4s vs Old Sedcopians – 22.09.2018
Old Sedcopians 3s vs. Merton 4s
AFA Minor Cup, Preliminary Round
Saturday 22nd September 2018
In order to ensure our passage to the First Round of the AFA Minor Cup, we were tasked with taking on Old Sedcopians 3s of the Amateur Football Combination in New Eltham. The travel distance to New Eltham wasn’t that far however the roads you had to take to get there, unless you select the M25 route, made it seem that way.
As a result of the travel time, the first challenge was ensuring that we had enough players in attendance at the time of kick off. Fortunately out of our squad of thirteen, only Lewis Riches and Adam Lynch were running late. The former arriving fifteen minutes after kick off with the latter arriving as the half time whistle sounded.
Due to Adam’s late arrival, Denys Zhurbiy temporarily sat alongside Joe Plumridge at centre back, John Gridley took his usual right back spot and I slotted into my usual position at left back.
In the middle of the park we had Roman Bilivitskiy and Tyrone Fuller with Callum Fisher and Mo Chouikhi supporting them on the flanks with Mario Del Prestito playing just behind Nick Englefield up top.
The match started with high intensity from both sides however it was the hosts that were carving out the better opportunities. One attempt in particular striking the bar early on. Old Sedcopians started to overpower our midfield 20 minutes in and it was around this time that they took the lead. How? I hear you ask….I can’t remember fortunately. What I can remember though is that one soon became two and we were staring defeat in the eyes even before the half had come to an end. We did create one chance that should have been converted, Lewis, who has come on to replace Mo, used his pace to get behind the left back but his effort from Callum’s cross was blazed high and wide. 2- 0 to the host at the break.
We knew that if we were to get back in the game in the second half that we had to strengthen up the midfield. In order to do so, Adam can on in place of Tyrone to partner Joe at the back, Mario dropped back into the middle of the park alongside Roman and Denys partnered Nick up front.
These changes seemed to spark us into gear, it wasn’t long before we were bossing possession and creating chances that with a little more composure would have probably found the back of the net. I can’t decide whether we created more chances than there were balls that were lost over the fence and we created quite a few chances! I think the balls over the fence clinch it though.
The effort we were putting in was finally rewarded when Callum’s cut back, following a Messiesque run, was converted by Roman. Our opposition were clinging on to their lead and they knew that they had to switch back on.
The momentum however remained with yellow shirts outnumbering purple ones at every attack we had. One of these said attacks resulted in a corner from the left. Mario’s out swinging delivery connecting to Denys’s forehead to bring the game level. The momentum had definitely remained with Merton and our hosts were nervous! However they had nothing to be nervous about in the end…..we were able to add to our tally and they were able to grab the winner 10 minutes from time. A square ball across the six yard box tapped in at the back post.
Cue to final whistle and a cheer of relief from Old Sedcopians.
Once against, each and every player that pulled on that yellow shirt left everything out on the pitch. If we continue like this, results will come and we will be a force to be reckoned with.
Next week it’s a Merton Derby when we take on the 5s hoping to leapfrog them in the table.
FINAL SCORE: Old Sedcopians 3 – 2 Merton 4s
SCORER(S): Dom Plumridge (2) and Jonas Cabrera
MOTM: Callum Fisher – A solid performance once again. Doesn’t look out of place.
DOTD: Adam Lynch – Nobody deserves it however if it has to be awarded to somebody it goes to the person who turned up nearly 2 hours late.
STARTING LINE-UP: Kieran Lee (GK), John Gridley, Joe Plumridge, Denys Zhurbiy, Edward Plaistow (Capt.), Mohamed Chouikhi (Lewis Riches), Roman Bilivitskiy, Tyrone Fisher (Adam Lynch), Callum Fisher, Mario Del Prestito, Nick Englefield