Scorers: Semaj, Doddimead, Glassar & Ekunno.
A game of halves, or should I say quarters for want of not adopting an American twang to the report.
Given there are 120 minutes of football to cover I will keep the first 30 minutes brief, we went 2-0 down and rightly so. We didn’t start the game wanting the ball from kick-off and it showed, this is something we will need to work on next week.
Despite this a last bit of pressure before the half was over and a nudge on from Elvis from a corner bought us in from the half with some optimism.
Second half, a completely different team went back on the field (partly due to a full complement of subs being used, partly from an inspirational team talk but almost entirely because the true fighting spirit of the fives came to the fore). Passes flowed, a more disciplined middle two distributed the ball well and there was dangerous attacking work on the wings from David Ekunno, Louis Glassar & Tom Goodwin on the overlap eventually leading to a deserved equaliser.
With the momentum in our favour it was perhaps here where we could and should have gone on to win the game but instead they nicked a third in the final 8 minutes through a pacey child. Thinking the game was over child’s naivety shone through, finger to the lips thinking the game was all over he tried to silence the AP 5’s subs bench & supporters. This didn’t go down well causing a wave of fury through the team and an experienced Tony Bent dealt with the situation subbing him off. Child off, AP fired up, great pressure from the frontmen led to a last minute equaliser from Louis Glassar. The long shot from range found its way through the EBOG’s defence followed by a half-naked celebration that left some amused, others bemused, the benched child aghast, and Louis with a yellow card. But most importantly AP 5’s were going into extra time.
With a dream start to extra time we started strongly, continued the pressure of the second half and with individuals displaying good stamina we scored a deserved goal. Unfortunately it was the final 15 that our stamina let us down. Minor frustration here as individuals struggled to track their men & make challenges which eventually let us down as the child fresh from his rest on the bench was slipped in to bring the score level to 4-4. ET over, penalties ensued.
Now at this point, experienced German keeper between the sticks, a team who have scored over 25 goals in 5/6 games I was feeling confident. Despite a few legs having gone, strikers taking penalties being so last year, Semaj, Glassar, Goodwin, Ekunno & Hyde stepped up. Let’s say, Tobias made a great save on the first penalty to put us ahead and then it came down to Hyde. 4-4 with one AP penalty to win the game, he struck the ball towards the top left corner but the keeper made an incredibly athletic save to tip it outside the post and keep EBOG’S in the game…
Sudden death upon us Alec Wright knocked one in but Paddy Knight was very unfortunate to be saved come the 7th pen.
All in all there is work to be done next week, as it would have been a different game had we decided to turn up and play the football from the first whistle that we demonstrated we were clearly capable of in the second half. Roll on EBOGS in the league where we are still undefeated this season and in a commanding position.
MOM – Paddy Knight for consistently tracking back through the game. David Ekunno deserves a mention for causing a lot of trouble them as does Tom Goodwin for a sterling performance into the 115th minute.