BLG 1 v 2 Denton Wilde Sapte
Eccles A. N Other 2
(pen) 25 A.N. Other (pen) 4
What exactly is the "magic of the cup"? And why does the "form book go out the window", when "cup fever" comes to town? Barlows were left scratching their heads and looking at each other for the answers to these oft asked questions last night, as we slumped to a 1-2 reverse at the hands of an able, but no means world beating, Dentons. Unfortunately, on a night where little really went our way, no one could come up with coherent or convincing answers.
In truth, BLG's preparation for the game was less than ideal. Injury and illness ravaged the original 14 man squad, meaning that at kick off, we only had 10 men on the pitch. We actually had an 11th man but Grant "this really can't wait" Conway, decided that moments before KO would be a good time to ensure that it really was a "no.2" he had on his back.
The lack of a proper warm up definitely counted against us, as we started in our customary shocking way. After some harikiri-esque defending, we found ourselves two goals down inside the first four minutes. The usual self inflicted mistakes cost us dear, with the first goal having resulted in us needlessly giving the ball away in our own third. The second goal, via the penalty spot, soon followed. Chris "I'm beginning to get a reputation for giving away soft spot kicks" Getty was again the unfortunate culprit, adjudged (entirely fairly) to have given the Dentons front man a healthy shove in the back when challenging for a high ball. Rich Bush, although looking imposing in between the sticks, could not pull off the miracle Peter Schmeichel save we all hoped for.
The horror show start did finally kick start Barlows into life however, and, led by the impressive Greeny and hard running front two of James and Jimmy Adams, we began to claw our way back into the game. A number of half chances were created, with Greeny going close, before James earned ourselves a penalty after his cross-shot was clearly handled by the lumbering Dentons centre half. The spot kick was emphatically netted by the Barlows skipper who, in truth, never looked like he'd miss.
The second half was largely one way traffic, with Dug and Hogey pushing on impressively down each flank, pinning Dentons back in their own third. Chances flowed, but somehow, the ball would not go in. Clever approach play by Craig saw a Greeny effort spectacularly tipped over, whilst a strongly struck shot by James was again well saved by the visiting keeper. When in injury time, our last chance came and went, with a shot dragged inches wide, we knew it was just not meant to be. The "romance of the cup" had not found a happy date with the Beaufort House men.
Fortunately, our shot at redemption and revenge comes swiftly, as we are to play the same opponents next Monday - this time in the league - at Battersea, kicking off at 20.30 (a separate email will follow). Consensus is that we will win that.
Team: Bushy; Soft Penalties, Tom G-S, Eccles, "No.2"; Hogey, Dug, Greeny, Craig; Jimmy Adams, James