The draw for the last 16 of the Surrey County Cup took us along the A3 to Wimbledon to face Westside Youth U15 Colts.
We arrived for the game with a reduced squad due to unavailability and despite the lower league opposition we were prepared for a tough 80 minutes.
We struggled to find any rhythm in the first 10 minutes despite dominating territory and possession. We were knocking on the door but it took a pinpoint long diagonal ball from Freddie which found Oli who'd made a good angled run. A good touch allowed Oli to get a shot off and he finished left footed across the keeper to make it 1-0.
Shortly after Isaac was found in the box by Hayden, Isaac swiveled and his left foot shot hit the bar and unfortunately rebounded down onto the keeper's back and into the net for 2-0 in the 18th minute. Oli grabbed his 2nd goal three minutes later - almost a carbon copy of his first - Freddie again finding a great ball which Oli controlled and slotted past the keeper.
Westside were very compact in defence limiting the space and were working very hard to frustrate us, and despite creating more opportunities and hitting the woodwork several times we reached half time without adding to the score.
With the half time team talk delivered the boys reacted well and started the 2nd half fast. A corner in the 42nd minute was swung in by Freddie and Josh rose highest to plant a firm header back across goal into the far corner. We won the ball quickly from the restart and released Josh down the right, his shot was well saved but the hard working Luke was on hand to prod in the rebound. In the 45th minute, a well worked passing move involving JJ, Erim and Isaac ended with Freddie sending in another great ball which Luke diverted over the keeper with a flicked header.
Westside continued to battle and got their reward when a short back pass to Dom was pounced on by the striker who found the net.
With 10 minutes to go Isaac got on the scoresheet when Kris put him through and he finished well across the keeper. We managed to find the woodwork several more times and we continued to rotate players into different positions. Oli played out from the back and found James - who made a big switch to Hayden who played to JJ who found himself in the centre forward position - he took a touch and his shot found the bottom corner to notch his first goal in over 3 years!
A comfortable scoreline and the Rebels safely navigated their path into the hat for the next round.
However, we must give massive credit to Westside for their excellent attitude and desire throughout the match. They never gave in right up until the final whistle and played the game in the right spirit which was very refreshing to see. Thank you to Westside for hosting the match and we wish them all the very best for the remainder of their season.
MoM Luke and Freddie get the award this week - Luke for his excellent work rate - defending well from the front and scoring 2 good goals. And to Freddie - for showing great quality in delivering 4 assists in the match.
Well done lads.