A big game in North London saw AP 5’s travel to Broomfield for the Quarter Finals of ‘the cup’. Despite Broomfield being unbeaten in the league AP have come close against them this season and felt they were in with more than a chance against the league leaders. With Matt Piner standing in as captain for Salty Robinson, who was busy doing his grade 2 clarinet exam, changes had to be made, due to a number of key players missing.
Despite having to re-write the team sheet, due to the referee feeling the birthday card it was originally written on was not official enough, AP retained their 4-2-3-1 formation with Graeme Maclachlan making his debut upfront and James Rae partnering Burwell at the back.
The game started with AP going up the slope and despite this we hit the ground running, the midfield trio of Charlie, Jack and Dave Magee stopping anything Broomfield had to offer and allowing the front three to attack at will. Dodimead had a right footed shot drift just wide and Graham came close a couple of times including a penalty shout turned down by a very pernickety referee. Down at the other end, apart from a huge scramble where Tobias made one if not two excellent saves, AP really weren’t troubled. Sadly though Broomfield took the lead through a total fluke, an aimless cross into the box looped over Tobias’s head to give Broomfield a 1-0 lead. AP though, refusing to let their heads drop kept attacking, Graham hit a rasping drive which the keeper could only parry and Dodimead followed up on the rebound only to spurn his chance wide, going in at half time it really should have been 1-1.
Into the second half and AP kept attacking, Broomfield had resorted to hitting AP on the break though and increased their lead twice inside the first 15 minutes to make it 3-0. Both goals coming from sloppy AP defending made the cup tie pretty much over. Changes were rung with debutant Brendan O’Donnell moving into the middle with Charlie as AP moved to a 4-4-2. Despite being 3-0 up Broomfield were wasting time at every opportunity.
Anyway, despite the score AP kept attacking and moved to a 3-5-2 with Burwell moving up front with Dodimead and Magee and Hyde switching wings to see if there was any way through. Dodimead had a couple more chances, scrambles from corners throw ins ensued and finally AP made a breakthrough. A mix up in the Broomfield box left Magee to neatly take the ball round centre back and then keeper to calmly slot the ball into the back of the net. 3-1. With 10 minutes remaining AP were calving Broomfield apart with every move, shoelaces were undone, the ridiculous roll in sub was used more times than I care to remember and still AP pushed. Magee played what could be described as a 40 yard defence splitting pass, or more realistically a misplaced pass to their centre back, who scuffed the ball towards Dodimead who subsequently managed to nip in and score to make it 3-2.
Sadly, this was the last real incident in the match, it must be said that a pitiful amount of added time was played and that with another 5 minutes we would probably have been looking at extra time. This wasn’t to be the case though, the dressing room after the game was fairly despondent as everyone knew that we could have, and probably should’ve won the game. It wasn’t to be though. Instead we now look to the league and if we play the way we did for large parts of the game, cut out errors and become a bit more clinical there is no doubt that we’ll be right up their looking to join Broomfield in promotion this season. Man of the Match goes to Charlie, a solid game and totally bossed the midfield.