Our first competitive game of the season saw a home match to Ipswich Valley Rangers formerly Ipswich United. In Ipswich’s first game of the season saw them beat an impressive Ransomes 1- 0 to go top of their division. Our first cup game made way for two new signings, Scott Wheatley and Dean Robertson with Foster, Shaughan and Deano’ unable to make our first game. Ali was a late call off so Frank got the nod to start in right midfield in a 3-1-4-2 formation leaving Howie, Andy, Stevie and Scott on the bench.
A bright start from Rangers showing their ability to pass and find players feet quickly identified that we needed change this about. Dave was asked to man mark “Izzy” ensuring that he was not going to have easy afternoon. A free kick just inside the Rangers half gave our Jewish International Gavin Evans a chance to provide an early opportunity for our first attack – but Gav decided to have a go from 40 yards and curled the ball into the top corner. The game was still young when Scott Wheatly came off with man troubles (ham string), so an early change gave Stevie Adams a chance a left midfield. The back of 3 of DJ, Maff and Trevor are really starting to gel with Trevor having the best game in years.
Rangers provided early warning signs that a goal was looming and they later equalised with a stunning goal from 35 yards that gave Dean no hope as he was caught on the edge of the box. Clive went over to take our second corner of the game and put the ball in the box missing the Rangers defence and find Maff Jay at the far post to head home to make it 2 - 1 to The Times. Chances were missed by Gav who broke through the Rangers defence only to see the bounce up as he was just about to make it 3 – 1. We had another good chance with a break down the left as Gav put in a lovely weighted cross only to see Frank slice wide. Late in the half another long range effort from Rangers saw Dean beaten to make it 2 – 2 at half time.
An inspired team talk and fag break seemed to right the wrongs and The Times go 3 – 2 up with a cheeky poke home from Chris Mallet notching his first of the season. Although Stevie Adams was being knocked of ball far too cheaply he did manage to put the Ipswich keeper on his arse after he elbowed Stevie in the head. It was Chris again who picked a brilliant pass from the unwell Captain Chris Goodchild to beat the keeper with a great finish to us 4 – 2 up with 30 minutes to go. With Howie aggravating his hamstring running the line, it gave Scott the opportunity to put himself up front with Chris Mallet changing to right midfield. With Clive picking up a knock and Captain Chris recovering from illness their games became harder and with extra time looming neither player wanted another 30 minutes.
Rangers continued to press applying constant pressure and with 10 minutes until full time, 2 late goals saw them progress into the next round with a 6 – 4 victory.
Managers Notes…… We all need to take some positives out of the game, this was only are second game and we did hold our own until the last 10 minutes. I am sure that we will continue to improve as the season progresses – looking forward to our next game against Coplestonians.