With the build up to this game being focussed on the depth of quality in the 2 squads as we both had a lot players unavailable.
We were without: Aidan - suspended Harvey - D of E trip Ollie Hobden - ill Kian - injured Ty - injured
This offset by Cuckfield having notified me that their keeper broke his leg, another player broke a bone in his ankle, both CB’s with niggles and that left them with a bare XI!
We had a great warm up after Craig David blaring out of the speakers in the changing room (cheers Jack C) and we were really up for this cup clash with our rivals from the last few seasons.
As the game got under way, it panned out how I had expected…. They are very good going forward and will work hard for every ball.
Within the first minute we could see their supporters were up for it as they argued with me about giving a throw against them….. as it turns out the players did the same all the way through the game.
A great bit of football from Cuckfield saw them play a channel ball down our left that caught Jack C out too high up the pitch, but Oscar was in hand to cover. Unusually for him he tried to beat the man and lost it and this lead to a foul being made. Their winger struck a sweet left leg strike into the opposite top bin and now we had show some resolve to try and fight back from 1-0 down!
Our back four really kicked on from this point on by making good decisions, beating players, using the ball well and moving us up the pitch at pace.
Tyler, Owen & Connor are starting to make the centre of the pitch their own. With the solid base protecting the danger behind it allows them the freedom to get forward. And they did time and time again.
Out wide, Ben and Rio were always on hand making runs, offering for the pass and creating chances.
Antos worked tirelessly up front and was always putting the CB’s under pressure. He carved out a few chances but didn’t test the keeper as the shots went narrowly wide!
Ollie L in goal had nothing to save other than the goal but was always keen to come out and gather the ball, distribute well and generally keep the team calm.
Our breakthrough came with one of our trademark corners. These are proving fruitful for us and whether it’s Rio, Tommy or Ben taking them we are always cause trouble. This time it was Owen cropping up on the edge of the box and volley the incoming corner in to the top bins….. that’s the equaliser done and we hit the break evenly placed.
Tommy and Aiden, who were introduced in the first half, slotted straight in and what really worked well today was the level intention to pressure the ball. On Thursday it wasn’t quite there all of the time but today was on point!
The 2nd half….. Tyler, Connor, Ben and Rio all scored brilliant goals to comfortably push us through to round 3 and we did it in style with no arguing either the ref / opposition.
Cuckfield lost their heads today and I think the main driver is that they couldn’t get near us all day.
We looked solid when out of possession, our full backs push on and give us more options and the CB’s we’re happy defending today and that was a massive plus.
All attacking players were brilliant but Rio, with a goal and 3 assists takes MoM today.
Well done boys and make sure we keep this focus as we now have 1 week break and return on Sunday to put our wits against Southwick when we are back in league action