By James Grinsted
We arrived at Clarendon ready for the League Cup game following last week’s postponement. The pitch was in a good condition despite being waterlogged only a week ago, but the blustery wind caused a lot of issues for both sides throughout.
We started the game quite slowly, as seems to be the case so often and we fell behind on 15mins to a headed goal from a corner. A free header at the back post – well taken but soft defending on our part to leave a free header 6 yards out. We quickly got ourselves back on level terms with Danny Holland scoring direct from a corner, with a little bit of assistance from the wind which foxed the Clarendon keeper as the ball sailed into the far post. We were dealt a blow before half-time as Haydn Ellis had to come off with a hamstring strain, to be replaced by Lewis Cox in a like-for-like substitution.
Once again we started slowly and fell behind for the second time in the game only 2 minutes after the break. Once again we showed a bit of fight to get ourselves back into the game and equalised through a well taken goal by Jack Evans, finishing coolly after Tom Collins had hit the post. This goal capped a fine display in centre-midfield by Jack. Soon after the goal, we had to shuffle our defence with Josh Chell coming off injured and being replaced by Brad Tiernan. Only 5 minutes later, we fell behind for a third time, another well taken goal by Clarendon, but another which we should have prevented. Into the last 15minutes, and we started throwing everything forward to look for another equaliser and force the game into extra-time. Chris James was sent on up front in place of defender Rich Stevens to add a bit more height and strength to the forward line and this nearly paid dividends as we created a few close chances. It was on the break though, that we were punished once again as Clarendon scored their fourth as we were pushing forward and left ourselves short at the back.
The final score was 4-2, but we can be pleased with how we fought throughout the game and on another day the scoreline could have been different. The game was played in a good spirit throughout, and we wish Clarendon all the best in their continued cup run.