Shinfield Rangers 5-1 Wokingham & Emmbrook Orange
Venue: Milworth Lane 9am Kickoff.
The weather was nice and fresh for the early morning kick off. The wet grass should have been ideal for some slick and fast gameplay. Pete set up the boys in an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation to really start building some depth with the style of play and broaden our strategy arsenal. So, while the boys beat themselves up over the formation, WEFC took advantage of the disarray. They packed their defence and kicked the ball long and high for their attackers to latch on to. Rahiem battled hard to try and clear every attack but WEFC took advantage when he slipped, and the ball ended up in the back of the net. This is was the pattern for the first 20 mins but a lot of good running by Ellis, who found the woodwork twice but failed to get on the scoresheet. This was turning into a real Cup game…..we’re the team to beat and WEFC wanted it more.
Gazza came on for Louis with the instruction to widen our positioning and make use of the flanks. His impact was immediate as we started to stretch their back four. But our keeper mis-kicked the ball out, resulting in WEFC hitting our woodwork.
After 30 mins the boys started to wake up and the hunger for the ball began to show. The ball started to have a better relationship with the grass, resulting in some good passing and touches. As the wide play gathered momentum, Gazza found himself on the right from which he whipped the ball in for Ellis. But a goalkeeper error meant he knocked the ball back into his own net. So it was the Keeper’s own goal, but Gazza will swear differently. Another similar run, but this time Gazza made a good long cross in from the right to find Aiden, who shoots and scores!! 2-1. Just before the second half ended we reverted to 4-4-2 and brought on Jack and Markus as central defenders.
2nd half: WEFC came out strong but after 5 mins we started to take control of the game. Vinay (mirroring Gazza’s first cross) whipped the ball in, and keeper somehow deflected the ball into his own net yet again. 3-1.
The keeper had gifted us two goals and we really wanted to win this on our own merit so needed to find at least 2 goals. WEFC did defend well and the keeper recovered to deny further goals until Aiden scored a spectacular goal from 25 yards out. With his back to the goal and heavily marked by the oppostition he did what can only be described as a bicycle style kick to find the top right of the goal. 4-1.
Gazza, not to be outdone, scored a wonderfully controlled goal by ‘dinking’ (yes – its a real word!!) over the keeper 5-1. Finally, the boys could boast they won the game outright without their keepers help as the score stays at 5-1 at the final whistle.
I’d like to thank WEFC for making this a great game and for our lads for showing great character with a special mention to our captain Aiden.
Reported by Sanjay.
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