Away cup match played on 01 March 2015.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

Casuals and Pelhams cup misery continued as once again they bowed out in the semi finals, this time in the inter-divisional cup, falling to Saffron Hawks away from home. The home side started the stronger of the two, and that was mainly to Pelham putting a lot of pressure on themselves and making the opposition look good. Pelham were second to every ball and every challenge, not being able to string any passages of play together. Even though they were the second best team on the pitch, they were harshly done by for the first goal as Steve Willett ran out to block a shot which he dived Infront of and was judged to have handled the ball, even though both his hands were tucked into his body and there was nothing he could do about it. Saffron Hawks striker stepped up and tucked the ball away into the corner. The home side doubled their lead not long after as Pelham still struggled to get to grips with the game. The home side put a couple of simple passes together and then one long ball over the top which was slotted off the post and in to the back of the net. At 2-0 it was a scoreline that Saffron Hawks deserved and if Pelham kept playing the way they were a scoreline that wouldn't be able to be recovered. However they got a lifeline just over half way through the first half as some good work from Liam Perry down the left hand side saw him get to the byline, and as he pulled his cross back it struck a Saffron Hawks defenders hand, and once again, similar to the first, a very harsh penalty was awarded. After some confusion as to who was going to take the penalty, Gavin Brace stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way pulling it back to 2-1. That goal seemed to settle the away side down slightly and they stepped up their performance, slowly getting more into the game. Pelham finally started to create some chances and came close on a few occassions through Tim Shaw. However the home side also had their chances at the end of the first period, but were also unable to take them. With that both teams went into the break with Hawks holding a 2-1 lead. The second half started similar to how the first ended, with both teams being evenly matched, but not playing the greatest of football. The pitch was now starting to cut up a lot and the game turned very scrappy. With both teams continuing to create chances, it was once again the home side who took one of theirs with a strike from outside the box which went through a lot of players and into the back of the Pelham net, making it 3-1 to Hawks. They say you're most vulenerable after scoring and that was certainly proven after that fourth goal, as Pelham literally struck back two minutes later. They moved the ball up the pitch quickly and after some battling from Liam Perry he won the ball back off the defender and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper making it 3-2. Once again the away side were back in the game and continued to push for that equalising goal. After more scrappy play from both sides, it was the away side that found the next goal to even the game up as a long ball over the top was latched on to by Tim Shaw who fired high over the keeper and into the net. With the game poised at 3-3 it looked as though it would go into extra time. However with moments left on the clock Hawks broke and as the striker started to pull away from Mark Hainsby he tried to make a last ditch challenge which unfortunately was miss-timed, and as he was deemed the last man, he was given his marching orders. Pelham needed to see out the last few seconds, and get in to re-group at the end of the 90 minutes. However there was one final goal in the game and unfortunately it was direct from the Saffron Hawks freekick as they made it 4-3 with virtually the last kick of the game. Pelham tried to go long for what was remaining but the final whistle was blown and the game finished 4-3 to the home side. It's a horrible way to lose a game lads but unfortunately that's football. As I said after the game, although the pitch doesn't help and some of the refereeing decisions were beyond poor, we didn't play well enough to win the game. Being knocked out of the two cups that we had our eyes on it may well feel like the season is over. However it is far from over. We have one league game left against Hockerill Tens which is vital we perform in and get a result, as an invincibles season would be a massive feat. Also there is still one more cup we are in, and although it's the hardest one to win, and we haven't been blessed with the easiest draw (again), I remember us being in the same situation a few seasons ago, and winning it!!! So let's have a week off next weekend to relax and recover, get our heads right, and put in a performance against Cobras on the 15th!!! Also today's man of the match goes to Liam Perry. It was a game off not many highlights, however Liam was one of then only ones who battled for absolutely everything that came his way, and rounded his performance off with a well deserved goal.

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