After a strong start in the league last week we needed to keep the momentum going this week in the Cup and having been put against fellow Div 3 opposition, we had every opportunity.
It was always going to be a tight match, we know Heanor well having narrowly beat them in the Derbyshire Cup at the end of last season but this is a team that are not used to loosing. Last year they convincingly won Div 4 not loosing a single game in the process and they took this same form into last weeks season opener winning 2-0. But we are Chellaston, and we're not used to loosing either anymore so lets get into it.
The first half kicked off and we were definitely in control, the ball hardly came out of there half for the first 5 minutes and when Kian struck, there was only one place the ball was going.... back of the net. 1-0 to Chellaston and no one could really say they hadn't seen it coming. After this goal however we appeared to take our foot of the gas which allowed Heanor back in and there confidence began to grow. Soon they equalised and it was 1-1. Our heads appear to drop slightly and it has to be said that Heanor were creating the chances and we were on the back foot. After a good spell of pressure however Connor slotted a fine ball through for Finlay to run onto and we were back in the lead 2-1.
When the whistle blew for half time we knew we were in a game and the lads walked off the pitch with the scoreline 2-2. As a neutral, Im sure it would have been a very entertaining game to watch as both sides missed some good opportunities and the scoreline could have been very different..... either way !
The half time speech went well, the boys appeared to listen to what we had to say and back onto the pitch they went. After a slightly shaky start I felt we then grew into the game and started to dominate the midfield and having Harry and Tom there, this should be the case all the time. The deadlock however was hard to break and penalties were being discussed on the sidelines but then after a scramble within their goal mouth the ball dropped back and who should be there in the right place at the right time..... Conor. After a slight deflection in the back of the net it went. 3-2 and Conor on the score sheet back where he belongs.
Shortly after Josh in goal would take a knock. Now we all know Josh is a tough kid and if he goes down screaming in pain, we know its serious. On we went and I feared the worst, 2 stud marks clearly visible in his side so Josh had to come off. I just hoped a trip to the hospital wasn't needed and on first inspection, I honestly thought it would be but after some medication the pain appeared to ease on the sidelines slightly so fingers crossed he'll be back between the sticks for us very soon.
Thankfully Will was on hand to step into some big shoes to fill but fill them he did, some fine saves and controlling runs to the edge of the box ensued and Heanor were left thinking what could have been. The final result was 3-2 to Chellaston and onto the next round we go where I believe we will be playing Division 2's Belper. Another step up but one Im really looking forward to as I believe its a game we can win.
Although not pretty at times, it was great to see that what was said to the lads at half time really sunk in. It was clear in the first half we were getting bullied off the ball by a very physical team. We knew we were up to this but just had to go out there and show it and for me, thats exactly what they did. They didn't ease of in the final 10 which has been seen before, they ALL got stuck in and did what needed to be done to progress us further in this Cup which is where we belong.
I am told this is the first time Chellaston have progressed this far in the Cup so against tough competition, we are clearly going in the right direction. Another first of the day was was man of the match winner Shaun. Absolutely thoroughly deserved. He spent most of this match marking arguably Heanors best player and he stood upto the task fantastically. He is week in week out best trainer on a Friday night for me aswell so its great to see his efforts getting the reward and recognition they deserve. Well done Shaun.
Another first was Mark running the line, another member of this great team who steps up when needed so thanks for that and well done.
Now a break for a couple of weeks unless we can get a friendly or 2 booked in but I'll certainly be looking forward to getting back to the league matches where we need to prove our dominance of this division, something I am sure the lads are more than capable of doing.