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Into the Semi Finals of the Chairman's Cup

Beautiful January morning today with bright sunshine and a little crispness to the air, perfect day for a game of football.

Todays Home game was the Quarter Finals of the Chairman's Cup against Croft Juniors. Once again we were not disappointed with the game at hand.

Playing against the sun in the first half we faced an organised team they waited for the counter attacks but unfortunately met with a solid back line.

Starting with Jack he showed good confident tackling and he showed some good ball skills and fast passes forward.

Luke had a solid game and helped command the back line with the aid of Cameron who again played with a determination not to be beat by a forward line that towered above him.

Next to Cam was Matty who today showed he wasn't just a defender but a wing back too. He ran the opposition ragged supporting our forwards but also defended with skill, which earnt him the Man of the Match today.

In midfield AJ playing a holding midfield role showing week on week he has found his niche in this role, some good tackling also supporting our front line with some nice through balls.

Evan playing left mid role was everywhere as per usual, but today his link up play was excellent giving him three assists. He had a few shots on goal only to be met by the goalkeepers saves and equally showed us why he is Captain.

Playing alongside, was Tom, what can I say, he has developed his position to play and hold his role more putting him in the right positions at the right time, great link up play with Evan. Tom achieved 4 goals known as a "Haul" in football.

His best goal was a right footed curler 5 yards outside the far right of the penalty area into top left corner. Definitely worthy of "Goal of the Month", great performance by Tom he switched positions a few times to to help our formation. Putting the crosses in from the right was Osayd, he showed lovely link up play with Tom and others with some great through balls.

On the left was Massimo who is developing all the time, he created some lovely opportunities with quick balls into the box and had good link ups with Jack, Evan and Olli. A couple of shots on goal but was unfortunate not to score.

In striker role was Olli and within minutes he scored the opening goal showing his speed and agility leaving defenders for dust and beating the on coming goalkeeper.

Now last but not least is Finn who has taken it upon himself to become the resident stand-in goalkeeper.

He played brilliantly showing an air of confidence, he came out well, used the box, clear vocally and made some fine saves too.

Now this was no easy win for us although the score line showed a win of 5-2 to Phoenix. Cam took a hard knock into the second half but soldiered on for as long as he could before leaving the game for the last ten minutes.

Also our striker Olli after 20 minutes pulled his muscles in his thigh and knee, again Olli soldiered on for the rest of the first half, but early into the second half came off for a while. This left us for the most part of the game down to 9 men however the boys reshuffled their formation to compensate and thankfully they fought hard as a team together to maintain a solid victory.

My thoughts on todays game are all good, brilliant in fact. I got so engrossed in the game that I didn't take my usual notes to write a blog detailing the games action points.

The fact we only had 11 men due to Covid and other injuries, I feel the boys worked so well together and showed they were on fighting form from the first whistle to the end.

Fast passes, great link up play, with some nice overlapping and closed down very well too, we showed a dominance towards Croft without underestimating our opponents abilities of height and speed. It made me proud to see injured players trying to soldier on and give it their all, but equally nice to see their team mates rally round to assist and compensate on our misfortune.

It is also nice to see us celebrate a good defensive play or save as much as when we score a goal. Well done boys, absolutely brilliant performance a well deserved victory putting us into the semi finals.

I must say it must have been a good performance because even Smiffy was silent today.

Special mentions to Phil Gutteridge for standing in as Linesman and a big thankyou to Carmela, Kully and Emma for being our tea ladies today. Thank you to all parents for your support on the side lines.

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