After last weeks tough Divisional Adam Dauncy Cup QF defeat at the hands of Sportsmans FC, Boldmere followed this up with a fantastic away win against the current leaders of division two, Water Orton United, in the first round of the Rumsby Cup (a cup for all division 2 & 3 sides) at a cold and damp Goodison Gardens.
More changes were required to the team, with injuries and illness to 3 of last weeks starting 11, the luckless James Duff (fractured elbow) and Aaron Humphries (knee) were both out injured and Paul Davis was also a last minute withdrawal due to illness. Tom Shakespeare was still missing due to holiday.
The gaffer started with a change of formation to 3-5-2. After ending last weeks game impressively with this formation, the 'Bulldogs' started the game with it this week against their high flying opposition from the division above. Richard McCausland, Liam Hannon and John Haycock came in off the bench from last weeks squad, (the latter for his first start after his recent signing).......Olly Nicholson, Rhys Coombes and Jack Salter made up a strong looking substitute bench.
The game started and pretty soon both teams were playing some nice football, but with both defences on top, both sides were restricted to long range efforts. After 30 minutes skipper Paul Brady fired a 25 yard screamer narrowly wide from one such effort, with the Water Orton keeper beaten. Much of the same followed with the Boldmere forward 2 of Liam Hannon and Greg Nattress working hard on and off the ball to create opportunities for the team and defend from the front. On 37 minutes Boldmere took the lead when Nattress latched on to a huge kick from keeper Cullen, he held off his marker and hit an accurate, but weak effort, which somehow found its way into the net under the Water Orton keeper. Skipper Paul Brady, the excellent Chris Dawber, sitting in front of the back 3 and Richard McCausland were working tirelessly in midfield, the 2 wing backs of Craig Oates and Chris O'Brien were supporting with gusto up and down the flanks and a well organised and solid back 3 of John Haycock, Michael Dossett and the ever reliable Adam Mills were defending excellently. So Boldmere went into the break a goal to the good.
With no changes at half time by either side the game continued to ebb and flow, both teams were playing some good football but failing to create any clear cut chances. On 65 minutes Water Orton did create a good chance, but Steve Cullen continued his mpressive form of late and pushed the effort for a corner. With the home team strugglng to break down a spirited and battling 'Bulldog' side they reverted to 3 up front in an effort to find an equaliser. In the 76th minute this came when the Water Orton forward tapped home with glee to bring the scores level. 80 minutes gone and the 'Bulldogs' came again, Richard McCausland firing an excellent direct free kick which smashed against the bar. By now Boldmere assistant manager Wayne Clarke had introduced all 3 substitutes to aid the hard working Boldmere team. On 88 minutes one of those substitutes, Jack Salter (pictured below) made it 1-2, a good move involving Rhys Coombes, Olly Nicholson and Paul Brady ended with Salter smashing home from 12 yards after Brady had crossed into his path.......... In the dying seconds Boldmere were defending for their lives and Water Orton had a chance for a last gasp equaliser, but once again Steve Cullen was at his brilliant best to save superbly.
Jack Salter - Winning Goal
Final whistle.............. a fantastic 1-2 victory to the 'Bulldogs' and a deserved place in round 2! All 14 players used battled and fought throughout, each putting in a superb performance and winning all the personal battles against very good opposition for 90 minutes
The difficult games and tough opposition come thick and fast and next week we see Boldmere tackle Nuneaton based side, Fife Street Reserves in the last 32 of County Sunday Cup hoping to progrees even further.
#wegoagain....................... come on the BULLDOGS!