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The 1st Round of the Cup

FINCHAMPSTEAD ROVERS V EVERSLEY AND CALIFORNIA RANGERS

06thOctober 2018

Oh yes, first round of the cup is always going to be a big game but when it’s a local derby against Eversley and California, then it takes on a whole new meaning. A friendly against the same team a few weeks ago had produced a tight  1-1 draw, so it was anyone’s guess as to who would come out victors.

The near capacity crowd of 21 were on edge of their seats in anticipation. Well the four on the park bench were and there was another lounging in a camping chair! The drizzle was blowing across the pitch and there was a real chill in the air. This didn’t appear to bother players on both sides who were poised like gladiators awaiting the call to battle.

The whistle blows, they’re off. Great start for Finch, quick, crisp passing through the midfield, the Eversley defence try to clear but the ball spills wide to the Finch right, Bunny on it like a hawk. He carries it forward and holds it for a split second before squaring into the middle. Nathaniel speeds into the box, 6 yards out and BANG it’s in the net. Great team goal.

Eversley kick off. The ball’s played forward into the Finch box, Luke goes for a clearance but it spins off and the Eversley forward runs in and puts it away! 1-1 and only two minutes gone. Well it is a cup match.

Off we go again. More tight passing from Finch. Lucas C and Sam F linking with deft little one two’s playing the ball wide for Lucas S to make a great pass through to Nathaniel who plays Bunny in. He shoots, oooh the keeper saves. More pressure from Finch. Pass, move, pass, move. Our forwards are really combining well. The ball’s played into the box, James shoots, it must be. No, it clangs off the post. So close. Eversley come back but Oliver and Jake M team up to stop the threat. Finch break again, Lucas C to George, he shoots but the keeper saves. Eversley again, but the midfield of Jake Mc, Lucas C, Sam F and Kam are really working hard and they can’t get through.

The first half now settles into continual waves of Finch attacks, Kam marauding down the right wing, a continual pest. James takes the ball to their left back and puts in a great cross only for George to narrowly miss. Eversley attack but Alfie’s in and around the player like an angry Jack Russell (Grrrr) and wins a Finch free kick. The ball’s played to Sam F, a measured pass through to George, run, run, run. He shoots. Great save by the keeper. Ball back in our half, Eversley on the attack, they’re in, near post shot but Luke parries perfectly. Half time. Phew!

Second half, Finch are a little slow out of the blocks but two minutes in they get some passes strung together and the ball is through to Ajay. He’s a long way out and looking like he’s going to shoot, no don’t do it, pass the ball (I hear whispered by the Finch supporters). He is you know, he’s going to shoot. THUMP! The ball skims over the wet grass, the keepers got it covered though. No, there’s too much power and it’s through and in! 2-1 to Finch. Come on boys.

Again, Eversley try to come back but the ever-dependable Luke L is stopping the lot and combining nicely with Oliver and Alfie to clear the ball. More Eversley attacks but still Finch are passing the ball up the field rather than punting it away. Play switches to the right, Kam and Ajay combining again and again pushing for that third goal which will give Finch the breathing space.  

Oh, it’s getting scrappy now. Eversley have moved up a gear, but the Monday night coaching is starting to work and the boys are still passing the ball. 

Still Eversley press but they’re not getting in. The defence is tight and with Sam T using his long throw weapon, we’re edging it down the right.

A break. Sam F collects it midway into the Eversley half and with pin point accuracy plays Bunny in. He’s away, speeding across the turf. Now composure, aim, fire, yes, he slots the ball past the keeper into the bottom right hand corner. 3-1 Finch.

Come on Finch, 14 minutes to go.

A tactical change by the coaches, change of formation to really close the game out. More Finch attacks though, the boys showing their confidence on the ball. The passes keep coming. The game is under control now with a two-goal cushion, the next round is in sight. Eversley still won’t give up though. Finch counter attacks are working, Ajay and Bunny both go close and Jake M puts a shot just over.

The whistle goes for full time. Great win. A real team effort, they deserved that result.

The cold, wet weather can’t dampen the elation from that win but does curtail Simon’s post- match chat. It may have been brief but it’s very clear how proud he is with the boys’ performance.

Well done Team. Next round here we come.

© 2022 David Cliff | | |
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