Sat 24
Ashurst Wood FC
Sat 24
First Team
Cup Loss hard to take after another encouraging performance

Cup Loss hard to take after another encouraging performance

By Cliff Emberlin
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Another long trek saw a late equaliser and injury time winner thwart the 1st Team from getting first win...

This is getting a bit monotonous, but another encouraging and committed performance ended up once again with us having nothing tangible to show for our efforts.

Our performances on 3G pitches in recent seasons have been mixed to say the least but this was certainly one of our better efforts despite the line up again much changed from the previous week. This seemingly down to an increasing injury list and others prone to travel sickness if they cross the South Downs.

Our central defensive merry-go-round continued with yet another partnership surfacing of evergreen Daz Tai and the increasingly reliable Ben Williams. Both acquitted themselves admirably and with Jack and Liam completing the back four, defensively it was possibly our best effort so far.

More enforced changes in front of them saw JB return from injury, Adam making a welcome return from baby duties (congratulations by the way) and Manager Matt making a first start of the season.

The first half was keenly contested and pretty even and we turned round all square with both keepers largely untroubled and Anthony having rather more to say than do.

The second half saw us take the lead when JB floated across a perfect corner which Matt met with a thunderous header to give their keeper no chance. We looked in control at this stage against a decent side who have made a good start to their season.

Our injury crisis was to deepen soon after. Isaac, in challenging for a ball in midfield, fell heavily and sustained a wrist injury which was to force him out of the action. Fortunately his dad was in the crowd and able to take him off to A&E where a break was diagnosed. We hope it is not too long before Isaac is back in action but up to 6 weeks is the initial estimate.

This enforced change, with G the ideal replacement but our only sub, seemed to unsettle us and we soon found ourselves back on level terms as a result a rather untidy equaliser.

It did seem that our luck was maybe changing when the lead was restored as a ball across the face of their goal saw the full back lose his bearings and an attempted clearance only found the back of the net.

This seemed to be the likely winner but we were again frustrated just 5 minutes from time. It was another untidy goal to concede and hard to blame anyone but we were being pegged back as the pushed numbers forward and a toe poke agonisingly found the corner of our net.

Extra time could have gone either way but with tiring limbs and cramp taking its toll on Andy Nicholls in particular, and with no more subs available, it was our hosts who got the one break that counted.

I haven't mentioned the fact that we hit the woodwork on three occasions, with I recall JB and Sean being two of the 'culprits' and Andy had a good shot blocked while their were other occasions when it was hard to determine how we had failed to register.

We should have won, we deserved better overall, but sometimes it can be difficult to get over the line when results are going against you.

Perhaps a return to home territory will help

MOM: Matt Hornsby (easiest choice yet)

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Match date

Sat 24, Sep 2016