Away cup match played on 21 October 2012.
Kicked off at 10:15 AM


After 24 hours solid rain, Greshams pitched up at Whitton Sports centre on a drizzly Autumnal morning, still smarting from the previous week's drubbing. Typically of the vagaries of Sunday football, an inability to get 11 men one week was followed by the availability of virtually all the 20 man squad on this occasion, leading from some long standing members of the squad being stood down from match day duties. These decisions by manager Cashen caused uproar in the Twatterverse and went viral on Facebook - see separate article.


Well organised manager Cashen's plans were further disrupted when he found out in the dressing room, that this was a cup match rather than league (pat on the back to our secretary Mike Potter!).


So with the 14 lucky squad members duly assembled, the team was announced as: Josh in goals; back four of Tommo, Tony, Cookie, Rob; in midfield Froudy, JP, Tom and Cashsenior; up front Rob and Steve Burton, leaving Ryan, Anthony and Phil Beeson as subs.


The pattern of the game was established early on; Greshams were looking to work opportunities through passing short and to feet, with the midfield pairing of JP and the diminutive playmaker Tom Cashen at the heart of most of their good work. Rangers on the other hand were looking pacy on the break, with their 'out ball' being a long punt over Tommo's head to their whippet like Left winger. Fortunately Tommo proved himself to be up to the challenge but Cookie and Co at the back were having to be on their toes to repel some rapid counter attacks. However they did this in relative comfort and it was pleasing that Greshams defended corners much better this week.


At the other end, the midfield four and the front two for Greshams were combining well, with Froudy showing great pace and work rate down the right and Rob and Steve looking sharp and dangerous. On the half hour, Greshams got the lead they deserved when an obvious and completely inexplicable handball was committed after an innocuous ball into the box. There is a new confidence about Steve Burton this year and he thumped the resulting penalty into the bottom corner.


Shortly later it should have been two when a cross found Steve Burton unmarked but the ball got somehow caught under his feet and despite his trying to retrieve the situation the chance went begging.


Half time: Rangers 0 Greshams 1


The game continued in very much the same vein in the second half and Greshams continued to play their passing game, interspersed with periods of deliberate time wasting as Tommo continuously hoofed the match ball out of the ground. The shortage of match balls was such that at one stage the game was being conducted with something more resembling a beach ball.


As Greshams continued to press, they wasted a few chances, most notably a glaring miss of startling ineptitude by the veteran Cashen. Timing his run perfectly the ageing winger was found by a pin point ball from JP, and took it in his stride around the keeper. Then things went horribly wrong. The veteran, perhaps over excited by the inviting empty net in front of him, hit a miserable right footed effort that trickled embarrassingly a yard wide of the post to the widespread derision of the crowd.


Luckily Greshams did make it two when Rob was out through by Froudy and showed Cashen how it should be done - the keeper however nearly saving his effort which looped rather fortunately into the net. Rob indeed should have added another when he was released by JP only to be caught, not in two minds but apparently about 8 minds as he came to a dead stop at the edge of the box and gave the keeper an easy one to save. Shortly after Rob did make it 3 - only for the goal to be inexplicably disallowed after the Rangers linesman raised his flag for a 'push' byRob on the Brick outhouse that was the Rangers keeper.


As the second half went on Greshams used all three subs as Rob, Froudy and Cash got well earned breathers. With Rangers also using their subs, including the strangely named Transylvanian Igor, who was spotted being sparked into life on the sidelines, the game became scrappy for the last 15 minutes. Greshams nearly conceded when the Rangers right winger, despite being flagged offside, was allowed to round Josh before sending a woeful effort over the top of the unguarded net. Greshams didn't heed that warning however and when Phil went marauding upfield, the left back spot was vacated and the Winger, once again set free by a long punt, this time made no mistake producing an inch perfect lob over Josh to give Rangers a lifeline. However Greshams held on and now progress to the next round of the Cup.


Full Time Rangers 1 Greshams 2


Man of the match


A number of candidates this week. Josh had his best game yet in goal, the back four all put in solid performances especially Tommo who was constantly tested by balls thumped over his head for the winger to chase. In midfield Froudy was pacy and industrious, JP and TC ran the game and up front, Burton and Rob carried a constant threat. However man of the match goes to JP, who appears to have been on a heading course over the summer. Strong in the air and his usual precise self on the ball JP just gets the award after the team's best performance so far.


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