The “Sale Cup” Comes Home!
The sideways rain did little to dampen the excitement of the 1st XI players leading up to the Sale Cup final. With illness getting the better of Elliott we had to have a reshuffle at the back, so Zevon slotted into the centre to partner Zac C with Luke and Dan W filling the full back births. Zac R made his first start in goal since his days in the Colts A team and Dan P earned a recall up front with Beau. The midfield quartet of Nemo, Bradley, Oliver and Daniel T remained unchanged from the Shoreham victory last week. Kieron, just about to hop on the bus for the 2nd XI fixture at Brambletye, had a quick change of kit before taking his place on the bench to act as midfield cover and hoped to make his debut for the 1sts.
Brambletye seemed to settle quicker than our boys and began to dominate possession all across the pitch. We rode our luck at times and had to rely upon some solid defending and commanding goal keeping to keep the score line at 0-0. Slowly but surely we got into the game and began to find gaps out wide where our pace caused the visitors a lot of problems. Both teams were attack minded and chances came and went at both ends of the field but it was with a stroke of luck that an attempted clearance rebounded into the path of Daniel T who drove into the box from the right wing and calmly slotted the ball past the onrushing keeper. The score stayed at 1-0 going into half time but this game was far from finished.
Knowing that we were far from our best in the first period we set out with a renewed game plan of playing at a high tempo; closing down in all areas and breaking wide and quick at every opportunity. Brambletye continued to try and play a possession game but we never let them settle into the half. Kieron entered the fray after Zevon took a knock to the leg so another reshuffle at the back meant Oliver found himself in unfamiliar territory at the heart of the defence. The term “smash and grab” springs to the mind when I reflect on the 2nd half as on numerous occasions we stifled the pink and black attack on the edge of the area before releasing our pacey wide men to begin our own attack. From a resulting corner, Bradley cracked the crossbar on the half volley and the rebound dropped to Nemo who drilled the ball into the bottom corner to give us a 2 goal cushion.
The game ended 2-0 to Copthorne but Brambletye can count themselves very unlucky.
So, the Sale Cup returns to our mantle piece after 12 months away and here’s hoping that we can retain it next season. Well done boys; a superb win. MA
Team: 1. Zac R, 2. Dan W, 3. Luke, 4. Oliver, 5. Zac C, 6. Zevon, 7. Daniel T, 8. Bradley, 9. Dan P, 10. Beau, 11. Nemo and 12. Kieron.