LONDON CUP SEMI FINAL ERITH & BELVEDERE FC 0 - v - BUCKHURST HILL 1
A late kick off on a glorious Sunday afternoon was not without incident as before a ball was kicked we had confusion as to whether the game would go ahead but Darren who probably knows the regulations better the the representative from the FA was soon pointing everyone in the right direction and we had, game on!
The gaffer often reminds us of a strong squad and today no truer word had been spoken, Basi ruled out early in the week and Ewing not eligible, we had a late withdrawal on Saturday when Jethva dislocated his shoulder.
He reminded the lads before kick that we have a major advantage over our rivals in that we are not a team of individuals but we are are team,and that we play as a team and we work as a team, if we keep believing in that then we will progress in the competition. Today was no message more meaningful or carried out to direction.
The game started and for the first few minutes the boys were a little nervous of the occasion but were soon into their stride when Brookes played into the feet of Harris who in turn played a one two with Swan and found himself behind the back four charging in on goal from an acute angle. His shot across goal was pushed past the post by the keeper. Hill from the resulting Brookes corner pressure the keeper and the ball is cleared off the line. This gives Hill confidence and all across the park you can see each lad grow and rally round knowing they are in this game.
On 8 minutes after some good Hill pressure Swan receives a throw in and helps it on to Dackombe. If Calsberg done winning cup semi final goals this would be it, he controls it on he's chest and from 20 yards hit's it on the half volley. It crashes in the top right hand corner off the underside of the bar. Two keepers wouldn't have saved that. The boy doesn't score tapins, just the spectacular...... 1-0 Hill
The game after this become two teams slugging it out not wanting to give anything away. Both had possession but no clear cut chances created. The half draws to an end and Hill take in a slender advantage which they have worked their socks off to keep.
The gaffer sets out his game plan for the second half and big Sam would have been proud. Earlier in the season the boys took a little bit a stick for not competing but not today. The parents would have seen a different Hill today, not the free flowing football side that we know they can be but a side that dug in and refused to lose. The back four of H Barrett, Redhead,Jessop and King marshalled by coach Johnson were magnificent. The midfield run their socks off with widemen Brookes, Emmerson and Proctor working overtime getting behind the ball. Johnson and Dackombe fought for every ball in the centre of the park and time and time again broke up the play. The combination of Swan, Harris and Bolton up front chased every ball and run tirelessly across the line often for little reward but playing their part in stopping the opposition playing from the back as they would have been used to in previous games.
There was little goalmouth action and the home side had only two chances one of which was a 20 yard shot that flew past the post and the second had everyone holding their breath when a cross from the left found the centre forward's who somehow put the header wide from six yards.
S Barrett didn't have much to do in the way of shot stopping but he organised the back four superbly and his kicking was excellent often relieving the pressure from the back four.
Hill had their own chances and the best of which saw Harris have a twenty harder pushed by the post. The half had 5 minutes of injury but the bus done it's job and Hill go through to the final.
Full time 1-0
I would also like to mention Harrison today as although he didn't get on his attitude was first class and the gaffer made sure of mentioning this at the end of the game. As writing this I have just received hot off the press a quote from the gaffer which I will pass on
" Proud to see young men that I have been coaching since the age of 5 years put in a performance that was both professional and clinical. A true advertisement for maturity that will need to be matched,if not bettered in the final against Ryan FC. We will go to the final ready and in anticipation of the quality we expect to meet and I'm sure whatever the outcome we will play our full part in a great days celebration not just for two local rivals, but the EJA League, our club and the army of travelling supporters."
Congratulations Lads great win, you should all be very proud tonight.