The UNITS took on unbeaten Prem high flyers Grange at Brown Westhead this morning. Cuzer's plans were threw into turmoil somewhat pre kick off when Brownie was AWOL and skipper Hunter was laid low by man flu, this prompted a re-shuffle and we lined up with
Mike, Barney, Kie, Eggy, Danny, Taylor (c) Ashton, Turner, Coco, Pountney & Ginge
Subs were the returning Baker, Radman & Keith
The first 10 minutes we started fine, passing the ball OK and edging possession with neither side having a shot on target. Grange had a good spell there after coming into the game more but again no keeper was tested
Alas what followed for the next 20 minutes was really disappointing. Grange opened the scoring when Danny surrendered possession to their rapid right winger who accelerated away & crossed low for their striker to bundle home, Keith raised the flag for a tight offside but the referee who was poor all game overruled the flag & allowed the goal
By the 35 minute mark we found ourselves 4-0 down and the game gone, old habits disappointingly crept in as we crumbled once Grange made it 2-0. Again, some controversy with the UNITS back line calling for offside and the Grange player standing on the line and tapping home the referee again, who alas was on first name terms with the Grange side, kind of says it all, allowed the goal!
However no blaming the ref for Grange's next two goals when crosses into the box found 2 or 3 of their players free to finish as our poor marking and lack of tracking runners was bitterly disappointing and at 4-0 the game was over
HT UNITS 0 v 4 Grange
Half time wasn't for the hair dryer treatment despite too many of us being a yard off the required pace but Cuzer just reminded the boys of their jobs, that they had the ability to pass the ball better & work harder than they had done so far and to show a lot more pride in the 2nd half
Credit to the UNITS the 2nd half was a marked improvement, again we started well and moved the ball better but with Grange's first and only shot on target in the 2nd half they scored again, an excellent 50 minute free kick over the wall and into the corner
It would have been easy to crumble but we went on to have more ball and chances in the 2nd half. Baker replaced Turner on 60 minutes and we shuffled shape and we then asked a lot more questions of Grange, 4 or 5 half chances were spurned in the final half hour, their keeper making 2-3 decent saves and a couple of other chances going over/wide as we slowly started to show what we were about
Keith replaced Kie & Radman replaced Eggy as all subs got a run out but overall a disappointing performance from the UNITS. For 65 minutes of the game we were more than a match for Grange but for the 25 minutes they stepped it up and we became sloppy & we were heavily punished by a slick outfit who will go on I'm sure to challenge for the Prem title & no doubt secure this Bromsgrove Cup, we wish them luck.
Man of the match for the UNITS went to Pountney, who was excellent in the 2nd half and put some quality balls into the box when on another day we would have made a lot better use of
Next up we are back to league duty away to Bull & Bladder where changes will be made and a reaction required from all involved