This was always going to be a tough game following the history we have against AFC Shoreham and the previous encounter when we were short of key players. AFC Shoreham who had won all their previous 12 games were favourites for the George Millyard Trophy and fielded a team of 15 county players and the strength of their squad was such that Tony Burnett their striker and Mile Oak County 1 player was on the bench. AFC Shoreham's previous games were a 5-1 trouncing of Bevendean Athletic and a 7-0 win against East Brighton CFC.
Having to get the lads up for this game was not going to be difficult as they were all clearly disappointed from the loss against East Brighton the week before. The return of Max Derkson added to the quality of the Rosehill squad and messages of support from fellow teams who had succumbed to AFC Shoreham added to the pre match banter and focus.
For the first 15-20 minutes you could see that AFC Shoreham meant business but Rosehill defended defiantly and played some great football with no luck. Rosehill played some clever football and had a couple of half chances before on 26 minutes a penalty to Rosehill was awarded following a hand ball and Craig Anderson converted the resulting penalty with ease and calmness as the AFC Shoreham players tried to put Craig off but like a normal Friday night on the piss Craig was not taking any prisoners.
A clever team move on 30 minutes saw Craig once again convert an excellent team move following a reverse pass from Jack Doe. Rosehill continued to press and for the remainder of the first half it was AFC Shoreham who had to defend. Clever one and two touch football took the game to the favourites.
Things could have been different had it not been for a world class save from Rosehill keeper Adam Devlin to deny AFC Shoreham by tipping the ball over the bar from a clever AFC Shoreham move.
Out of nothing on 42 minutes AFC Shoreham got a goal back to go into the break 2-1 down and they were fortunate to go in only one behind. The players were obviously on edge as the previous week they were 2-1 up and ended up losing due to players heads going down so it was important that Gaz, Rosehills master tactician AKA Peter Taylor and Tony AKA The Maverick AKA Cloughie jollied them up for the second half and a Derkson team talk and Tony's 125 minutes from a cup final words stuck in their heads, although it as in fact 135 minutes as corrected by Ryan Warwick.
From the off Rosehill once again took the game to AFC Shoreham and rather than defend a one goal lead went all out to score and make the game safe. It was all Rosehill with some amazing pass and move football and one and two touch moves. In fact it was all Rosehill and once again a couple of chances went to Rosehill and without the resolute defending of the back 4 of Chris, Max, Gaz the Chav and Nathan kept the score at 2-1.
On 54 minutes with the ball played out of defence Nathan double barrelled Hibbert Morris crossed the ball over for Jack Doe to run into the 6 yard box and volley the ball into the roof of the net, an expertly taken goal. Jack Doe soon after ran 40 yards from his own half and out sprinted the AFC Shoreham left back only for the ball to take a bobble from 10 yards and the resulting shot went wide.
All of the football from Rosehill was outstanding and the defensive midfield of Doe and Rudwick was awesome and Ben, Shrubby and Diney were always giving their midfield and defence of AFC Shoreham major problems and Rosehill were using every inch of the pitch.
Gaz decided to make a number of changes and brought on the speedy Will Sillsby for Shrubby and Mike Jones on for Ben and both Ben and Shrubby had excellent games. Will was brought on to cause problems for their defence and Mike as we needed some brawn and to be physical.
On 62 minutes AFC Shoreham could see the game slipping away and brought on Tony Burnett who gave Rosehill problems in the previous encounter. Rosehill substituted Diney for Marky Martin and Diney who done more running than the time he was a kid running errands for Gaz Anderon to the chip shop and the Pankhurst Sex Shop.
Rosehill continued to defend defiantly and some blocks from the Rosehill defence and putting their bodies in the way John Terry like. On 75 minutes Shoreham scored a clever goal from their master plan, the long throw for a AFC Shoreham player to deftly convert the ball into the Rosehill net.
With the score at 3-2 most teams with 15 minutes to go would have done a Jose M and parked everyone behind the ball but this is not how we roll. Rosehill continued to press and clever work by man of the match Gary Anderson saw him play the long ball over the AFC Shoreham defence for Craig to sprint clear and lob the keeper from 15 yards, great goal and in return Craig ended up cooking his big brother a microwave meal in the Pankhurst area of Brighton last night.
4-2 and less than 13 minutes to go and the game was slipping away from the favourites and Rosehill midfield and defence clubbed together to keep the score the same.
On 85 minutes with the game clearly won a piece of magic never seen at Waterhall or on a Sunday game occurred. One of the Rosehill players wanted water so Tony carried out his water boy duty but due to his OCD wanted to make sure the water bottle was in the water carrier and by the time he turned around saw the keeper lobbed by whom he did not know just a case of the ball going in with inches to spare. Anyway I was told that George picked the ball up looked up from the half way line took a touch and lobbed the AFC Shoreham, county keeper from the half way line. The Rosehill players descended on George with celebrations not seen since Jimmy Glass a keeper scored for Carlisle in injury time to keep them in the football league haha. Gaz D was seen to be jumping up and down reliving his youth doing the pogo and clapping his hands like a demented seal! So into the semi finals of the George Millyard Trophy.
Thanks to Debbie and Chris who came as usual to watch their favourite team Man U excluded I think, and to Drew who is the Rosehill motivator who comes week after week to help out with his charismatic if unorthodox manner a great leader off the field as he was on the field before his long term injury.
Thanks as well to Ryan Warwick who has done an excellent job running the line for Rosehill this season and fends off the anger of the opponents while doing his job fairly and honestly.
A couple of quotes to finish off.....
A chap in a Wenger type B and H Albion long coat who come to watch a game every week at Waterhall as he has done for the last 25 years
"Is this really a Sunday league game a I cant believe what I am seeing here with the way you are playing" Yes I said we are playing very well. " Very well he said I have not seen park football like this in all the 25 years I have been watching games on a Sunday here" Thanks I said its taken us over 6 years to get to this but we are only going to get better.
The referee after the game.....
"Well Tony I refereed a top county cup game yesterday with two top teams playing that went to extra time and can honestly say that with the way you played today you would not be out of your depth against either of them" That's nice and also congratulated our players at our discipline as he could see the AFC Shoreham superstars getting niggly and angry.
I have not given anyone a 10 and all got 9.5's as there is room for improvement haha. We are only as good as our last game so need to concentrate on the next fixture in the league on 15th December.
Gaz and me are so proud of the way you bounced back from the last game and Gaz has had to bring in extra shipments of Valium from a South American cartel to calm him down and me a packet of extra strong camomile tea to overdose on. We are so proud of the team we have put together each and every one of you can pat yourselves on the back. "Things can only get better" as D-Ream sang about. Me and Gaz do what we do to see a smile at the end of the game and yesterday smiles were clearly evident from you all.
This great win is dedicated to the Michael family