Written by Mark Becker..
There’s a strong argument to be made for each. Like Tottenham we started the season strong only to slide in the table. Like West Ham we’re good at making a mess of things, narrowly missing out on great opportunities and breaking our fans’s hearts. LikeLiverpoolwe consistently work our arses off, look like a quality side but fail to score. Hmmm….perhaps it’s actually Tottenham, West Ham andLiverpoolwho are pulling an Oldboys?
Anyway, we brought a strong side to face the Barnstonworth in the cup. As is tradition, Engler and Willie joined us again for the Saunders Cup with Blacks leading scorer, Chris Valentine, stepping in to help lift the OldBoys lackluster goal scoring. The OldBoys proved the better team in the run of play but Barnstonworth proved better at finishing limited opportunities. Barnstonworth took the lead in the 20th minute on a corner. CPR had a chance to clear the danger but after a couple failed attempts the opposition pounced. 1-0 Barnstonworth. The OldBoys took it personally and proceeded to dominate possession and create quality opportunities the rest of the first half. In the 40th minute Teesdale made a supporting run up the left flank, as the ball was played wide to him in the box he took a couple touches past his man and place a pinpoint cross to Chris Valentine on the back post. 1-1. The OldBoys continued the pressure earning corners but the opportunities didn’t yield a second goal before the break. The OldBoys backline was rock solid and didn’t allow Barnstonworth’s attack to build any momentum.
The OldBoys were full of confidence and came out swinging in the second half. Aggressive play and possession began to wear down the opposition but to their credit they remained organized, cleared dangerous situations and played smart. Barnstonworth are probably the most organized and disciplined side as we’ll face all year (well, along with Celtic). Their strategy was to not make any mistakes and try to convert the limited chances they created. Midway through the second half Barnstonworth earned a free kick just outside the box that was well struck low, through several legs. Telly didn’t see much of it until the last second and threw his body in the way deflecting it over the bar. Well saved by old man Telly but we’d like to see another theatrical diving save like last week…c’mon Telly.
The OldBoys continued to control the midfield by outworking Barnstonworth but for all of the possession we enjoyed it didn’t result in enough goal-scoring threats in the final third of the field. With 15 minutes left it felt like the OldBoys were on the verge of breaking through when Barnstonworth took advantage of a ball CPR should have cleared near the halfway line. Barnstonworth had two very good attacking options and when #9 found the ball on his feet 1v1 with Telly he left no doubt tucking the ball just inside the post. 2-1 to Barnstonworth, completely against the run of play. Ugh.
The OldBoys played the final 15 minutes with 3 at the back and 3 up top but couldn’t find the equalizer. It sucks to get knocked out of the cup after playing so well but that’s just football.
Competition: Barnstonworth OldBoys. Saunders Cup.
Location: Forrest Hills HS
Conditions:England,Ireland,Scotland…take your pick.
Result: 1:2 (1:1 at half)
Goals: Chris Valentine (assist Teesdale)
Mike D’s: none
Conboy’s aka Reverse Mike D’s:
Old Man of the Match: We were pissed off about losing and forgot to vote. Lots of guys had a great game.
Mr. Glass Award: Gavin with a pulled hammy
Old Man of the Bar: none
El Presidente: none
Team bar showing: 6 out of 16
Team bar night: 2 out of 5
Team: Telly, Paulo, Gavin, Resnik, Teesdale, Dan Ault, Dan Hollins, Alex, Becker, Stower, Steve Morse, Engler, Chris Valentine, Willie, Andy Jones, Declan