Saturday 24th January 2009
By Sam Evans
This was a proper old fashioned English cup tie. Competitive, physical, good quality football played in the right spirit. It was really enjoyable to play in and no-one should feel that disappointed that we lost. We showed what a quality side we are, and as we have always said, the league is the real priority this season. Our team was:
Evans (RM) (Captain)
After 15 minutes I thought we were going to get killed. Otford had made a great start and had pinged the ball around nicely. They went 1-0 up when a fine passing move ended with one of their players in down the right channel and he slotted the ball past Mark. However we showed real resilience and really steadied the ship. Ricky marshalled the defence well as he always does and we started to come back into it. Stu made a welcome return in centre midfield and along with Johnny started to impose himself on the game. As our passing improved we grew in confidence and the rest of the first half was pretty even. The pitch held up much better than many of us expected and this contributed to a really watchable first half.
At half time we knew that we had shown that we were as good as Otford and felt that we would be able to create chances. We did this in the second half when a good passing move down the right saw Tant cross the ball into the middle. Unfortunately it didn’t quite fall for either Johnny or Dan. However we did equalise soon afterwards. A good corner from Russ was met by a thumping header from Gio. At 1-1 I thought we might press on and win the game but actually Otford started to come into it more and probably shaded the last 20 minutes of normal time.
Lee Cross replaced Taps who had run himself into the ground covering not only their left mid but also their attack-minded left back, and Gibbo replaced Tant upfront. Extra time was pretty tight as both teams tired and the match was heading for penalties when the ref awarded them a free kick on our left hand side. The left back floated a great ball into the box and in the melee they managed to score and cruelly snatch the opportunity of penalties away from us.
All in all though this was a really good display and if we play like that every week in the SLA then we will definitely be promoted. Man of the match was Stuart Lenton who was outstanding on his return. Stu’s use of the ball was excellent as always and he did particularly well to last 120 minutes given that he has not played for 3 months.
We now have Dresdner Kleinwort in the league followed by Chislehurst. We need to take 6 points from these 2 games as the following 2 games are Bridon and Seven Acre which are massive. However if we keep playing as we are at the moment then we have nothing to fear from anybody.
Man of the match: Stuart Lenton