Away cup match played on 06 April 2014.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

The UNITS travelled to Prem high flyers Grange in the last 16 of the Sunday league Senior Cup. Alas due to the backlog of fixtures and important league games on the horizon this game wasn't of the upmost priority for the UNITS and a few players were left at home and the squad shuffled as we started with: Mala, DJ, Taylor, Barney, Millette, Gilo, Jim, Baker, Newt, Trigger and Azza. Subs were Chinner, Seeks and Pountney.

The pitch was extremely heavy with the overnight rain but credit to both sides as the opening 10 minutes were competitive with both sides trying to pass the ball. The UNITS really grew into the game as they were more than a match for the hosts in the opening exchanges one lovely passing move resulted in Jim driving a 25 yard shot which the keeper saved at full stretch at the second attempt The defence were doing superb especially Taylor, Sean and Barney who were keeping the lively Grange front two relatively quiet, Griff had one good chance on 20 minutes which Mala saved comfortably at his near post. On 25 minutes the UNITS really should have opened the scoring when after some nice one touch passing in midfield the ball was played forward to Azza who cushioned a lovely header down to Jim some 20 yards out, Jim feinted and beat his man and shaped to shoot only to thread in DJ in acres of space some 12 yards out but he could only fire against the keepers legs with the ball going out for a corner, the keeper having to be replaced due to landing awkwardly on his ankle.

From the resulting corner Taylor rose highest and planted his header against the post with Grange scrambling clear. On 35 minutes Grange had their best chance when from some good passing around the UNITS box the forward appeared to foul Sean in the build-up but he found himself with a shooting opportunity 10 yards out yet Mala spread himself well to parry the ball away. Grange finished the half strongly with a couple of dangerous balls coming into our box yet the defence dealt with the threat as we came in at half time 0-0.

HT GRANGE 0 v 0 TS Units

Cuzer was delighted with the first half application, the work rate was tremendous, we looked solid and a threat when we had the ball, and the message was more of the same. However a change had to be made at HT as Barney who had picked up a knock to his ankle was replaced by The Strap in a like for like change. As the 2nd half started we seemed to be 5 yards deeper which allowed Grange to have the lion’s share of possession, we still broke with good pace yet we were not controlling the game as we were at times in the first half. It was no great surprise then when on 55 minutes the home side opened the scoring, the big striker being afforded too much space by Chinner as he sliced his shot, wrong footing Mala into the far corner from 15 yards out.

On 60 minutes it became 2-0 when a slick 1-2 between the Grange front two resulted in their striker prodding past Mala from 10 yards out, there was a hint of offside about the goal but the flag stayed down. Cuzer then replaced Trigger and Azza with Seeks and Pountney. Credit to the UNITS we got ourselves back in the game on 65 minutes when DJ pinged in a 30 yard free kick to which Taylor rose highest and headed the ball home to make it 2-1. Taylor then hit the post from another set piece as we were right back in the game, then Pountney did well to race clear and slip in Seeks who cut inside in the box but the ball took a bobble as he sliced over from 10 yards with a real chance. On 75 minutes and against the recent run of play Grange got the elusive 3rd they needed when a 50 yard ball into our box was allowed to find its way through to their striker who guided his header past Mala and knock the wind out of our sails somewhat.

Within 5 minutes Grange had made it 5-1 with two fine individual goals, firstly Griff beat two men and rifled home from 25 yards out into the bottom corner then from a free kick their wide man struck a fine 20 yard screamer into the bottom corner to put a real lopsided score line on proceedings. There was time however for the UNITS to grab a consolation when Seeks did well to hold up the ball and thread in Pountney who raced away from the Grange back line, rounded the keeper and stroked the ball home as the UNITS bowed out 5-2.

A real shame we couldn't play this back in January when both sides would have been at full strength as Grange are a fine side and it would have been a great test for us to see how we performed but priorities have to be taken at this time of the season, saying that take nothing away from Grange who are a slick outfit and also nothing away from the 14 involved today from the UNITS who at times were more than a match for Grange and played some lovely stuff and didn't deserve a three goal defeat.

There were some superb UNIT displays especially from Paul Taylor yet MOM goes to Jim Windridge as it was his first start for over 3 months and he never stopped in midfield.

Next up the UNITS take on Dudley Sports in a huge league game away at their place this coming Wednesday.

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