After a pitch inspection at 8am the game was given the green light. The pitch wasn't the best, extremely tight and compact and the actual playing surface was heavy and the grass hadn't been cut for a considerable amount of time which meant our usual passing game was going to prove difficult, but as they say its the same for both teams.
We started off brightly, pressing our opponents and playing predominantly in their half. We had to be aware that they were very good on the counter attack so we needed to make the right decisions, which was proving difficult on the surface. We had a couple of long range shots from Ryan and Thomas Higgins which tested their keeper, but in the main the defences were on top. Close to the end of the first 20mins we got a free kick on our left near the corner flag which Thomas Higgins whipped into the box and Ryan hit a beautiful left foot volley into the bottom corner to give us a 1-0 lead at the break. We needed more off the boys as we knew Urmston would come stronger as the game went on.
The second 20mins was difficult to watch from our perspective as for the first time in a long long time the opposition out fought, out thought and more importantly wanted it more than our boys. This was reflected in the scoreline as they sciored two unanswered goals that could have been avoided if we had been at the races. Daniel made a couple of outstanding saves which ensured that we only trailed 2-1 at the 40mins mark.
The boys were told in no uncertain terms that the second 20mins was totally unacceptable and they had got themselves into this position and it was up to them to put it right as individuals and as a team. This was a game we had to win to have any chance of making Finals day in May.
As far as the final 20mins go, it was a complete contrast from what had gone before, Daniel,Thomas Mitchell and Thomas Dykes were dominant at the back, Ryan, Thomas Higgins and Nathan dictated everything in midfield won tackles, passed the ball with confidence, worked up and down to defend and attack. Upfront Flynn, Thomas Davenport and Max worked hard to hold the ball up when we had it, plus they defended from the front when the opposition had the ball. With this fabulous work ethic and togetherness there was only ever going to be one winner and we could and should have scored more than the two our ace goal poacher Flynn got with his fantastic eye for goal after excellent passes from Thomas Higgins and Nathan. The smiles on the boys faces at the final whistle was a joy to see and they know that if they play at their best they have the ability to go all the way this year. Urmston are a very god side and have been giving local teams a good hiding this season so it was nice to show what we are made of.
All the boys played well in patches today and we asked the boys for their Man of the Match and the person with the most votes was our Captain, Thomas Higgins.
We've got another huge Cup game next Saturday with a trip to the current Champions Altrincham.