Southcote v Shinfield Rangers
Ah the magic and romance of the first round of the FA Cup was matched by Shinfield’s first appearance in the almost as significant EBFA Under 13 Plate this weekend. Grainy images spring to mind of muddy pitches, the underdog overcoming big spending, high flying rivals, Ronnie Radford’s 40 yard thunderbolt and touchline joy…..
Could Shinfield follow in the illustrious footsteps of Wimbledon, Hereford and more recently Milton Keynes Dons and gain a win over their table topping, unbeaten opponents ??
Well the scene was set with two teams separated by 3 divisions, a suitably heavy pitch, a dark leaden sky, a blustery wind and John Motson in the car park. (*the last bit may not be strictly true*) Southcote looked powerful and imposing and Shinfield knew they would have to be at their best and have a large slice of cup luck to get anything out of the game and so as the whistle blew, the crowd took a collective deep breath and the dream chasing began……..
However the fairytale barely lasted 5 minutes and the team in orange were already 2-0 down and those dreams were in tatters… Southcote were simply too strong, too fast, too determined and deadly in front of goal. They relentlessly pushed forward showing great skill and pace. Ash, Josh and Cameron were left one on one trying to protect the goal but the goals kept on coming despite some excellent last ditch defending and brave saves from J’sziah.
It was 6-0 at half time and hearts were dropping faster than Brendan Rodger’s popularity. A tactical switch saw Ash switch with J’sziah but this did not have the desired effect as Southcote started lobbing him from distance and the goals kept on coming…..and then so did the rain which simply darkened the Shinfield gloom and dampened any hopes of a 7-6 dramatic comeback! .
Another switch saw Ash restored to the heart of defence and Liam took over goalie duties. He showed great athleticism and has obviously been taking pouncing and diving lessons from Jaffa the cat as the Southcote goal glut dried up somewhat as he kept them at bay.
The final whistle eventually blew and the score was 11-0. A veritable cup thumping but to their credit the Shinfield boys left the pitch with smiles and their heads held high. Good luck to Southcote in future rounds as they showed they have the ability to go all the way..
Well with cup dreams shattered for this year, it is an opportunity to concentrate on the league (well if it’s a good enough philosophy for many a professional team, it’s good enough for us!) as they say “a winner never stops trying” – so see you next week………
SCORE – 11-0
REPORT – Helen Davies