CUP edged out in thriller despite Mandson brace
A Dali Mandson brace couldn't prevent a 4 - 3 defeat for the Reserves
A bright morning which looked like being a wet afternoon didn't dampen pre-match spirits as the Reserves were set to play our first Saturday match at home of the season, a 3pm kick-off against another newly-promoted side. The opponents showed their unity as most players turned up in a club minibus. We had a fairly different team compared with Tuesday night, showing how mid-week and weekend matches can affect availability. We were joined by two new first-teamers, who were returning from their respective holidays
Team: Alex, Ryan, Schof, Mike ©, Baz, Brett (1), Tom, Stuart, Callum, Dali (2)
Subs: Kendal, Lewis, Rob
We started the better taking the game to our opponents, and in only the third minutes we won a penalty after handball by a Borough defender from a cross which followed from a quickly taken short corner. Brett stepped up and converted this with a calm strike into the bottom corner to give us a 1 - 0 lead. Borough showed they were up for the fight, and a good old moan, as the match continued at a fast pace with end-to-end action.
We were looking comfortable although affording some possession to Haverhill. The opponents levelled midway through the half from an unfortunate mistake by Alex and took the lead only moments later as a dubious penalty was awarded by the referee, then converted. As hosts we weren't going to give up the fight and continued playing some fantastic football, with Dali's first goal of the season a result of one particularly good piece of play by the attacking four. This made the game 2 - 2 go into half-time.
Both teams came out in the second half full of promise and energy, looking to get ahead once again. Another smart move involving Brett, Baz, Callum and Tom saw the latter brought down in the area for another penalty. Brett stepped up again but could only strike it fairly central for the keeper to save. This was a second chance after an opposition defender handled on the line to stop us, a moment missed by the referee. This gave Haverhill fresh impetuous, and from a corner a little while later, a strike from the edge of the area took a fortunate deflection off their striker to go into the bottom corner.
We pushed for an equaliser but couldn't quite claim one, while injuries took their toll meaning three changes were enforced. Haverhill scored their fourth on the counter attack to look like they had settled the game in their favour. Dali popped up with his second two minutes from time to make it 4 - 3 and we tried to create that final chance, which didn't come.
A great performance and pleasing to see Dali get on the score-sheet after missed chances the previous week, just a shame that we were edged out in the end by a decent opponent. Unbeaten Bar Hill come to the Cass next Saturday...