Dynamos lose Semi-Final
By Iain Willcocks
Finchampstead progress to final of B&B Cup
Dynamos 2-6 Finchampstead
Team: Edward, Jay; George, Luca, Callum, Harry, Aiden; Kai, Conor, Dorian, Ellis, Jake, Max, Charlie, Owen; Alfie
So, finally, it was here...the Berks & Bucks Cup Semi-Final against Finchampstead. We didn't know much about them, but a little investigation showed they are currently top of Surrey U13's Premier Elite Division...their top division, and to top that, they have played 10 and won 10.
They were red hot favourites and Dynamos were certainly the underdogs, something which we hoped would work for us.
Mike set the team up in the now familiar 4-3-3 and within the first minute Callum scampered down the right wing and found Owen, but his shot was saved.
Finchamstead were then straight down the other end forcing Edward into and early save. This had a cup feel to the game already.
It was Callum again causing issues as he had started strong playing a ball this time to Alfie. He battled with the defender and forced a corner. Owen's corner was under-hit and cleared by the defence.
The opposition then had a period of possession and only some great defending by Luca and George stopped them getting shots away. Their right winger was a tricky chap as well, but Aiden was winning the duel from the outset.
8 minutes and another attack nearly made it through, but this time Ellis was there to clear his lines. Dynamos were struggling to get the ball out and next up Captain Luca came steaming in to win the ball with another crunching tackle.
Then, it looked like the opposition would break the deadlock. They finally breached the defence and ran through on goal, but, with a fantastic burst of pace, Kai came in and got a vital touch, the ball spun up over Edward and Aiden was on hand to smash it clear. Dynamos needed composure...and quick.
15 minutes on the clock and Dynamos won the ball with Charlie, he passed to Max and he played a ball over the top for Owen to chase. The keeper was first to the ball but although Owen had given up the chase, he received a shove in the back....and he was in the box....and the referee saw it....AND he gave a penalty to Dynamos !!! Correct decision (coming from the "other" referee !!!)
Captain Luca, fresh from scoring a penalty last week, stepped up and happily beat the keeper with ease. Dynamos 1-0 up !!!
Finchampstead were rocked and had an extra urgency and came forward, but again, Callum, now operating at right back was unbeatable and cleared his lines twice in a matter of minutes.
Then with 18 minutes on the clock a speculative strike from their attacker caught Edward off guard and the ball crept in. 1-1.
The opposition were now in the ascendancy and pushing, they attacked down the right but yet again Aiden was on hand to stop the attack. Aiden was having a super first half.
25 minutes and Kai was on the right, he played the ball to Callum and he hit a long ball over the top to Alfie, but the keeper was just first to the ball.
Kai was again involved as he moved forward, past the defender and played in Owen, but his shot was blocked. Moments later the roles were reversed as Owen controlled Edwards goal kick and played the ball through to Kai....he was through..but went too early and was adjudged offside...close call...but probably the correct one.
With the final seconds ticking away, the opposition managed one final attack, they broke the offside but Callum managed to get himself between the attacker and the ball...and got a shove in the back for his troubles....Free Kick....obviously....SURELY...!!?!? Nope, play on, and they scored....very disappointing the goal was awarded. Half time 2-1 Finchampstead.
Second half started as the first finished with Finchampstead attacking. Edward was called into action early to make a good save at the feet of the opposition player.
45 minutes and the vital third goal for the visitors. A shot came in and Edward couldn't hold onto it, the attacker followed up quicker than the defence and scored with ease. 3-1 Finchampstead.
Five minutes later and 3 became 4 when the referee awarded another penalty, this time Ellis adjudged to have pushed their player in the back. Edward went the right way, but was beaten in the far right post. 4-1 Finchampstead.
The opposition were on top and Harry and Conor were both called into action to clear balls over the top, and both managed to get the ball away. Dynamos looked defeated, but kept battling. Max got hold of the ball and surged forward, he played the ball wide to Dorian and he managed to squeeze the ball to Kai, the resulting shot hit a defender and was eventually cleared.
Another ball through the middle then beat the Dynamos defence but he was offside....OFFSIDE REF....nope, play on was the shout and he beat Edward from close range. Disappointing as he did look a couple of yards offside. 5-1 Finchampstead.
Moments later it should have been 6 but Callum was on hand to clear again...not only that, he went on one of his runs. Played a 1-2 with Max and tried to play Owen in, but the defence were equal to it and cleared.
65 minutes and it was Luca again in the thick of it. Another flying tackle, winning the ball, and catapulting their player high in the air. Brilliant stuff to see the commitment and the defence as a whole were still battling hard.
68 minutes and their tricky attacker got into the box and hit an unstoppable shot into the far corner....well...I say unstoppable...Jay, who was now on in place of Edward, flung himself to his right and made an amazing stop...the ball looped up, onto the bar...and was tapped in by the lucky attacker...! So unlucky. 6-1 Finchampstead.
With almost the last attack, Owen played through to Alfie who beat his player and got taken down in the box. It was a third penalty and Captain Luca was happy to let Dorian step up and take it. Good penalty but the keeper got down and made a save....but who was the first to react...getting deja vu writing this....Luca came steaming in and smashed it home...and caught the keeper (again - remember George Green). It was a great reaction and ended Dynamos cup run on a high. Final score 6-2 Finchampstead.
It goes without saying that this was an amazing cup run for Dynamos and they worked hard and did themselves proud. First half was unfortunate to concede so late, in such a way. One push, one offside and a bit of luck and could have been so much closer.
Kai battled hard today first in defence and then on the wing. George and Harry were excellent at the back and cleared their lines well. Luca was Captain Marvel again today, leading the line, tackling brilliantly and scoring 2...YES 2 goals. Final mention for me is saved for Aiden. I think he is growing every match and played superbly at left back. Won the battle against their winger, cleared the ball well, got forward on occasions and an all round great match. We keep going...onto Burnham Reds next week....!