We went into the game knowing that Clarendon would be out for revenge following our comeback a few weeks ago, but we were determined to win as we have had some poor performances in the Cup since we won it in 2007 and 2008 and made the final in 2009 and some of our more recent recruits would like to sample a Cup Final. We were missing top scorer Wiedeman but had Locke and Harris back from injury in midfield. Wiedemans absence was emphasised by Clarendons emergency signing of perennial Div 1 top scorer Everton Morrison…
The game started at a frantic pace, but unlike the previous game where Clarendon were on top first half it was an even contest with us just about edging the chances. However Clarendon won a penalty to give them the chance to take the lead. It was a well struck penalty but Phil flung himself to his right and made a fantastic save and then 2 or 3 follow up efforts were blocked to keep the score at 0-0 . The importance of the save was shown when we broke from the resulting corner and won a corner of our own, with Andrew ‘Tink’ Beeson scoring a Bullet header which hit the (obviously well put up) net and bounced out again needing the linesman to give the goal.
The game continued with us not being able to put the finish to moves and Clarendon also looking dangerous and this told when they won a corner and their centre back powered a header towards goal, Locke tried to clear off the line but this time the other linesman gave a goal (I’d say that both decisions were correct, who needs goal line technology?), 1-1.
We reacted well to conceding and created a few half chances, but with Clarendon pushing us back we hit them on the break and after some excellent work Sheward ‘picked out’ Locke at the back post and he slotted past the keeper for 2-1 at half time.
We came out in the 2nd half knowing that Clarendon would come at us but Tink scored just after with a great run and finish to make it 3-1. The game continued to be even with both sides having chances and it was from our corner that Clarendon broke to get their 2nd goal, Their striker received the ball in his own half, knocked it 40 yards ahead and boy did he run… straight past 3 of our players and then squared for a tap in, I have not seen pace like that often!
The rest of the game was us consolidating and Clarendon pushing for the equaliser with the pace and quality of the game continuing. On to League action against Wolves and Perton next week which is another big game as they have started well this season, especially given their win against Connect last week.