Chiddingfold 0   Manorcroft 7 (League Cup First Round)


26th September 2004

‘We had our chances …’

Coach Ian Jones

As with the Merstham match, a heavy defeat but one which didn’t tell the whole story.

Manorcroft were an excellent, well organised team with a strong midfield, but for the first 20 minutes all went according to plan. We played Rupert as a sweeper, locked up tight, and waited for counter attacking opportunities. In fact the opening five minutes saw some super passing from the chaps, during which time Jonathan Bt was clearly denied a penalty when he was pulled back in the area.

When Manorcroft did break through, Man of the Match Mike was in top form and denied them everything with a series of brave dives, one an especially impressive save from a rebound off a team mate! So we were really unlucky to go 0-1 down after an attempted clearance rebounded from an Onslow player, who knew nothing about it, into the net. Then we were 0-2 down after hesitation in defence but the boys were undeterred and launched more counter attacks, culminating in a terrific Jon Bt free kick which Rupert spectacularly headed agonisingly just over the bar.

In fact the quality of our attacks was better than Manorcroft’s at this point of the game, and at the back Theo was looking more like John Terry with every game. Had Jon had that penalty, had Rupert’s header gone in as it deserved – who knows? Tails were definitely up, but then we got caught flat with a swift burst from Manorcroft, 0-3 - half-time.

Manorcroft went 0-4 up soon after the break with a superb smack into the net, but soon after that Jon Bt burst through again, only to put the ball just wide. The score went to 0-5, a gifted goal, then 0-6 when the boys stopped playing, expecting the referee to blow for a handball! Mike in goal however, continued to excel, pulling off one brilliant tip over the bar from a shot from outside the area.

The boys still fought doggedly on and in fact put a lot of pressure on Manorcroft for the last ten minutes of the game, only to concede the final goal with a failure to close down the opposition.