Boldmeres winning run came to an abrupt end against a hungry and talented FC Sportsmans team on Sunday in the QF of the Adam Dauncy Divisional Cup.
Boldmere finally played their first home game of the season on their brand new state of the art 3G pitch.
The game started and Boldmere were on the back foot as FC Sportsmans were quickly into their stride. Playing 5 in midfield they gained posession early on and troubled Boldmere on many occassions. Boldmeres defence were tested and in particular man of the match, keeper Steve Cullen, who kept goal superbly throughout.
Boldmere were reduced to counter attacks and never really got to grips with the occassion, nor did they produce the kind of performance that they are capable of, but this was a very good Sportsmans side, with some very good players and they were now dominating the first half. However, from one of their counter attacks Boldmere nearly took the lead. A good move ended with the 'Bulldogs' gaining a corner and Paul Brady rose and thumped James Duff's excellent flag kick against the bar. Minutes earlier Gregg Nattress had been upended for what appeared to be a stone wall penalty, only for the referee to wave play on, with everybody, including the opposition bench, astounded! Cullen had to be at his best when tipping over a long ranged effort and smothering 2 other attempts. Sporstsmans also hit the bar. However, for all their football and posession, FC Sportsmans were reduced to long ranged efforts as Boldmere defended resolutely. Half time came with the score at 0-0.
The gaffer knew he needed to change the formation to combat Sportsmans posession game. Maybe this is something he should have done a little earlier? Debutant John Haycock came on into central defence as Boldmere changed formation to 3-5-2. However 6 minutes after the restart, with Boldmere still finding their feet, Sportsmans took the lead. The Sporstmans winger was allowed to much time and space and his cross from the right was headed home by the unchallenged forward. Boldmere's motto #wegoagain was never more relevant and they started to come into the game. John Haycock, Paul Davis and the ever reliable Adam Mills were looking solid in the newly formed reargaurd. Two injuries forced 2 more changes for Boldmere, with Liam Hannon and Rich McCausland replacing the luckless Aaron Humphries and James Duff (the laters injury proving to be a fractured elbow) Boldmere were now keeping posession better and asking lots of questions of the tiring Sportsmans team. Sportsmans were still a threat on the break, but the ever reliable Steve Cullen was there to handle all they could muster. To be honest, at this stage what they mustered wasnt much, as the 'Bulldogs' kept up their high intensity game as they poured forward and with the clock ticking it was now Boldmere that were the dominant side. Greg Nattress had a great chance to equalise late on, but it wasnt to be as his header clipped the post with the keeper beaten. Boldmere huffed and puffed but alas, the final whistle came too soon for them........Final score 0-1 to FC Sportsmans.
In truth Sportsmans did deserve their victory after their dominant first half showing and indeed are a strong side, however Boldmere proved that there is nothing to fear in this division and there are plenty more battles ahead, battles that they are more than capable of winning!
Next week Boldmere travel to high flying division 1 side Water Orton United for an tough Rumsby Cup battle............... #wegoagain