Quedgeley had the worst half and best half of their season all rolled into one game as they came from 5 – 1 down to draw 6 – 6 with Sharpness and win the game on penalties in the County Cup.
Quedgeley started the game well and took the lead from their first attack; Phil Drew’s long ball found the run of Dean Hankins who rounded the keeper brilliantly before tapping into the empty net. This seemed to have a negative effect on the home side though as they sat back and Sharpness grew back into the game.
From here on Quedgeley seemed to forget how to defend and Sharpness equalised from a set piece 10 minutes in, and they gave another blow scoring 2 minutes later to put the away team 1 – 2 up. Sharpness kept catching Wanderers on the counter attack as the home side fell apart, and it seemed every attack lead to a goal as Sharpness scored another 3 without reply before half time. Making the half-time score 1 – 5 and Quedgeley looking at some of the worst football the team has ever seen. Quedgeley made changes throughout the half to try and settle the side and injuries didn’t help the situation. Dean Hankins had to go in goal as Quedgeley only had one sub available meaning Jason Rossell had to play on pitch. And Phil Drew could only last one half with a knock so the team for the second half was totally opposite to the starting line-up. Ethan King and Liam Kay moved into centre half, with Pete Bull, Jordan Rouse and Jason Rossell in midfield and Chris Gooch up front.
This seemed to be the formula as Quedgeley came out playing for pride in the second half, and Quedgeley pulled a goal back 5 minutes in. A quick throw from substitute Chris Rigby put in Chris Gooch who beat the defender before slotting under the goalkeeper. Quedgeley kept up the tempo as Sharpness began to sit back, just like Quedgeley did in the first half. And Wanderers grabbed another goal to make it 3 – 5, once again Chris Rigby was the architect crossing low to Jason Rossell, but the defender reached the ball first but fortunately for Quedgeley put it into the back of his own net. The idea of comeback was on the cards but Sharpness scored once more which seemed enough to win the game with only half an hour to go.
This felt like a major blow but Quedgeley kept trying, and grabbed another with 15 minutes to go. Another Rigby cross found Will Park who shot low, the shot hit Chris Gooch on the line before bouncing into the net. A controversial goal but it didn’t seem to matter as no one thought it would affect the game, until Quedgeley pulled another goal back with 10 minutes to go to make it 6 - 5, Chris Rigby’s corner met by the head of Jordan Rouse with a bullet header to set up a breath-taking final 10 minutes.
The final 10 Minutes were end to end as Quedgeley threw everything they had at Sharpness and the pressure paid off in the last few minutes. Jason Rossell's long throw was headed away to the feet of Pete Bull who curled the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to complete what some could call the biggest comeback in clubs history.
Extra time came and went with little excitement as both teams got tired and didn’t want to risk losing the game. Although Quedgeley hit the bar and Sharpness hit the post in the last couple of minutes, neither team could find a winner. Meaning the game was to be settled on penalties.
With Dean Hankins not being a natural goalkeeper, Quedgeley had their work cut out. But Quedgeley scored their first four penalties and Hankins saved their second and fourth to send Wanderers through to the Quarter finals of the County Cup.
Overall it was a horrific first half performance, but the second half showed just what spirit there is within the team to come from so far behind and win the game against high quality opposition. Well done to everyone involved and we are looking forward to Quarter final against The Beeches away on the 7th January.
MOTM – Dean Hankins
GK – J. Rossell
LB – A. McCatty
CB – P. Drew
CB – T. Hughes
RB – L. Kay
RM – W. Park
CM – J. Rouse
CM – E. King
LM – P. Bull
CF – C. Gooch
ST – D. Hankins
C. Rigby (P. Drew 45’)