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FJN Cup, 2023

The great and the good of the insurance industry gathered for the 4th outing of the FJN Cup on Friday 31st March at Horsham FC. 

Team Health & Protection were lead out by Stuart Perry and Team GBG were captained by Dan Small. 

With representatives from GBG, H&P, Charles Taylor Assistance, Lifeworks, AXA, WTW, Nicos Rossos, Libra, BDHL, Aston Lark, IMG, Allianz, Aviva, Rossborough, SIP, Supercover, Aetna, Engage and AMI this was by far the most competitive match we have had yet. 

The first half was a very closely fought affair.  Neither team could break the deadlock but it was far from a bore draw as both goalkeepers were tested and there were some flashes of genius on display.  Probably the most notable contribution came from Owain Thomas by killing the ball dead from all of 40ft before pirouetting to lay the ball off to a team mate.  Almost Zlatan-esq! 

The half time oranges kicked both teams into gear and the 2nd half proved to be a roller coaster of chance after chance and finally gave our scorer Amelia the chance to use the new digital display at Horsham FC. 

The deadlock was broken in the 55th minute by the hat trick hero from our last game, Amit Bhudia.  Andy Goodwin cut in from the left wing, looking much like his beloved Rico Henry of Brentford FC, before releasing Victor Ioannides who forced a fine save from the H&P goalkeeper.  The resulting parry from the keeper left Amit with the task of slotting into an unguarded net.  1-0.

On 58 minutes the scores were even after a calamitous breakdown in the GBG defence.  Claims of a whistle from the referee were unheard by all apart from an unnamed GBG defender (who owes me a beer now for protecting his identity) and Juan Pena Nunez was left unmarked to slam home an unstoppable net-buster of a shot.  1-1.

The game ebbed and flowed nicely with chances going to both teams before Darren Nicol pounced upon a misjudged pass at the back by Team H&P before unleashing a ferocious half volley that left the keeper no chance at all.  71 mins, 2-1.

In the 82nd minute Darren struck again by finishing off a slick GBG passing move to once again find the net.  An impressive debut by the channel island representative!  A touch of the Le Tissier’s about the performance.   3-1.

3-1 up with just 8 minutes plus stoppage time remaining looked to have closed things off nicely but the game was nowhere near done.  Team H&P marauded forwards and forced chance after chance at the other end of the pitch.  Team GBG’s resilience was broken in the 90th minute when James ‘Magic Man’ Walker ghosted in to flick a deft header past Dan Small to spark wild celebrations from James and the hope of maybe forcing the game to penalties.  3-2.

The situation now needed calm heads and nerves of steel from the Blues of Team GBG – neither of which were demonstrated by anyone in Blue!  6 minutes of added time seemed like an eternity but, despite team GBG attempting to contrive their own downfall, they prevailed triumphant again.

Final score : 3-2 to Team GBG.

The trophy has gone back to London with Claire Hargreaves (Managing Director, GBG) until the next game.  The player of the match awards went to Juan Pena Nunez (AMI) and Darren Nicol (Rossborough). 

Special mentions also go to Dan Woods (BDHL), Ric Mustard (Aviva) and Bruno Coelho (Engage) who have all played in all four of our games and have 100% attendance records.  Great commitment from the lads.

Huge thanks go to GBG and H&P for helping us put on this event again.  Also, to Horsham FC for hosting us impeccably again.

Finally, the most important part of the day, Wolfram UK who are the charity that this game is all about!