Saturday 7th October 2006
Elizabeth Jaques Cup
By Paul Parsons
Our cup run has come to a halt! It was a real shame that we were not TRIUMPHant!
The Game was definitely of two halves. From the first 6 minutes to the end of the half we put real pressure on the Longlands defence. Lee Cross and Joe Oatley were getting plenty of the ball and both were not afraid to take the opposition on and get in a cross. FOR us to win we needed some of the crosses not to SALE over in the wind (£2800 ono).
With Ben Duffy upfront and a debut 90 mins for Laurence Smith we had added real pace to the attack. Ben Tomkins was also showing how adaptable he was by playing on the left, and drifting in and really wanting the ball on all occasions. Both Ben and Laurence got shots away after steady pressure but both were blocked by desperate Longlands defending. They took the lead against the run of play when an offside trap was adjudged to not work and this left four attackers in acres of space and the FOBG defence to look on as the ball was easily put past Geof in goal. We rallied after this set back and continued to exert pressure and passed the ball and kept possession, with Paul Burford and Jay Blay both challenging and winning the ball in a hard contest in midfield. Geof pulled off a couple of good saves to keep the game alive when again the offside trap was sprung. Lee was still getting the ball on the right and it was from this pressure as the half was coming to an end that some good link play on the right involving Joe and Laurence led to a snap shot by Ben and in it went.
The first ten seconds of the second half led to Geof (MOM) being called upon again, and we still felt we could get a win. However a floated ball fell behind both me and Lee for two possible Longlands players to get on to, one of which very strongly volleyed straight in with Geof having no chance. For the final 25 minutes we were getting tired, Paul B had battled hard all game and Laurence was injured, with only Neil Smith on the line and not looking to get on we tried in vain to hang on. Passes were more like pumps upfield and with two ‘smaller’ men upfront it was not working. The lack of passing and moving was apparent, and we did not gel as well in midfield and attack. The back four of Rod, Todd, myself and Lee got it together in the second half, but even that was too late, and with Neil doing a thankless but very effective job as linesman we were able to catch the opposition a number of times. Needing just a goal to take it to extra time I was getting worried that Todd might just kick it into his own net to save his weary legs from another 30 mins but he needn’t have worried as an unfortunate lapse in concentration and a slice by Geof led to an open goal with 10 minutes to go and effectively put the tie beyond winning.
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