Away cup match played on 27 November 2011.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

The UNITS took on Evesham Premiership Champions and 10 month undefeated Red Horse this morning which on paper was arguably the toughest draw for us in the last 16 of the Worcestershire cup

Cuzer again shuffled the pack to look at one or two players in certain positions and to give some game time to some of the squad players as we lined up with
Mala, Chinner, Barney, Darbs, Eggy, Kirbs, Ashton, Jim, Ross, Jonah & Taylor with a bench of Coco, Baker, Pountney, Penna & we welcomed back Turner from his inury

On a windy morning and a real heavy pitch the UNITS were quick out the blocks and tore into a shell shocked Red Horse and should have been 3 up inside 15 minutes. With only 2 minutes on the clock Taylor did well to create space for himself and fired over with his left foot from 15 yards, shortly after Ashton did well to beat his man and the keeper tipped over his shot from the edge of the box and Jonah who was having a field day against the Red Horse right back cut inside and saw his low shot blocked on the line
Red Horse were shocked into their own 10 minute spell then when we saw a bit of their quality in going forward but Mala was alert to make one sharp stop at his near post but that apart we kept them to long range

On 25 minutes we took a deserved lead when after good build up play Taylor rolled in Jonah who went for power from 12 yards only to lose his footing and see the ball have enough to loop over the grounded keeper and nestle in the far corner

Red Horse then came back and their left winger was giving Eggy a tough time and from one pullback from the byeline Mala did well to tip a low shot around the post as we preserved our lead

Right up until half time we really should have gave ourselves a match winning cushion when we spurned a host of good opportunities. Jim had a header dubiously chalked out as the referee felt the ball had originally gone out, then Darbs had a header cleared off the line as we turned the screw, Ashton again had a shot saved, as did Taylor & Jonah as Red Horse became more ratty as we took the game to them with the wind at our backs

Jim then volleyed over from 7 yards and Ross had a goal bound shot blocked as the 2nd wouldn't come

The UNITS suffered a real kick in the teeth in injury time of the first half when from a Mala goal kick we lost the header in the middle of the park with the Horse captain getting behind Jim and playing in their nippy striker who chipped the ball over Mala and their captain continued his run and slammed the ball into an empty net, the UNITS looked for a flag alas it never came as we were pegged back against the run of play right on half time

HT Red Horse 1 v 1 TS UNITS

Cuzer couldn't have been prouder of the first half efforts especially as we tinkered with the personnel and shape and took the game in every sense to Red Horse, only gripe was we were level when we should have been asking Red Horse to climb the proverbial mountain in the 2nd half

With the wind now at their backs and no doubt a realisation they were in for a tough mornings work The Horse came out of the traps quicker in the 2nd half and put us under pressure in the first 10 minutes, forcing a succession of quick corners and just when you felt we had dealt with the threat one whipped in delivery evaded everybody before unluckily striking Barney and falling at the feet of the Horse striker to tap into the empty net from all of a yard

Credit to us as again we went back at the Horse, Taylor was causing havoc with his throw and on more than one occasion we couldn't finish off loose balls in the 6 yard box. Jonah having a fine game again had a shot saved then after some slick play Ashton was played in who cut insdie and saw their keeper save well at this near post

Shortly after Penna replaced Eggy and Pountney came on for Ross

The UNITS were punished from our goal kick again on the hour mark as Mala's kick was headed back in behind our back four who waited for flag that never came as the pacey and wing nutted Horse striker ran on to finish well from 20 yards out

Turner then replaced Jim for the last 20 and iit was great to see the "veteran" midfielder return to the UNITS fold

With the UNITS now 3-1 down it would have been easy to let our heads drop but after another couple of Horse scares we again got ourselves back in the game when Jonah did well to beat his man and fire across goal for substitute Pountney to slide home to reduce the arrears to 3-2

We now pushed hard for an equaliser, Taylor again going close, one header from a throw was headed off the line superbly by the Horse centre half and in injury time the same centre half seemed to handle in the box and much to the UNITS dismay the referee waved away the penalty appeals. Pountey had a volley blocked 6 yards out as our last chance of an equaliser when begging with the final note going to Mala who saved well from the Horse striker as he really should have put the game to bed deep into injury time

Alas a defeat for the UNITS but another excellent team performance against good opposition we really should have buried in the first half.

Man of the match went to James Ashton who was excellent again for the UNITS in midfield.

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