On Sunday and for the third time this season the CTYFC U14 Rebels hosted Epsom & Ewell - this time in a quarter final tie in the SYL League Cup. Conditions on the day were very tricky with a strong wind blowing right down the pitch which ultimately had a big impact on the game. Both teams spent the opening minutes getting to grips with the conditions but it was Epsom in the 9th minute who took an early lead. This was the wake up call the boys needed and we immediately responded - equalising just a minute later. Zahir made a strong run and the ball found Mikey who found some space in the box to get a powerful shot off which found the bottom corner. This settled us down and we began putting some possession together and took the lead on 18 minutes. James delivered a great in swinging corner which the keeper spilled and Mikey was on hand again to bundle the ball over the line. With the wind in our favour we pushed for another but couldn’t find another breakthrough. Kris, Josh DK, George, Zahir and Lewis in midfield were working hard, and Luke was busy up front but we couldn’t find the decisive play to unlock the dogged defence. At the other end Hayden, Isaac and JJ were comfortable, with Dom having little else to do other than deal with an audacious long range effort which he saw round the post. HT 2-1. We knew the second half would be tough against the wind with the opposition needing to push on to find an equaliser - and so it proved. We rode our luck a little as Epsom pushed and created a few half chances. Dom then produced an absolutely world class save - getting down low to his right at full stretch and pushing the ball away to safety when for all the world it looked like being level. As is often the way, shortly after we went up the other end and made it 3-1. A free kick from JJ was picked up by Zahir who found James on the left. His dangerous cross was nearly turned in by Oli but his effort was half blocked and cleared off the line. The clearance only found Lewis on the right side of the box and he kept the ball alive and found Luca on the edge of the box, he cut inside and found the far corner with a great left foot shot. With Epsom now coming forward even more we we able to sit back and look for the counter attack. Oli was released down the right and showed neat footwork on the byline to get in a good cross to Zahir who’s flash volley on the run was high and wide. Oli then showed a clean pair of heels and was bearing down on goal but a heavy final touch allowed the keeper to gather. Various subs were made and we eventually made it 4-1 in injury time. A free kick from Hayden was half blocked and Luca kept it alive and beat 2 defenders with good skill on the byline. His cross found Lewis who poked it across to Zahir 4 yards out and he scuffed a shot into the corner. FT 4-1. A scrappy game that was dominated by the conditions. We didn’t play at our best and credit to Epsom who kept going until the end, but we did just enough to progress to the Semi Final. MoM: A lot of the 2nd half was spent in our own half due to the wind and Isaac was excellent in the heart of defence. His positioning allowed him to make multiple tackles, headers and interventions. Dom also gets the award for his world class save that kept us in front at a crucial stage of the game, and his kicking in difficult conditions was also excellent throughout. Well done boys.