Parker stars in second half goal blitz as North End Cosmos end run of final losses to lift City of Portsmouth Sunday League Buster Gordon Cup

North End Cosmos ended a run of cup final losses to lift the City of Portsmouth Sunday League’s Buster Gordon Cup.

By Simon Carter
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 2:09 pm

Dave Parker struck four times as Cosmos - trailing 1-0 at the interval - stormed back to thrash Wicor Mill 6-2 at Westleigh Park in the final of the tournament for clubs in the top two tiers of the CoPSL.

Shane Cornish and Louie Jeff were also on target as Cosmos, playing in their fourth final since being formed in 2015, collected their first victory. They had previously lost in the finals of the Hampshire Cup, the Portsmouth & District FA Trophy and the CoPSL’s Challenge Cup.

Cosmos, having created and missed the best chances, trailed when keeper Perri King parried a free-kick and Wicor snaffled the rebound.

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North End Cosmos celebrate their Buster Gordon Cup final win. Picture by Kevin Shipp

But it was a different story in the second half as Parker - who has played in the Wessex League for Fareham this season - took the tie away from Wicor, who replied through Sammy-Lee Kessack and Allan Payne.

Cosmos founder Luke Channer - who runs the team alongside Malcolm Nancarrow - highlighted King for some ‘fantastic’ second half saves, and also Chaz Gardner’s display on the left wing.

Cosmos, skippered by Danny Rimmer, therefore gained some consolation for three previous losses against Wicor this season.

They had been hammered 9-2 and 5-2 in two of their three CoPSL top flight meetings, and also lost a PDFA Victory Cup tie 3-1 to them. In the cup tie, Cosmos were winning but then had Jake Daniels and Martin Pottage sent off.

North End Cosmos (dark blue) v Wicor Mill. Picture by Kevin Shipp

Channer - who came on against Wicor for a cameo five-minute run-out, providing an assist - is already looking ahead to next season.

He knows he will need to do some ‘squad rebuilding’, with Parker and Navy colleague Ross Kidson returning to the north of England following their placements.

Channer’s hope is that the 2022/23 CoPSL is an improvement on this season’s ‘absolute shambles.’

Due to Seagull, Portchester and Freehouse all withdrawing, the top flight was left with just three clubs - Cosmos, Wicor and Purbrook.

North End Cosmos (dark blue) v Wicor Mill. Picture by Kevin Shipp

Wicor pipped Cosmos for the title on goal difference - the 9-3 beating coming back to haunt them in the final reckoning.

‘There’s six divisions in the league,’ said Channer. ‘They should drop two of them and just expand the others. Ten or 12 teams (in each division) would be spot on.

‘I know a lot of managers in the league are extremely frustrated.’

Channer is the sole surviving member from the first Cosmos squad in 2015/16 still playing for the team - though Pete Simmons is a regular for the club’s reserves who have won two cups themselves this season.

Dave Parker celebrates one of his fourth North End Cosmos goals against Wicor Mill. Picture by Kevin Shipp

Channer has now made 143 appearances for Cosmos, scoring 35 times. Simmons has scored 41 times in 70 games.

‘I plan on keeping the first team going until I’m 35 and qualify for the vets,’ explained Channer. ‘I’m currently 30 - 31 in July. Then I’ll move into the vets and fold the first team.

‘The target is the league - we’ve finished runners up for the last two seasons now - before the team is folded.’

Cosmos squad (v Wicor Mill): Mitch Austin, Corey Burns,, Remi Cake, Luke Channer, Shane Cornish, Chaz Gardner, Louie Jeff, Ross Kidson, Perri King, Seb King, Luke Madgwick, Ryan Nancarrow, Jack North, Dave Parker, Martin Pottage, Danny Rimmer (captain).

North End Cosmos (dark blue) v Wicor Mill. Picture by Kevin Shipp
North End Cosmos (dark blue) v Wicor Mill. Picture by Kevin Shipp
Wicor Mill take a first hafl lead against North End Cosmos (dark blue). Picture by Kevin Shipp
North End Cosmos (dark blue) v Wicor Mill. Picture by Kevin Shipp
North End Cosmos (dark blue) celebrate one of their six second half goals against Wicor Mill. Picture by Kevin Shipp
North End Cosmos managers Malcolm Nancarrow, left, and Luke Channer. Picture by Kevin Shipp
Pete Simmons