On another glorious day for football, Greshams turned up at Kesgrave High School looking to put a stop to a run of poor early season form. With good numbers available Manager Cashen was able to name an unprecedented three subs, who according to Cup rules would be 'rolling'. The team to start was Rob in goal; a back four of Phil, Hamblin, Greg (who looked like he had come straight from the night club) and Cash; in midfield Tommo Matt Sam and Froudy; up front Steve Norfolk and Ash with subs the Hunn, Emy and Josh. Indeed the Greshams ranks were swelled further by the unexpected arrival of the Academy, in the contrasting shapes of Snelly and Ryan. Sadly there are only enough kits for three subs so the academy and the academy Wags were forced to pay a quick visit to Subway before adding to the near record crowd on the sidelines.
Greshams were slow to start and before long Rob was forced into action, making a really sharp one handed save down to his left. The pace and trickery of the Kesgrave forwards was causing problems, particularly for the disoriented Greg, but luckily the Kesgrave finishing was poor. Greshams were at times causing their own problems, as when Greg played a fine ball, allegedly intended to Rob, directly to the Kesgrave striker but luckily Tommo was able to get back and make a tackle.
The introduction of the returning Hunn up front introduced some urgency to Greshams who began to come in to the game. Indeed they were fractions away from taking a lead when after some fine build up play a great cross was inches too far ahead of Norfolk who couldn't quite get anything on it - any sort of contact and the ball was in the net.
Typically however it was during Greshams best spell of the match that Kesgrave took the lead against the run of play at the time. A long range effort from the playmaking number 6 took a wicked deflection off Greg and flew into the corner leaving Rob completely wrong footed.
Half time Kesgrave 1 Greshams 0
Greshams started the second half on the front foot and it wasn't long before they were deservedly level. Hunn took advantage of some dithering defending to steal the ball, juggling it a bit as he went, knocking it over the keeper and thumping it into the empty net.
At this point Greshams were on top and if they could have taken the lead, might have gone on to win the game. Their best chance came when a miscued ball into the box by Cashen was attacked by Norfolk and in the ensuing melee, two decent chances fell to the Hunn who was just unable to stick the ball in the onion bag. Greshams even nearly had a second from the unlikely source of Hamblin's shin pad. The big centre half, up for a set play, rather shanked a shot which flew into the side netting.
Instead of taking the lead however,Greshams found themselves behind, and once more the goal had more than a touch of luck about it. An undoubted cross sailed breezily over Rob's head and dropped fortuitously in to the far corner. With both teams now using their complement of rolling substitutions, Kesgrave added a third in a bit of a scramble, and then finally, a comedy fourth. A badly scuffed shot headed towards Rob's post and Rob was walking across to collect the ball for a goal kick when to his dismay, he realised he had made a catastrophic misjudgement and the ball struck the post and bobbled apologetically in to the net.
So, out of the Cup, Greshams are left to concentrate on the league and on arresting an early season slump.
Man of the Match
Rob made some good saves and couldn't be faulted for the goals, other than the comedy fourth. Well played mate.