AFA Cup 1st Round
Bit of a mad game at the Racecourse in the 1st round of the AFA Senior Cup. A lot of goals, a lot of errors. ‘One for the neutrals’ would be generous but there was certainly a fair bit of action of varying quality. We were on the way back from a battering against Poly, so a good test of character. We didn’t start well, despite good prep. The oppo were quick and athletic and pegged us back early on. In addition to this, they were lethargic tracking back which meant it was wide open in both directions.
Egan opened his account for the season, albeit at the wrong end (LOL) hooking in a low corner past stranded Steve. We leveled through our specialist goal kicker, Matt ‘Peno’ Kelly. We do win a lot of penalties but there hasn’t been a soft one among them. The policy of go to ground at all costs seems to be pretty common in SAL defences this season.
We took the lead through a Turkish delight of a goal from Chris Nicholau. Buoyed by an extra yard of pace provided by a frankly erotic new haircut, Chris strode away from a couple of challenges before rounding the keeper to poke home. He took an absolute Thralesque clattering for his trouble.
2-1 Park at the half, in what had been a bit of a scrappy performance. As is always the case with any half time team talk, the next goal was going to be vital. To be fair, you did get the feeling that another goal would bury them. Nicholau took another bashing to set up another Matt Kelly field goal, which was slotted in the opposite corner. As I have said before, I give Matt a lot of low quality banter about the number of penalties he scores but the lad buries them for fun. At least I hope he enjoys it.
It was 3-2 not too long after with some sort of crossed effort which I don’t entirely remember before Ronnie re-established the 2 goal lead with a lovely drilled effort. We then decided to play a bit of crossbar challenge, Ronnie and Mark crashed a couple of efforts off the woodwork from distance. Skips looped a header from the ‘always missing’ category off the upright before cushioning a delightful volleyed effort straight into the miss of the season shortlist.
A late Lea Valley goal set up a nervous finish but we got the all important win. An odd game, certainly. A mediocre match report, without doubt (it’s been a busy week). Good to bounce back with a win but certainly not vintage tangerine. We need to defend better as a side, this isn’t just as a back 4 but all the way to the front. Granted, the oppo played in a very bizarre and attacking way that overloaded us at times, but we have to be sensible in our forward runs and work harder in the transition. A win is a win though, and certainly some positives going forward.
A huge game awaits against a top of the table Vamps side on Saturday. We are well up for it and desperate for the points. It will certainly produce a livelier match report if we pick up some sort of result. Onwards and upwards.
Team : Edelman, Carlin, Patterson, Egan (Gunyon), Thrale, McVeigh, Munero, Nicholau (Jezza), Kelly, O’Leary, Adjekwei (Fernee)
MOM: Thrale. Due one. Typical consistency and ‘grit’ (see fouls) in a disjointed game.