As reigning champions of this competition we headed into the day knowing that we needed to play our best football of the season to retain the cup. With an alteration to the format due to 3 teams unable to make the day the groups and knock out stages were replaced by a 5 team round robin where the winner takes all.
Copthorne v Brambletye
Having lost the Sale Cup to Brambletye only 4 weeks ago we wanted to get some revenge but that task was made all the more difficult when they took the lead via a wicked deflection. We had our own good stroke of luck when Zac R’s corner cannoned in off an opposing defender making the score 1-1 at half time. Brambletye settled into the second half quicker than we did and all though we could have taken the odd half chance it was the black and pinks who claimed a 3-1 victory.
Copthorne v Cumnor House
This match may not have produced the best football of the day however it brought out our best performance and by that I mean the commitment and determination showed was something that has been missing in recent weeks. We had our fair share of chances and maybe should have nicked a goal or 2 but it was at the other end of the pitch where we were not found wanting. Between them, Yonis, Elliott, Zac C and Daniel gave Peter, in goal, enough protection with last ditched tackles and strong shoulder challenges. Bradley, Dylan and Zac pressured higher up the pitch to nullify any attacks early so as a team we fully deserved our point in this 0-0 thriller.
Copthorne v Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent had had a rough time of it so far so this was a great chance for us to push on and get some more points on the board. Dylan opened the scoring by using his gigantic stature to rise above the defenders to head home Zac R’s corner then Zac R got himself on the score sheet in similar fashion after a wonderful cross from the onrushing Zac C. Elliott and Daniel came on at half time, contributing well in attack and defence but it was Zac R once again who found the top corner after some lovely interplay down the right. Yonis re-entered the game in the dying moments and found himself in unfamiliar territory up front and just like every good centre back he found the fence behind the goal rather than the back of the net! This was a much more positive performance and gave the boys a lift going into the final game. 3-1.
Copthorne v Pennthorpe
Rabbits in headlights springs to mind here. We found ourselves 3 goals down at half time having barely had a kick of the ball and to make things worse Zac C took a knock in a goal mouth scramble and Bradley had ran out of steam from chasing hard all afternoon. However, even with enforced changes we woke up and started knocking the ball around, creating multiple chances but could not find the target. With the title decider between Brambletye and Cumnor being played on the other pitch this game petered out into a mid-table Premier league game where neither side could gain any significant ground on the league leaders. 0-3.
On the whole I was very pleased with the way the boys played today and in what has been a very difficult season thus far it was nice to get amongst the goals, keep a couple of clean sheets and pick up a solid victory. Tournament football is always good fun and judging by the reaction from the boys I am sure they enjoyed their afternoon. Well done lads; we may not have kept the silverware but you gave it a good shot.
Squad: 1 Peter K, 2 Zac C, 4 Daniel W, 5 Yonis A, 6 Elliott M, 7 Bradley S, 10 Dylan H (c), 11 Zac R