AFC Santander 4 - 6 Old Stratford FC
|Author: Malcolm Jones||Published: 4th October 2010 18:15|
Berks & Bucks Saturday Junior Trophy Round 1
Saturday 2nd October
AFC Santander 4
Old Stratford FC 6 (S. Bell, T Forman, D Ferguson (2), M Haverley (2))
A makeshift, patched-up Old Stratford side showed tremendous resilience and not a little skill in overcoming higher division opposition in Saturday's thrilling cup-tie.
With several key players missing through injury, the omens weren't good when AFC Santander took a second-minute lead as a result of a defensive mix-up, but Stratford settled down to play their football and five minutes later were back on level terms through a forward surge by defender-turned-midfielder Simon Bell followed by a cool finish.
On the half hour another defender pressed into midfield service, Tom Forman, scored the goal of the game, and perhaps the season, calmly lofting the ball over the Santander keeper from well inside the centre circle. The game continued to ebb and flow with chances falling to both sides before Santander equalised just before the break, but Stratford regained their lead ten minutes into the second half when Tom Foreman set up Dan Ferguson.
The same combination struck again five minutes later to make the score 4-2, before Santander came back strongly to force a fine full-stretch save from Jack Barnes. Keio Stockley, playing his first game of the season was causing havoc up front, first shaking off the attentions of three defenders before putting his shot narrowly wide, then springing the offside trap before crossing to Mike Haverley, who scooped the ball over the bar when it looked easier to score.
Inevitably, Santander fought back and in the 76th minute scored from a corner to bring the score back to 4-3, before Stockley once again wriggled his way through the defence only to see the Santander keeper tip his shot onto the post. With Mike Haverley spurning another opportunity from a Stockley cross, these missed chances looked as if they might prove costly when Santander set up camp in the Stratford half, winning a string of corners, including one headed off the line by James Haverley, before, with the last action of the game, forcing the ball home to tie the match at 4-4.
With no substitutes to call on, the same eleven players now had to summon up the energy to play half an hour extra time, with the prospect of penalties beyond that, but they showed tremendous spirit to keep battling, a spirit epitomised by Mike Haverley who kept getting into goal scoring positions and was finally rewarded with two goals late in extra time to take Old Stratford through to the next round.
Next fixture: Sat Oct 9th v Hanslope (H) North Bucks & District FL Division 1