Match Report - 26 Feb 2012, Clapham Rovers A Clapham Rovers beat Athletico Sky
Well we finally did it! After 3 semi finals in an as many years we finally made it to the final. The final of the Bert Gabey Challenge Cup will be held on April 1st so keep this day free! We will be playing 1st Division Wig Army.
From the youtube clip below you can see that we rode our luck, particularly in the first half. Had they had the quality of our strikers we would’ve been dead and buried at half time. We came into the game more in the second half and we looked more like our old selves and the only team likely to win it. It was a war of attrition out there and we won because we showed the mental fortitude to hang on and keep going.
I do have one gripe though which I’ve never had to air before.
1. Punctuality. It’s important that we arrive at the ground in good time and know where the game is. Our lateness in getting changed prevented us from having a proper warm up, talk about tactics and get prepared for the game. Our rushed approach directly contributed to our frantic and disorganised start to the game. Let’s make the first and last time we’re still getting changed when we should be kicking off.
Rovers Reach for Stars After Seeing Off Sky
The first half started with a reshuffle as G was involved in a bus crash (why he wasn’t driving his normal Fiat Panda I’ll never know) which meant I had to step in at centre back for my first start of the season. We lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation which showed much promise in our friendly vs Dynamo Clapham. D our new keeper lined up in goal, the back four was Miles, Jimmy, Me and Juan. The 2 holding midfielders were Bunny and Matt. Across midfield was Nick, JD and Smudger while Jim did the damage up front.
We started sloppily and frantically with passes going astray, balls being miscontrolled and being caught offside. We also looked massively susceptible to the ball over the top or down the middle of the back four as the youtube clip will show, particularly when I exhibited the perfect air kick to let them through. Poor finishing and some great keeping by D kept us in it.
The frustrating thing was also that when we did get it the ball down and played we put together some lovely football. In some ways this frustration transmitted itself to the rest of our play.
As far as I can remember, we only had 2 or 3 half chances in the first half where as a much improved Athletico Sky (we beat them 6-3 and 7-2 last season) had at least three one on ones.
The 2nd half was great for us because it gave us the chance to regroup and from then on we played much better. Jim, Juan and Jimmy all had great chances to score and their keeper pulled off some great saves. Jim had two headers, Juan a rocket drive and Jimmy put in the storming turn and shot.
The goal when it came 10 minutes from time was steeped in redemption. I put in a decent pass to the edge of the box (thus redeeming my p1sspoor performance at centre half) Jim dummied the ball (thus redeeming his misses from 2 headed chances where he felt he should’ve scored) before Nick followed in and wellied the ball in at the near post. GET IN!
That goal knocked the stuffing out of Sky and we the final whistle saw us breathe a sigh of relief as we reached the final.
MOM. Dom for being quick off his line, taking charge of the situation and keeping us in the tie in the first half on numerous occasions.
Clapham Rovers A Clapham Rovers 1 - 0 Athletico Sky ()