Having lost 8-1 to Caversham a few weeks back, it would be fair to position Shinfield as the underdogs in this 3rd Round Plate game. But right from the opening whistle, Shinfield seemed to have put that defeat well and truly behind them. They started the game strongly and dominated the early play, creating a number of opportunities. Aidan’s got an early chance but hit it at the keeper. Casey was up next with an opportunity on the right but he sliced it wide of the right post.
After about ten minutes, the Shinfield pressure paid off when Tom grabs a loose ball about 15 yards out and calmly chips the ball over the keeper into the top right of the goal. 1-0
Caversham tried hard to respond with long through balls but our defence were solid and snuffed out any attempt to run at goal and Luis was quick off his line to pick up the through balls which had a bit too much pace on them.
Aidan manages a drive down the left and cuts in to shoot but the keeper was on form. Then Shinfield pick up a free kick not far from the half way line. Casey steps up and lobs the ball high over the defence. It bounces once and Ellis runs in to head the dropping ball over the keeper. 2-0
As the half progressed, Caversham started to composed themselves and looked dangerous a couple of times. They finally clawed one back when an attacker lobbed the ball clear of Luis. 2-1
Shinfield stayed solid, opportunities became rare but the boys playing the ball around nicely and our defence up to the task, playing safe whenever needed – no heroics. A nasty scare as Caversham hit the crossbar – luckily Ishan on hand to get the ball clear.
Half time came and went. The second half began with Caversham coming out strongly. Lots of end-to-end play with few real opportunities but then Caversham took advantage of some sloppy clearances by Shinfield. A lobbed ball hit the post and unfortunately for Luis, hit his back and rebounded into the goal. 2-2
The remainder of the half was evenly balanced. All the Shinfield players having to work hard, especially in defence as Caversham push hard to get the winner before full-time. Luis called on to dive to stop a solid shot and Ishan on hand again to clear it. With the spoils even, the game went into extra time.
The two sessions of extra time brought a repeat of the earlier game – tight passing by Shinfield and the odd opportunity created. Max gets an opportunity and hits it just wide of the right post. The tension was visibly rising as both teams, evenly balanced, failing to get the game-clincher as the clock ticks down.
A very solid game from JackB, Ishan, Lewis, Dan and Vinay at the rear of the squad, ensuring that Luis was covered well. Casey pushing the ball around spreading it both up and across the pitch. Max continued to hunt down anything remotely close. Ellis runs onto a long though ball but the defender was in strong before Ellis had chance to shoot.
Aidan, pushing hard down the left on a number of occasions and Tom in the centre distributing the ball nicely. But all to no avail as the final whistle pushes the game into a penalty shoot-out.
And what a shoot-out. Caversham score the first goal and then each subsequent goal leaving Shinfield to respond each time. In succession, nice penalties from Ishan, Casey, Ellis, Max and Aidan level the score each time with the first round resulting in a 5-5 draw. Luis was unlucky on two occasions, reaching the ball but it still found its way into the net.
So now the sudden-death round. Caversham step up and slam it over the bar. The responsibility now falls to Dan to win the game. Cool as a cucumber he slams it home earning Shinfield a fabulous cup win. 2-2 after extra time and 6-5 on penalties.
A great game to watch, it was good to see the boys playing intelligent football. An excellent and well deserved win.
Final Score: Caversham Trents Blues 2 – 2 Shinfield Rangers (Shinfield win 6-5 after penalties)
Scorers: Tom, Ellis – Penalties: Ishan, Casey, Ellis, Max, Aidan, Dan