Zion City 1 Living Hope 3

Steve Farley writes

A lovely morning for football. Some overnight rain dampening the slightly long grass causing the ball to hold up early doors – a better than average morning for teams liking to play the long ball.

LHC started brightly. Attacking from the start the lads looked interested. Suddenly it was disaster. Our attack broke down from a misplaced pass and Zion pounced. With our defence at sixes and sevens caught out by the unexpected loss of possession, a long ball found one of their nippy strikers who stroked a neat lob over the head of the advancing Carl. 1-0 with just 89 minutes left.

Unperplexed LHC continued to press. Chances came and chances went. Robbie had a free kick well saved. Jack headered one against the bar. Martin volleyed just wide. Callum hit the post and Craig skied the close range rebound off his shin. An equaliser looked inevitable.

Then came the second disaster – this time for Zion as they saw one of their players dismissed……but still we couldn’t score. Callum was nearly on the end of a Craig low cross that seem to bobble as Cal went to connect. Then Callum hit the bar from a free kick. In the meantime Zion nearly extended their lead when another long ball provoked a dangerous header which was well saved by Carl.

Half Time 1-0.

LHC strikers now dread half time if we haven’t scored and true to form off came Craig and Callum. I must say neither did anything wrong and both had played well but manager Carl wanted a different approach for the second half. Enter Pete and Josh and the LHC pressure continued.

We had to wait until the hour mark to finally equalise. A free kick from wide outside the penalty area was struck around the wall by Robbie past the unsighted keeper, 1-1.

Five minutes later Robbie turned provider. A long throw found Nick whose back header looped in at the far post.

In the meantime Zion had their chances too but Carl was in good form to keep the goal intact.

Finally it was three when Andy put through a deftly weighted through ball timed perfectly for Pete to run on to and slot past the keeper and LHC were through to Round Two.

A good competitive game and Zion have obviously improved from last season. If they had kept eleven players on the pitch it could have been much closer. But that’s football.

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