Scorers :Ozan(3), Manu
The reserves made their way to South London safe in the knowledge that the Teddington uni pitches would suit their free flowing passing football style. Unfortunately a bobbly, narrow, pitch covered in sand greeted them. Mike Graves did his best to be late in the hope that he wouldn’t have to play centre back – he did, lining up with Jeater outside him in the unfamiliar position of right back.
The first ten minutes were a frantic affair with Mike Bardgett making a good save at his near post and the usually mild Andy Smith turning into a muttering Fabb-esque feral beast following a late tackle to his ribs. The deadline was broken when Gman Graves hooked a shot goalward. The winger on the line dived across and handballed it before it could go in. Incredulously the ref did not give a red or even a yellow as ‘the keeper would have saved it’. Ozan calmly slotted home the penalty.
Our prolific striker then extended the lead with a stooping header from an excellent Fraser corner and the reserves took hold of the game. Harry and Rich shackling the ray parlour lookalike in the middle, our back four coping with Craig Bellamy with ease and Frank turning their left back inside out. Two became three when we broke with pace from Bardgett to harry to les who gassed the right back and dinked a lovely finish over the onrushing keeper.
The half ended with two incidents both involving Graves and Bardgett. First Gman clumsily chopped down the striker in the box but Bardgie made a great penalty save to keep the deficit at three (It was a great height for the keeper). Next, Graves was shepherding a bouncing ball back to keeps when he got a shove in the back and clattered through everything in sight. There was only going to be one loser which was Bardgie’s chin. Luckily half time came so the St. Johns ambulance woman could earn her keep and tape up the nasty gash.
The only comments during the break were to keep off the ref’s back and for once try and kill the game completely. With bardgie getting treatment Dave mac donned the gloves for 10 minutes and looked secure despite not having to do anything. Brendan came on and caused havoc uptop with Ozan but despite chance after chance we couldn’t get a fourth. The oilers (?!) had a five minute spell where they threatened with Gravesy (again involved) heading the ball into the ground and up onto the bar. They did eventually nick one back with a bouncing ball and scuffle creeping into the goal.
We weren’t worried though and Ozan completed the perfect hat trick with his 18th attempt of the game when he turned in the box and curled a left footed shot past the keeper. Richy tried to get in on the act but the keeper tipped the shot onto the post before calmly claiming and winning a goal kick. We saw the game out with ease and into the next round.
Hard on Ozan not to get MOM after a hat-trick but Mike Bardgett nicks it this week with a valuable first half stop, great penalty save, superb kicking and distribution, all the while looking like this:
Team: Bardgett, Jeater, Graves, Mcloughlin, Smith, Robinson, Thatcher, Hancock, Manu, Gunes, Shaw-Morris, O’Donnell.