Today we faced Bronze FC in the cup, weather was shining and the pitch was in excellent condition, unlike some of the players who turned up bearing gifts of McDonald’s and a bad stench of ale!
From the off we looked to attack with purpose and pace, Sean Phillips using a starting berth to try and force his way into the starting 11 on a more regular basis looked dangerous early doors with some powerful running.
The game was a strange affair for the first 30 minutes as we looked to get a foothold on the game, it was if we was trying to size our opponents up and chances to be fair were slim even thou we looked extremely comfortable at the back with Booie taking the reins in goal and a back 3 of Yates, Ryan smith and Kevin Machin all looking particularly solid.
We started to get a bit agitated with not opening our account, Danny Curran was flying into tackles which had the referee asking me to have a word in his ear, and chances were going begging Rose and Phillips all missing decent opportunities.
Then the breakthrough came after some simple football, Curran instead of panicking played a simple ball back to Ryan Smith who in turn found Yates beside him he played a straight ball down the right to Philly Lennon who after advancing a few yards played the ball low across goal and the on rushing and highly impressive Sean Phillips finished with ease to settle any nerves. 1-0.
El matador Dave Leslie even tried his luck from range but his went horribly wide of the goalkeepers post, moments after that Briggs went for a worldy but seen his effort shave the bar.
Then seconds later it got even more comfortable a simple bit of football again between defence and midfield allowed Adam Coulls who moments earlier had played a stunning ball thru which split their defence like Moses parted the red sea, strode forward and from all of 35 yards rifled an absolute screamer of a shot which arrowed into the top corner for a goal of the season contender 2-0.
Virtually from the kick off we won back possession and Machin rode forward from the back and played a neat one two with Tom Briggs he played it into the feet of Liam Rose who let it run thru his legs and in one motion turned the defender and from the edge of the box hit a stunning effort with swerve which flew past the keeper….2 goal of the season contenders in a matter of minutes 3-0.
It got even better, seconds after kicking off Briggs capitalized on a bronze failed clearance and hit another superb effort which floated into the top right corner to put the nail in the bronzes coffin 4-0.
We started to play some really wonderful stuff even though at times we started to get too greedy and played the wrong final ball it was a joy to watch at times.
Another great piece of wing play from Philly Lennon found Phillips who once again like he had done all match had the bronze defence scampering and he forced a corner which Curran hit in and Phillips flicked onto the back post where Kevin Machin smashed into the net from close range 5-0.
Phillips looking increasingly menacing, waltzed into the area and hit a shot which their keeper saved, the ball fell kindly to a well-placed Danny Curran a few yards out who intelligently kept it low and placed it between the keeper and a defender on the line to send us 6-0 up ….another goal of the season contender Coullsy????? ;)
Cue a range host of substitution’s James Thomas aka Jim Bob came on for Liam Rose Shaun Briggs for his brother Tom Briggs and Philly Lennon for Danny Croker, which put the game into a bit of a lull slightly, nothing to do with any of the subs impact as all did their jobs perfectly it just happens sometimes and for 15 or so minutes we took our foot off the gas slightly.
Then came the substitution which changed the game as yours truly came on in place of Adam Coulls, being honest it felt like I done more in those 25 minutes than the whole of last week’s 70 minute performance. A few step overs here a few outside of the boot passes just a small repertoire of the skills I possess.
Then came another superb finish and if it wasn’t another goal of the season contender it was certainly up there with assist of the season as Danny Curran from inside his own half looked up and spotted JimBob making a clever run in behind and hit a superb ball which Jim Bob took in his stride and finished superbly past the keeper 7-0.
The last remaining minutes saw Croker miss horribly Shaun Briggs miss an open goal and a host of other chances go begging, it even had Sam Yates barge forward and plough thru most of the bronze team only to get a nose bleed in the box and miss his chance of glory.
Then the whistle came all in all a great performance and good day, Matthew Easterbrook got a suntan and we got to see some truly stunning goals and we progress to another semi-final which so happens to be next week.
Some great performances all-round the defence all did superb Yates, Smith and Machin coped with anything thrown at them superbly, not only that but they built up play from the back and was always an outlet. In Midfield Leslie was covering miles as he always does Curran was everywhere again and Coullsy capped off a good display with a definite goal of the season contender! On either wing Briggs and Lennon both put in brilliant shifts and up top Rose capped off another hard working display with another goal of the season contender but M.O.M went to myself……….sorry I mean Sean Phillips who after months of sitting on the bench waiting for his chance took it with both hands and then some, a superb performance his link up play and powerful running and hard work was a joy to watch and he has now put himself firmly in the managers minds with his brilliant performance.