It has been 3 years since this tournament was last completed with the 2014 event being abandoned and 2015 being cancelled, both due to extreme weather and water logged pitches. Tournament football can be a complete lottery and one result can swing proceedings in or out of your team’s favour.
We started the group stages brightly with a tight 0-0 draw against St Christopher’s. This game, although goalless, was an exciting affair with both teams creating a handful of chances but only to find the goalkeepers in fine form. A stalemate was a fair result with both sides cancelling each other out.
Having sat out 2 matches and watched Brambletye and St Christopher’s pick up a win each we knew that we had to go out and attack Ashdown to record our first win of the day. This was very much a one sided game as we raced into a comfortable 4 – 0 lead with Daniel and Ben picking up 2 goals each. With one game to play all we had to do was avoid defeat to make it through to the main Cup competition knockout stage.
It was Brambletye up next, who only last week we drew with to retain the Sale Cup, and this was to prove to be another frustrating match. We had the upper hand throughout the game and were unlucky not to snatch victory but as it was the 0-0 score line was enough to see us through.
So, on to the Cup semi-final against Cumnor House. Another tight game which we just shaded in terms of possession and chances ended goalless at half time but we were in high spirits and were confident of “nicking” it. With 2 minutes left on the clock Daniel raced clear and slotted the ball home to give us a 1 nil lead. All looked rosy with only seconds to play but for some reason we stopped playing and allowed Cumnor to level things up and take the game to extra time golden goal. The boys did not recover from this hammer blow and Cumnor began to assert some pressure and capitalised on some loose defending to steal the victory.
After a penalty win against Handcross in the 3rd/4th play-off we secured 3rd place but were left feeling frustrated knowing that we should have been playing in the Cup final. That’s football!
Well done to the following 7 boys: Nick, Zac, Luke, Bradley (c), Ben, Daniel and Beau.