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ConIFA WFC: Ellan Vannin 4-1 Cascadia @ Gander Green Lane, Sutton

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Ellan Vannin marked their return to ConIFA World Football Cup with a professional victory over tournament debutants Cascadia, winning 4-1 in their first finals tournament WFC match since losing the 2014 final.

The match was thoroughly end to end with Cascadia dominating the opening proceedings. Concord Rangers winger Maxwell Oldham was the focal point of many of Cascadia's attacks, indeed he almost helped his side into an early lead. One of his crosses deflected off an Ellan Vannin defender leading goalkeeper Daniel Kearns sprawling to stop the ball rolling into the net.

However, despite the early dominance, it was Corinthians AFC midfielder Stephen Whitley who got the first goal for Ellan Vannin with the Manx no.16 driving the ball into the net with the front of his left foot first time from just outside the box. The ball dipping over William Marmett in the Cascadia net for the first goal of the game.

However, that was the shock Cascadia needed to go for it, just minutes later and Josh Doughty, a free agent met a pull-back from the left-hand side byline and slotted home for an equaliser.

Wing play was proving hard to deal for Ellan Vannin, with Cascadia striker Anthony Wright just failing to connect with another left-sided cross by a whisker for what would've been a definite goal. Whitley was again at the source of the action shortly afterward, with a firm tackle on Matthieu Breum but escaped with just a yellow. 

Several of the crowd and Cascadia bench believed the tackle warranted a red for being studs up. 

Breum's defensive partner Joey Censoni then essentially gifted Ellan Vannin their second of the game. He misplaced his pass to captain James Riley and from the resulting throw on, Sean Doyle's drilled cross was slotted home by Frank Jones.

Cascadia almost repeated the trick and equalised immediately with Charlie Gregory's long-range shot from left-back almost being punched into his own net by Kearns, reminiscent to Karius's mistake against Gareth Bale in the Champions League Final, but the ball bounced out for a corner.

Josh Quayle could've increased the lead further from a counter after the resultant corner but having run more than half the length of the 3G pitch he ran out of steam and his shot was easily smothered by Marmett.

Ellan Vannin thus went into the break two goals to the good, however, Cascadia would've felt they had been the far better side but had been let down by poor finishing. 

In the second half, Cascadia pushed forward but were susceptible to the counter, with Doyle forcing a smart save from Marmett. Another Oldham cross saw Hector Sanchez head just over with Cascadia threatening to get back into the game.

It was then when Ellan Vannin kicked into gear, right-back Sam Caine picked up the ball before weaving through several Cascadia players to score a truly magnificent solo effort, just after that Jack McVey hit a thunderous free-kick into the top corner to put the side from the Isle of Man 4-1 up.

Both teams had half chances throughout the rest of the game with some unlucky deflections denying Cascadia, their second. An Oldham cross, one of several testing ones was put in by midfielder Jordan Wilson but was ultimately ruled out for offside.

Ellan Vannin are still yet to lose a ConIFA World Football Cup finals match in 90 minutes, whilst Cascadia need results against hosts Barawa and Tamil Eelam to avoid a group stage exit. 

 

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