The UNITS took on Worcs Div 2 outfit Malvern Victoria in the 2nd round of the WFA Junior Cup. Cuzer had 15 at this disposal as we lined up. Mala, DJ, Chinner, Barney, Millette, Ryan, Azza, Coco, Ashton, Seeks and Trigger. Bench was Kieron P, Kieran W, Pountney and Newts.
Once more the UNITS got off to a flyer at home, something of a habit forming when Seeks challenged his 11 second goal against SR with another rapid strike. From the kick off Azza played in DJ who skinned his man and crossed low, Trigger just missed out on the front stick but Seeks picked up at the back stick and slammed the ball home to put the UNITS 1-0 up without MV touching the ball. On 3 minutes it was 2-0 when after more good interchange down our right DJ got into the box and fired in a low shot which the keeper pushed round the post, DJ was challenged as he got the shot off and the referee pulled play back for the challenge and awarded a rather generous penalty in all fairness, one which Azza made no mistake with sending the keeper the wrong way. It was all one way traffic early on yet the referee was certainly in the mood for giving generous penalties when on 8 minutes Mala challenged the MV striker in the box, clearly won the ball yet the referee somehow giving a penalty for the challenge. MV made no mistake from the spot and it was 2-1.
The UNITS were then forced into an early change when Ryan made a block challenge and twisted his knee, Kie Power coming on in a like for like swap. The weather was woeful with rain and gale force winds blowing and this didn't help good football, the UNITS became sloppy and all of a sudden MV was in the game more. On 25 minutes from being in complete control we found ourselves pegged back when from a cross Barney took a touch in our box only to lose his footing leaving the MV striker to prod past Mala from 6 yards. The UNITS were still creating good chances, Trigger volleyed over at the back stick when well placed, Seeks and Ashton both had good chances saved then DJ played a slick one-two raced into the box only to be clipped as he bore down on goal, this time no penalty, arguably the clearest one of the lot wasn't given as things remained level. Credit to MV who kept working hard and Mala had to make two sharp one on one saves as the visitors almost snatched an unlikely lead. On 35 minutes the UNITS got back in front, Ashton doing well in midfield before playing in Seeks who finished well from 15 yards out making it 3-2 to the UNITS going into the 2nd half.
Half Time UNITS 3 v 2 Malvern Victoria
Cuzer asked the guys to forget the first half and start again, treat it like a new game and win the 2nd half well. The UNITS started on the front foot and pegged back MV from the off, Ashton, Azza and Seeks all had chances to increase our lead before on 55 minutes Azza did well down the left, whipped in a delightful low cross which the centre half under pressure from Trigger could only divert into his own net. Shortly after Kie Watters replaced Trigger with the UNITS making their 2nd change. Mala was a mere spectator in the 2nd half as the UNITS knocked the ball around better, Chinner having a good 2nd half was almost through twice in the space of five minutes only a heavy touch and good tackle stopping him being clean through.
Azza stung the hands of the keeper from 25 yards then Ashton forced him to palm round the post from a low 20 yard shot. Seeks chasing a hat-trick was put clear and the MV keeper made a good low stop and saved the rebound with his legs and the UNITS couldn't add to the score line. On 70 minutes it was 5-2 when Coco played the ball to Ashton who clipped a neat pass to Azza who raced forward before dinking the ball over the back peddling keeper to score a fine goal as the UNITS put the game beyond doubt. Newt’s then replaced Barney as Cuzer kept the same team shape. The remaining 20 minutes was a case of missed chances and good saves, Kie Watters had two shots well saved, DJ had a goal bound shot saved and the follow up blocked on the line and Seeks was inches away from completing his hat trick when a scramble in the box was hacked off the line.
All in all a decent win but we could have been a lot slicker all over the pitch, credit to MV who never stopped working and we wish them well for the rest of the season.
Man of the match went to Coco who did well in the deep lying midfield role and was at the heart of most of our best moves.
Next week the UNITS travel to New Inn out of the Worcester Prem in a tough looking fixture with New Inn rolling over Premiership Wolverley earlier today.