This is my first report since Christmas so I will touch on our previous two games. We played a very strong Zion Athletic team in a match best forgotten due to the gale force winds making any meaningful football impossible. Still it was a decent first work out in a month for us and we kept our unbeaten record intact with a 0 v 0 draw. I would say we had more of the half chances with Zion not overly stretching us in defence, but it took a worldy reaction save from Phil to keep us level around the 85th minute after a Jadon turn and shot.
We then played St Thomas after another weather induced 2 week break and beat them 4 v 0 in another rusty performance. St Thomas played well and were dangerous on the break having a good chance to go 1 v 0 up and then pushing for a goal back at 3 v 0. Our superiority off set pieces and especially in the first half domination of possession made the game comfortable against a young team. Steve was hampered by people turning up late, and although we had a lot of possession in the first half we didn’t actually realise we were playing against 10 men for 30 goalless minutes until their 11th man turned up! We scored 5 minutes after he came on, but the guy then had excellent 2nd half as St Thomas came into the game.
On to Saturdays cup quarter final against City Church. This was a much better and different team than that which we beat 6 v 0 earlier in the season, with the main difference being their new additions added physicality and height. When we beat them 6 v0 they still worked hard and played nice football but could not convert that into chances.
Today was a fairly even game where we probably had more chances but Phil had to save a penalty and pull off a triple reaction save to keep us in it. Our pitch has taken a battering over the winter which did not help either team. City were down the slope 1st half and made it count with a number of corners and long throws, but we managed to keep them out until their midfielder nipped in from behind Phil and was clipped for a penalty. Luckily Phil is making a habit of saving them and flung himself to his left to tip it around the post. This seemed to get us going and we then created a number of chances which we really should have put away, with Coleman clear through down the right one I recall. The pattern continued in the 2nd half with both teams having spells of pressure. Phil pulled off his triple save, somehow getting back to his feet to jump at the striker and block City players shots 3 times before we got it away. The City keeper was also in inspired form in both halves pulling off a number of brilliant saves topped by a close range effort when the ball dropped to Davies and we all thought it was in. 0v0 FT
Extra Time: We were up hill in the 1st half of extra time and although City forced a number of set pieces I felt we took control and looked dangerous on the break. Then within a minute of Harris going up front to give his cramping leg a rest a quality pass sent Coleman clear down the left and his pinpoint low cross found Harris to dink past the City keeper for 1v0. Again City came at us but we shut up shop well until half time and could have killed the game off a couple of times. In the 2nd half of extra time both teams were tiring and a set peice for either team looked their best bet of scoring, or us hitting them on the break as they pushed for an equaliser. Our position was made harder when Green was dismissed when the referee judged what appeared to us to be a good tackle to be a foul and a 2nd yellow card. However with just over 5 minutes left we held out and progress to a semi final with Wolves and Perton.