Sat 10th Mar 2018
Suburban Challenge League Cup
TAFC Reserve team 0-1 Walton & Hersham
On a pitch which was in surprisingly good condition bearing in mind the recent weather we bowed out of the League Cup at the 1/4 final stage,our last chance of silverware this season.
We changed to a 4-4-2 formation to put as much pressure as possible on the Walton & Hersham back 4 which was helped by their keeper going long from the back. Our opponents playing down the slope played some decent passes down our left hand side but these were well defended with Paolo Bagatti ( who had to retire with an ankle injury at half time) outstanding. Within 15.mins we missed what was to prove to be the easiest chance of the match when Gareth Terblanche failed to hit the target from 2 yards from a Joe Naylor cross.
A second less easy opportunity and a number of crosses were not taken advantage ,although our physically stronger opponents had their fair share of possession before a cross from their right winger was poked in on the far post after poor defending.
Unusually our reaction to this setback was patchy and the period till half time was extremely scrappy.
Kicking down the slope we stayed with the same formation but although we pushed our opponents back we rarely looked like getting back in the game. With 25 mins to changes in personnel and shape resulted in us building up a head of steam and Walton were forced to play almost exclusively in their own half a with Tom Shaw putting in a number of decent crosses we were on several occasions inches away from an equaliser but a combination of Lady Luck deserting us and maybe a bit of rustiness forced by having played so few games recently we weren't able to take the tie to penalties.
In the longer term all four of the U 18s coped with the step up and with 13 League games left we can hopefully progress their football to,the next level up
The best of luck to Walton in the semi.
M.Richardson. J.Byerley,D.Steadman,P.Bagatti (D.Smethers) ( M.Cowan), M.Bulpit (A.Scotcher). G Terblanche, T.Paul ,R.Hazel. T.Shaw,O.Ruttle (K.Goldberg),J.Naylor.