A fine sunny day for March, but Shinfield will have to keep their wits about them today. Lacking substitutes, all the boys would need to conserve energy to keep them fresh for the duration.
It started well for Shinfield with domination of the possession in the Dynamos half for the first 15 minutes with only a couple of semi-dangerous through balls to worry a resilient Shinfield defence.
With not much to show for the possession, Shinfield nearly succumbed when a Dynamos through ball was picked up by a lone defender – luckily he smacked it over the bar.
Not long after, another break from a Dynamos attacker, with Isher in hot pursuit, was tapped just past Luis – the ball bobbled over the line to give Dynamos a 1-0 lead. Shinfield continued to battle, keeping a good line at the back to force the offside a couple of times. Luke then get the ball on the left flank – pushes a solid pass forward to Charlie who hits it first time to guide it into the net. Nicely taken. 1-1
Shinfield showing some nice passing and really thinking about their game. A good Aidan/Charlie move down the left comes to nothing then in reply, a weak clearance from Shinfield falls to a Dynamos defender who thankfully shot wide of the left post. Half time arrives. A good half for Shinfield but they really need to watch the through balls in the second half. Good defending at the back from Isher, Sam, Dan and Lewis
The second half starts strong again, no sign of tiredness yet. Excellent passing al round with some notably good defending from Lewis at left back. Luis is a bit busier in goal this half and is handling some Dynamo shots with confidence. A corner to Dynamos is deftly lofted into the centre of the box and guided expertly into the goal off the head of an attacker in a crowded box. Disappointing for Shinfield as the whole team are working really well together. 1-2
But they don’t drop their heads, they keep battling. Aidan to Luke – good shot but wide. Then in a crowded Dynamos box, Casey gets a chance to shoot but it is cleared off the line. Dan then pushes a lovely ball to Luke who shoots with his right foot – again just wide of the post.
Dynamos continue to pressure and create the odd chance, but the tides turn when Luke lobs a long ball from centre left across to Casey on the right. Casey judges the bounce nicely then lobs the ball high over the keeper to draw the score level at 2-2.
The game now gets tense. An urgency in both teams to gain the lead. Frustration creeps into some of the tackling and Pete reminds the boys to focus on the game. Three minutes later, the pressure pays off as a through ball falls to Ellis and he nicely slams it into the bottom left corner. With only 15 minutes left the remainder of the game is on a knife-edge with Dynamos not sitting back – they want the equaliser and push hard. The drive hard and put some hard shots at goal, luckily going wide or over the bar. Shinfield stay resilient and in a nervous final few minutes, manage to snuff out dangerous attacks from Dynamos.
A relieved Shinfield are happy to hear the final whistle after a close-fought game. Both teams worked hard, and Shinfields luck of subs meant they had to give 100% right to the end, which they did. Some lovely, intelligent football from our boys today, peppered with a few loose-end passes. But overall, an excellent display.
Scorers: Charlie, Casey, Ellis
Man of the Match: Luis, Lewis, Luke