Reserves battle hard to draw 1 - 1 at Lakenheath
Injury hit Reserves claim deserved point away at Lakenheath Reserves
Our third consecutive long away trip saw us travel to Lakenheath Reserves, returning to the location of a cup defeat earlier in the season looking to get a result. Injuries from our previous match, and added unavailability, saw a much-changed squad of 13 named with Elliott and Thom dropping down from the 1st team. Damain made his debut in goal replacing the injured Luca while manager Jamie was named as part of a back three, and Guy made his first appearance of 2017...
Team: Damian, Jamie, Csaba, Ryan, Elliott, Baz ©, Vagner, Guy, Rickie, Thom, Scott
Subs: Jun, Suki
Only 15 seconds after kick-off Lakenheath hit the crossbar as a quick start saw their striker latch onto a through-ball over the top. This early scare was just the beginning of pressure by the hosts who created a few good openings but couldn't convert due to defensive blocks and a couple of glorious opportunities missed.
After 20 minutes we started to settle more into the game and create some danger with good football up until the final third - the best chance seeing a cross from the right go narrowly over at the back post. Just as play started to exchange evenly, a lapse from the corner allowed our opponents to take the lead as their centre back headed in unmarked from a corner. Little action of note then happened from this opener until half-time.
We had renewed vigour from the outset of the second half, immediately forcing Lakenheath back as we searched for an equaliser. This came just before the 15 minute mark of the half, Rickie lashing home into the bottom corner after good work down the right and challenges in the middle created an opening for our midfielder who was growing into the game. Suki replaced Guy a few minutes later.
The hosts were rattled after the equaliser and as we continued pushing forward putting them on the back foot; questioning refereeing decisions and arguing between themselves. Both teams were creating half-chances, but without really testing the opposing keeper or defence. Vagner and Baz were doing an excellent job in the centre midfield breaking up play while allowing the attacking players freedom to express themselves.
The game remained even until the end, coming to an un-dramatic conclusion and a fair result.
A well-earned and valuable point for CUP, very much deserved after a battling display in a new line-up. After two defeats to mid-table Lakenheath already this season, it was nice to get the draw. Arran Warburton had a fantastic performance in the middle, showing the simplicity of refereeing by talking calmly with players both giving and earning respect. Every player deserves praise for doing their part for the team and will hopefully be available next week when we host Buckden at the Cass (our 1st of 6 remaining home games)...