Back on grass today on pitch 1 at the Arncliffe and the ground looked soft an ready for a cup game. A squad of 13 for the game meant we had room to make changes and allow tired legs to rest up during the game. 4-3-3 was the formation for the day and we also welcomed back Oscar after a 2 game suspension.
Right from the off the Di Stefano team wanted to make a clear statement to their opposition who beat them the week before that the same result would not happen again. Drew very early on looked to have the measure of Lucas and out thought and out fought him in every sense. Drew and Jack also linked up really well down the right side and for most of the first half kept linking with any of the midfielders and getting in behind the defence. After a couple of messy goal mouth scrambles and shots getting blocked came the first goal. Drew won the ball back and played it into Uday who dropped his shoulder to beat his man before playing it through to Jack who quickly crossed the ball into the box, Oscar was right on the end of it to poke the ball in at the near post with his right foot to make it 1-0. A few moments later with his tail up Hugo worked the ball to Oscar in down the left, Oscar managed to turn his man inside and out before getting a sight of goal, he stabbed at the ball with his left foot hitting the post before the ball went for goal kick. The pattern of play remained the same with our defence and midfield proving to dominant and leaving Toby with very little to do. Archie and Uday broke down the opposition play before linking it to George or the wide players.
Half Time 1-0
A few changes where made for the second half with Flynn going on upfront and Hayden going into centre back however the game continued to be dominated in the same way. After a bout 10 minutes into the second half Oliver won a freekick out on our right just outside the 18 yard box. George stepped over the ball and assessed his options, with the wall setup and the keepers starting position he seen his chance and went for goal trying to pick out the far corner of the goal, the ball hit the right angle of the post and went out for a GK it was almost so perfect. Flynn although not use to playing as a centre forward stuck at the task he was given for the day and battle constantly with their defenders, he almost get rewarded for his efforts when his pressure meant that the defender gave the ball back to him and his quickly took his trike at goal only to hit the side netting. On 52 minutes we broke on a counter attack and forced the keeper to close down the attack, we took our shot early which made the keeper react by trying to save it with his hands and handling the ball outside the area. This gave us a freekick 5 yrds outside the box dead centre of the goal. After some deliberation between Hayden, Uday and George it was decided between themselves that Uday was taking it. The keeper lined his wall up and steady himself before the ref blew his whistle, Uday stepped up and arrowed the ball right into the corner with the keeper left flying in the air. 2-0
It wouldn't be Di Stefano without a little scare and that is just what we got with 10 minutes to go as Hayden passed the ball back to Toby as they have been trained to do but the pitch surface made this more difficult than the carpet we train on at Simpsons. the ball was bobbling as it came through to Toby and Lucas spotted a chance to close him down, as Toby waited for the right time to swing at the ball Lucas got closer and as he hit the ball it went straight into Lucas but fortunately for us Toby reacted like a wicket keeper and instantly caught the ball as it flew towards goal.
Full Time 2-0
POTM Alex for his well timed interceptions and want to play out from the back when the chance arrived, also led by example and got stuck in when required.
1st group game of the cup completed and one of our best performances in a footballing sense.