morgan added: “It was a great game for a great cause and there was a lot of laughter. The hardest bit was getting them out on the pitch as there was such a good atmosophere in the dressing room – all the old jokes came out.”
Kit Symons, Fulham Under-21s Manager, said: “It was brilliant to see all the old boys again and it was a really good atmosphere. I was pleased to come on and make a difference; they have some real fit guys in their team so I was pleased just to keep up with them. There was a lot of good play out there and it felt just like the old days.”
Sealand manager John Scales, who played the first half, stated: “I loved it. I haven’t played at Craven Cottage for a long time and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought we played really well, Ugo Monye was especially good. But the main thing was supporting the kids and raising some money.”
England and British Lions rugby player Monye stated: “It was nice to blow a few cobwebs out as I haven’t been in training for a week or so, but it was amazing to be involved for a great cause today on a surface like that. I’ll feel a lot better tomorrow than I would after a rugby match and it was really good fun day to be a part of.”
Shooting Star CHASE provide expert care at Christopher’s in Guildford and Shooting Star House in Hampton, Middlesex. To donate, text FFCF05 followed by either £1, £2, £5 or £10 to 70070.
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