We kicked off in our final group game of the Spring Cup away to Winchmore Hill last Saturday. Still feeling a bit lackluster after the Easter break, we started with our now familiar 4-5-1 formation with Scants leading the attack and the five man midfield absorbing any early pressure. The best football of the game was probably played by us in the opening 30 minutes. We mounted attack after attack and really had WH under pressure, not allowing their players any time on the ball when we were not in possession. Jack’s tireless work rate was again rewarded reminiscent of the last outing against the 5’s when his pressure forced the WH defender to put the ball past his own keeper to give us the lead. Shortly after, Robert was brought down by a contentious tackle from behind to deny us a second goal. Had there been an award for tackle of the season, it probably have been won by Ollie for his super challenge in the first half when the right winger was almost reduced to tears! Mel would have come a close second with another half a dozen efforts….even though he insists there is much more to his game! Jokes aside though, it showed the intensity that we have been playing with recently which has often been the difference between us and our opposition. Jack typified this spirit by playing the entire game with a broken knuckle. Hope it gets better soon Jack! We did survive a few attacks from WH late in the half thanks to some saves by Manuel and quality defending by Derek, Will and Ollie.
Unfortunately, the half time whistle seemed to put an end to the intensity that we played with in the first half. From the kick off, we allowed WH to walk through us and almost level the score immediately. We cannot allow this lapse in concentration to happen on Saturday in the Spring Cup Final! To WH credit, they did create the most chances in the second half and it was backs to the wall stuff for long periods in our 18 yard box. We had our own moments of domination and created some chances but we conceded two goals in quick succession to put WH back in the game. However, not to dwell on the result, it was a good work out ahead of our penultimate game of the season this Saturday. We have reached this final on merit following some fantastic team performances and now we have the opportunity to finish the season on a high. We pulled off some great results in the course of the season and it would be fantastic to enter the AP Hall of Fame with a Spring Cup winning medal!
Congrats to Tom White on winning goal of the season, Richard Fryer on the player of the season award and Jack Dudmish who shared the AP Young Player of the season award. Well deserved awards for each of the lads.
Team: Manuel Veth, Will Dudmish, Derek Graham, Mike Myers, Ollie Edge, Ditmir Sulemanji, Mel Loughnane (Nigel Bagley), Mark Smith, Jack Dudmish, Robert Stagg, John Scantlebury