This was one of the most entertaining matches of the season so far. Both teams showed good footballing brains in attack and determination in defence. Cottesmore just edged the first half play linking up well in midfield but were often foiled by a strong Copthorne defence when trying to find the killer pass. With the rain beating down hard the boys dug in deep and adapted their play to suit the conditions, playing balls down the flanks working the corners of the pitch. Cottesmore took the lead through a superb strike from the edge of the box which would have beaten any goal keeper. Although unlucky to go into half time 1-0 down spirits were still high and our boys knew the game was there for the taking. Now knowing what Cottesmore had to offer Copthorne could push on and take control of the game. The defence had a no nonsense approach, clearing their lines and challenging for every ball. The midfield quartet pounced on any loose ball and quickly turned defence into attack with numerous through balls and the front two worked the opposing back 4 constantly putting them under pressure. After a constant barrage of attacks on the Cottesmore box Copthorne finally cracked them. A low shot from long range hurtled towards the goalkeeper, who failed to secure the slippery ball enabling Neal to smash home, scoring his first goal for the 1st XI. The last 10 minutes of the game probably brought the best out of both teams. Neither side were going to give up easily and as legs became tired, tackles became tougher and now we had a great contest on our hands. At the end of the day 1–1 was a fair result but Copthorne will rue their missed chances. This performance should set the boys up nicely for next week’s away day at Lancing. It was a difficult decision to make but this week’s man of the match was Oscar, who defended solidly, attacked with tenacity and showed great athleticism throughout the game. Well done boys!
Line Up: Jamie F, Harry H, Jamie P, Sven K, Oscar W, Paul D (c), Jez M, Sam P, Neal A, Joe L and Jordan B.