This was a very hard defeat for us to take yesterday after we raced into a 3-0 lead at half-time only to find ourselves on the end of 5-3 defeat 45 minutes later. They say football is a game of two halves, this was proved completely right in our first ever Cup match but the result was more down to Living Hope going through the gears after half-time than Hawbush completely folding.
The first half wasnt a 3-0 hammering by Hawbush, Living Hope were always well in the game and would have considered themselves unlucky to be behind by such a margin, and we felt they would probably come back at us a the game wore on.
Having acquired a number of players from last years successful Wollaston team, Living Hope will be favourites to win Division Three this season and put us under pressure in the first 15 minutes which we managed to ride very well.
The next half hour, Hawbush played some brilliant football. Defensively Arron Worrall and Jon Paul Shaw didnt give the two Living Hope strikers a sniff of goal and played really well. Across the midfield our 5 young guys Mitch, Dan, Tom, Jacques and Alex were playing above themselves and with great confidence and the front two of Dan and Ben were putting Living Hope under a lot of pressure.
We took the lead after 20 minutes when ‘Tukka’ broke through into the box and beat the defender and finished very well in the bottom corner. Shortly after, Dan Wood beat the defender for pace – as he often does – and rounded the keeper to make it 2-0 and Hawbush were in control.
Just before half-time a floated Arron Worrall free-kick was met by Ben Walton who headed over the advancing keeper and suddenly we were 3-0 up and looking favourites to win.
Half-time came and unfortunately our inexperience told. Living Hope brought Martin Nicholls into the midfield and some fresh legs on and gradually as the second half wore on they began to pick us off. The impressive Living Hope No 8 curled one into the top corner, then we conceded a penalty and a deflected long range shot to make it 3-3 midway through the half.
Hawbush just couldnt impose themselves on the game after this and in truth we were holding on for 3-3 but with ten minutes remaining a great free-kick put Living Hope 4-3 up and they scored right near the end to seal the win.
Very disappointing for us, but if we repeat the first 45 minutes again we will begin to pick up some league points. Shouldn’t be too difficult….. only Clarendon in the Cup next!