Away cup match played on 26 April 2013.
Kicked off at 6:30 PM

The UNITS traveled once again to Lea Castle to take on Div 2 Olympic Sports in the Quarter Final of the Fire Shield
We had to do without Azza, Ginge & Ross and both Si and Chinner missed out with injury. Upon arrival we had been moved to a smaller pitch at Lea Castle and this prompted Cuzer into a tactical and personnel re-think as we decided to line up 442 and started with
Mala, Eggy, Gilo, Taylor, Barney, Baker, Ashton, Newt, Coco, Trigger & Pountney
Subs were Stef, Kieran, Acer & Radman

We had watched Olympic Sports pre game and were aware of their threats and formation, playing wing backs they were keen to get the ball down and wide yet from the off the UNITS plan of exploiting the channels and turning their back four was working a treat. We were quickly on the front foot and the movement of Trigger & Pountney was pulling their 3 centre halves all over the shop. On 5 minutes we took an early lead, Gilo & Ashton played a quick one two down the left and Ashton played in Coco who got to the byeline and hung up a cross which the NO keeper could only flap at, Pountney on hand to side foot home from 7 yards to put the UNITS 1-0 up

All the UNITS were working hard and NO had created no chances of note when the UNITS doubled their lead on the 15 minute mark, Coco put over a deep corner which Taylor headed back across goal for Barney to loop the header over the keeper and into the back of the net, a real collectors item and a very un UNIT like goal as we went 2-0 up

Trigger had a great chance to make it 3-0 when Ashton showed great feet to lose his marker in the middle of the park and he hit a diagonal ball to Trigger in the box who made a yard on his man only to head the ball into the side netting from 10 yards

On 30 minutes the UNITS had just stopped playing a little and NO had their best spell of the game. Their most dangerous threat was from long throws and corners, sending all their big men forward, in the main we were dealing with them well but one throw went across the goal line and was crying out for a NO touch and the from another throw their striker got ahead of Mala yet Taylor was on hand to head off the line

The UNITS finished the half strongly though as Pountney and Coco both went close to extended our lead as we came in 2-0 up


Cuzer was delighted with the application and effort of the UNITS in the first half, we were the far more dangerous team but the next goal would be the crucial one
We started a little sloppy in the 2nd half, NO forcing a host of corners and throws as they pushed their midfielder to play right off the front men as they now chased the game
On 60 minutes the killer 3rd goal did arrive for the UNITS, a ball forward was played to Pountney who showed good control to make some space and play in Trigger behind their back line, Trigger showed good pace to get away and as their keeper came out to challenge the ball ricocheted off Trigger in the 50/50, rumor has it off his giant nose and ball found it's way into the back of the NO net much to the UNITS delight

Cuzer then went to the 4231 shape to offer the back four a bit more protection from the now 3 forwards NO were playing, this afforded us some real width and we started playing better football as Coco and Pountney had success down the flanks
To their credit NO kept going and their striker mis kicked in the box when he should have at least tested Mala
Acer then replaced Pountney on 65 minutes, Pountney doing well when not 100% fit
Ashton was now finding space playing in the hole and some sharp link up between him and Acer resulted in Acer being brought down in the box but somehow the referee played on for what should have been a penalty

NO were still a threat from set pieces and their centre half headed over from 8 yards when again he should have done better

Cuzer then introduced Stef and Kieron for Ashton and Eggy with 15 left

On 80 minutes the UNITS scored a delightful fourth goal involving some 15+ passes, starting down our right, Newt's played a quick one two with Kieron, then got a return ball from Trigger before playing in Coco who took a touch and finished with aplomb with his left foot into the bottom corner, a lovely passing goal to cap off a fine win and performance

There was still time for their keeper to make a great save from Taylor from a Coco free kick and then Coco had a left foot shot saved from another nice move as the UNITS progressed into the semi final of the Fire Shield

Man of the match was a difficult one as it was a real team performance however after a couple of off colour performances Coco was back to his best and he gets the nod

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