This Saturday saw us make the 140 mile round trip to Godalming to take on the current holders, Old Carthusians, in the Old Boys Cup. We arrived with a bare 11 for what we knew before the game would be one of our biggest tests in a good few seasons.
We opted to tweak the shape to a 5-3-2 this week, and seen as we have not played this formation so far this season we inevitably started slowly, trying to adjust to the new shape. We went 1-0 down after 5 mins or so when Carthusians striker finished neatly into the bottom corner on the half volley off a rebound. We went a further goal behind only 5 mins later when we didn’t deal with a high ball in the area and it was headed in at the back stick. 2-0 down after ten minutes against the current holders – you would have been forgiven for thinking it could of got embarrassing. However, we all knew that the character we have in the squad, that we have shown this season so far was going to get us going at some point. After we had gained a foothold in the game and started playing some decent stuff, the goal was not long in waiting. A lovely ball in behind their back 4 from Breen released either Seany or Phillips (can’t remember) and the ball was squared to the onrushing Elsey to slot home and continue his decent form in front of goal. The rest of the half was pretty cagey and tight with not many chances to note.
The second half started pretty similarly, with our solid shape stifling their creative players. As the game wore on the bare 11 began to show and Pel was called into action a few times making one save in particular behind his body (David Seaman v Sheffield United esque) that was unreal and kept us in the game with a fighting chance. We made one decent chance with around 10 to go that Elsey fizzed just wide, but apart from that and few half-hearted penalty shouts, we just didn’t have the legs to push on for the equalizer. Funny how the ‘multi-ball’ system that was in place for the first 70 minutes suddenly stopped as we were in search of an equalizer. Full time 2-1 to Carthusians.
Cannot fault the effort from the boys who turned up, we gave everything. On another day with a full squad the game was definitely winnable. Encouraging to see a team that is on paper a lot better than us being forced to shield the ball in the corners late on as they are worried about conceding an equalizer.
Next week we are at home in the last of the cups we are still in to Cambridge Heath. It is members day, so I would encourage everyone to stay around for a while after the game. #COYS
Team: Pel, Liam Jamo Power Watts Brad, Elsey Breen Matt, Seany Phillips