We travelled to local rivals Chalfont St Peter to play our first ever game in this revamped League Cup fixture. The teams have been broken down into groups of five with the winners of the group progressing to the next round of the competition.We find ourselves in a very difficult group comprising ourselves, Chalfont, Westfield, Bracknell Town and Marlow. Three points are awarded for a win, a point each for a drawn game which must be settled by a penalty shoot out with the winning side gaining a bonus point. Five substitutes are allowed.
With FA Cup Ties coming up for both sides in five days time, each line up saw multiple changes from that which had featured the previous weekend. We ourselves made eight changes with only Callum Woodcock, David Taylor and Andy O'Brien remaining from the side that had started against Hertford Town just seventy two hours previously. There were first team debuts for Luke Daley and Terlochlan Singh and it was great to see Jack Waldren making a start after his long injury absence.
On a difficult dry and bumpy surface we got away to the perfect start when after just five minutes, Jeremiah Maja was bundled over in the Chalfont penalty area from behind and he picked himself up to make no mistake from the resultant spot kick. We almost went two up ten minutes later when a cross by Maxwell Oldham was somehow scrambled away from the Chalfont oal line with their keeper Michael Anguzu no where to be seen. As the game progressed so did Chalfont begin to gain the upper hand, seemingly a lot more able to control the ball than we were and a good move involving Dan Williams and Kofi Quarty culminated in Luke Daley making a good save at his near post from Williams's cross shot. However, not many minutes later the home side were level. From a driven corner by full back Ben Gray, Riccardo Alexander-Greenway thumped home a header from close range giving Daley no chance. At the other end we almost immediately re-gained the lead when a chip to the far post by Oldham was rifled agaist the near post by Liam Tack with the Chalfont keeper beaten. On the thirty minute mark we did regain the lead when Jack Waldren sent a free kick into the Chalfont penalty area and Rob Laney outjumped his marker to head the ball home. At this stage of the game despite having only a slender lead we looked the more likely side to score but the half time whistle arived with us just leading by the single goal. Shortly after the commencement of the second half, Terlochlan Singh was the first to find himself in the referee's book after a foul in midfield.
Chalfont almost equalised when a long ball forward found Kofi Quartey through on goal but some distance out. Luke raced out of his goal but was beaten to it but fortunately for us Andy O'Brien got back to head the ball to safety. At the other end, Jeremiah was blatantly pulled down as he went to head a cross right in fronyt of the gaol but the referee waved aside our penalty claims.Almost immediately Callum Woodcock was booked for dissent and shortly after, Chalfont's Alexander-Greenway found his way into the referee's book. We then had a great chance to increase our lead when a cross by Jack was only palmed away by the Chalfont keeper to Maxwell but he sent the ball back over he unattended net. As the game progressed both sides made substitutions, Keiron Cathline replacing Callum and Sheridan Campbell replacing Jeremiah for us. With ten minutes to go, Rob got clear on the left but with better options in the middle opted to shoot rather than square the ball and the chance was gone. With just four minutes remaining, Chalfont equalised when Luke again racing out of his goal was caught in 'no mans land' and this time there was no Andy to save him as Kofi Quartey lifted the ball over his head into our unattended net. This set off a remarkable finish to the game. Firstly Liam Tack with a good chance shot wide and then with penalty kicks looking very likely, we brought on Gareth Chandlik and Joel Jacobs instead of David Taylor and Maxwell Oldham. We then were denied an absolute clear cut penalty when Liam was man handled over in the box and there was not an onlooker in the ground not convinced that a spot kick should be awarded. However, the referee decided otherwise and a corner was awarded. From Jack Waldren's corner Harry Tucker headed wide. A minute later, we were awarded a penalty when Keiron burst into the box. On this occasion, everybody was convinced that it was not a penalty and that was confirmed by the linesman and the referee changed his mind. From the resultant corner, both Gareth and Rob hit the bar with headers from close range but somehow the ball did not find the net and almost immediately the final whistle was blown leading to an extraordinary penalty shoot out. Keiron Cathline saw his kick saved and we thought that was that but the home side's Romario Jonas blazed the ball over the bar leading to a sudden death scenario. Clinical spot kicks from all taking part including both keepers led to the score being 17-16 before Sheridan Campbell's kick was blocked by the Chalfont keeper Anguzu and the home side had the bonus point, what a game !!!
TEAM: Luke Daley, Callum Wodcock, Jack Waldren, David Taylor (capt), Harry Tucker, Andy O'Brien, Liam Tack, Terlochlan Singh, Rob Lany, Jeremiah Maja and Maxwell Oldham. Subs used; Keiran Cathline for Wwoodcock (67), Sheridan Campbell for Maja (78), Gareth Chendlik for Oldham (90) and Joel Jacobs for Taylor (90). Unused substitute Ekon Coker.