Nite 1 – 1 J Bulls, goal Forlan
(won 5-4 pen)
A big squad with a few late arrivals given the new location – a cracking new pitch(s) althouhgh the flood lights were abit dim. Starting line up playing 4:14:1 with Andy(GK) – left to right Sanj, Flabbo, Colin, Stef – Nathan – Ed, Miles, Sam, Cowley – Forlan.
A solid start to the half mostly played out in midfield and Miles had 2 cracking shots from half way in their half, one parried by the keeper and the other rattling the post.
As we pressed we won a couple of corners with Nathan and Flabbo both coming close. However for all our possession and good passing we failed to convert this in the final third. Ed did some nice 1-2s with Forlan down the left side however we were guilty of over playing and waiting to long to make the final pass with Forlan making runs but finding himself offside as the ball never arrived.
Time ticked by quickly and with 10 mins to half time approaching J Bulls went all out for 5 minutes hitting us on the break but shot wide, shortly followed by an outrageous overhead kick Berbatov style that skimmed over the bar, a pin ball corner that took ages to clear and their pressure finally netted them a goal.
As we contined to push up and everyone on the bench screaming for the ball to get inthe box Cowley finaly crossed inbetween the defenders allowing Forlan to dart into the box, round the keeper and equalise just before half time.
Changes at half time Joe on for Ed, Scott for Sam and TonyC for Sanj.
We continued on from the first half having most of the posession but lacking the killer pass in the final third and failed to put in any crosses. 15 mins in a switch of formation as we had been playing too deep to 4:4:2 pushing Cowley up with Hao on for Miles and moving to the right wing followed shortly after by Skuno on for TonyC..
We did soak up some pressure and some dubious free kicks awarded to the oppposition gave us the opportunity to break. Joe could have taken the glory with the keeper caught outside of the box saw Hao on the right cross to unmarked Joe in the centre who had an open goal to volley into. Nathan also saw a decent free kick skim their bar.
No more changes although we had 3-4 subs left as the game was on a knife edge and we ended 1-1
It took 5 penalities each to break the deadlock. Flabbo in off the cross bar followed by Nathan then Cowley, next up Joe with his hands on hips stance caused panic (from me) and just got under their keeper same for Hao who could not have leant back any further if he tried – never the less all 5 converted. Andy nearly saved their 3rd penalty, cunningly rolled over to let them have the 4th before pulling off a superb save on their 5th.
Jubilient celebrations from ourside complete with everyone doing a forward roll (like their last penalty taker…??) to take us through to the final
Great to win, however we rode our luck and we will have to play more as a team in the final 3rd if we are going to lift the trophy.
Notable performances from Flabbo and Colin who were solid at the back, Ed interacting wth Forlan in the first half and Miles/Sam/Scott controlling the midfield well, however Andy get MOTM for his penalty save.
view the penalities at
Or Facebook on wanchainspartans page.