Home cup match played on 22 October 2016.
Kicked off at 10:00 AM

Launton Athletic suffered their first defeat of the season Saturday. The opposition were a good side, but Athletic let the game get away from them in the opening half with an uncharacteristic performance.

The game started off well as an opposition attack was broken down, and Gough cleared the ball up to Barrett who opted for the direct route forcing a corner. The corner was easily dealt with by the opposition who broke quickly, but Mortimer read the play and coolly laid it off to Mcleese who picked out a lovely through ball but Babington was beaten to it by the advancing opposition keeper.

The ball broke in the middle and Barrett picked it up, beating two before hitting a shot that keeper gathered. A quick clearance and the opposition broke at speed, the Athletic defence unable to prevent a through ball and the opposition striker slotted home.

A sleepy Athletic were nearly two down shortly after, but a quick break by the opposition leading to a one on one was commanded superbly by Chaston in the Athletic goal.

Mortimer made a strong interception and with lovely footwork freed himself up to make a pass which beat all and sent Lucas-Howells through, but again the keeper outpaced the Athletic attack to win the ball.

The second goal was a gift for the opposition, a long ball resulted in a missed clearance attempt and the opposition player made no mistake in punishing the error as he passed the ball into the net.

Two saves in quick succession, including one that should have won an award for an act of bravery, as Chaston dived at the feet of the opposition player mid strike, kept the deficit to two. The resulting kick from Chaston found Babington who sent Barrett through and produced a foul from the opposition defender as he moved towards the box. Barrett struck the free kick to the back post, but no challenge from Athletic meant an easily headed clearance was accepted by the opposition.

Late in the half the opposition grabbed a third through another direct move and left Athletic with it all to do in the second half.

The players received a (polite) waking up at half time and the second half started brightly. Gough released Barrett but his shot was saved by the keeper. McLeese picked the ball up in his own half and rolled the ball to Mortimer, who brilliantly dummied it, allowing Burrows to pick it up and hit a channel ball through the right side. Barrett picked up the ball and beat the defender before reeling off a shot that hit the side netting.

The Athletic task was made even harder when another direct break took out the Athletic midfield and defence in one swoop and they grabbed a fourth. No chance for the keeper on that finish.

An immediate response from the kick off, a succession of one touch triangles between Barrett and Lucas-Howells allowed Lucas-Howells to slot the ball home from inside the box. Was the comeback on?

An opposition freekeick saw Maciejewski win a superb defensive header whilst being man handled to prevent another break on goal. Athletic picked the ball up from the resulting throw and Barrett was again fouled on the left side. Barrett crossed the free kick and Mortimer rose to win a header, but agonisingly the ball went wide of the post.

The opposition picked up a fifth and put to game to bed, but Athletic kept plugging away and picked up another when a Lucas-Howells corner was turned in by Gough.

The chances kept coming, a free kick won in the opposition half was sent wide by Lucas-Howells. Mortimer hit a shot from distance that went over the bar, Barrett hit the side netting with a lob after flicking the ball over a defender and a Babington goal was disallowed for offside.

A third and final consolation was picked up late as a Barrett corner was inevitably met by, you guessed it, Gough who turned the ball home for his second of the day and continued to show what a threat he possesses from set pieces.

A sleepy first half did the damage, but a great response in the second half meant that whilst lessons could be learnt, there were positives to take away from the performance.

Roll on the 5th November when we go again… There could be fireworks that day! COYY!

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