Zion Athletic 4 All Saints Olympic 2 (a.e.t)

I didn’t really want to write a report today as I haven’t really done them this year but after Neil’s request and numerous player requests I decided too.

In truth players missing and not being able to find the ground really hindered the warm up and when we had a player sent off after 2 minutes we couldn’t have had a worse start, further bad luck and All Saints cross took a wicked deflection and somehow the ball dropped in off the far post after looping in the air, still don’t know how it found its way in! The luck continued to desert us, we hit the bar, the ball rolled across the bar and dropped behind, All Saints then cleared a header off the line from Jal and 2 minutes later hit the post. Forgive me for thinking it wasn’t going to be our day! We then drew level, Jal hit the post again!! This time he was quickest to the rebound, we really deserved that goal and in truth we looked like the side with 11. All saints never forced Ste into a save first half as we defended well led by Matt and mike!

Second half, All Saints stepped it up, they were knocking it round better and finding more space, in truth Ste still didn’t have too many saves to make although they were the team on top. With about 15 to go their dangerous winger cut in and unleashed a cracker which Ste got his hand too but couldn’t stop. We were running on empty after being a man down and All Saints stepping it up but somehow we showed the character to get level in injury time, Leon shot the keeper made an error and I had the task of heading into a empty net.

Extra time came and things got worse, Jal was sent off within 2 minutes for a second bookable. However, with 9 we stepped it up, quick thrown in, cut back too Greg, who I have no idea why he was up there ! shot and got blocked and again I had the simple task of tapping in.

From then on we had a few chances on the break but All Saints were now applying all the pressure and in the second half of extra time Ste was forced into an excellent double block and All Saints kept shooting, all though mainly from range. We then somehow mustered a 4th with me completing my hat trick with a run and finish sparking wild celebrations on the pitch and touchline! We still had time for me to horrendously miss a penalty in injury time but it couldn’t deny us an unbelievable victory and avenge last years Final defeat to All Saints, something they were reminding us about throughout the game!

The guy who gets a hat trick often gets the plaudits, but in truth the real heroes were the guys who dealt with all the All Saints pressure, Matt Coley was absolutely immense from start to finish, stand out performer by a mile, Leon ran All Saints ragged throughout and even when man marked All Saints struggled to contain him, Jal was immense throughout until his red with his non stop work rate and Jon Weller who hadn’t had much game time fitted in effortlessly at RB. I could go on but there were 13 guys who really wore the shirt with pride today and I couldn’t be any prouder of the guys. credit also goes to All Saints, who played their part in a great game and admitted we deserved the win, they will be disappointed I’m sure but sometimes having the extra man makes you not do what you should and I think that was the case today, number 7 was a cracking player also! 4th time lucky hopefully this time!

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