Hill were handed a tough draw for the first round of the London cup. Although this was a team they beat comfortably in last years initial suggested Prostar were not the same team that lost 9-0 last year and so it turned out. Hill edged a tough and well fought match and could have paid the price for nit taking their chances in the first half. The game started well for Hill.
Despite Prostar challenging fiercely for every ball and giving our midfield a tough time, our initial exchanges are very encouraging as it seems our passing game has returned and we strung 3-4 passes together readily. On 3 minutes Grace plays a lovely ball into Brookes down the left channel and his well struck shot just goes wide.
3 minutes later and we work the ball down the left again with some nice play into Grace whose shot is deflected for a corner. Prostar at this stage didn’t look threatening, they seem to be playing more long hopefully ball and the wind takes it too long on most occasions. On 10 minutes Redhead gets free from his markers in midfield and slots a nice pass through to there tireless Harris, playing with real effort and determination today, he gets to the ball on the 6 yard line but a superb last ditch tackle prevents a certain goal. 2 minutes later a great combination between Harris, Brookes and Grace gives Grace a shooting opportunity from 15 yards. He strikes it powerfully but the rising shot hits the bar. On 20 minutes Brookes again, enjoying good room down the left and in the mood to attack outpaces the full back and gets in a good shoot which is just cleared.
A further minute later and Brookes again plays in Harris who is through on the keeper who makes an outstanding save
At this stage of the game it looks like a case of when and how many for Hill. But steadily Prostar start to find their feet, they stop playing it long as much and working through the middle start to play their way into the game.
Maybe this will not be so easy after all. Hill kept going and fighting. On 30 minutes a mix up in the Prostar defence lets Harris in and he works it well to play across to Brookes but the shot goes narrowly wide. 2 minutes later and the ball worked through the middle to Grace. The Prostar defence finding it hard to play against him, he hits a side foot effort through one on one trying to place it in the corner, but the keeper just manages to get a foot to it and force it clear. Finally on 34 minutes we get the breakthrough. A great bit of team play starting with S. Barrett rolling the ball out, the ball is worked down the right by H. Barrett to Procter. Up to this point most of Hills wide play has been down the left, but Procter does really well and plays in a super ball to GRACE who slots home to finally break the deadlock. 1-0. The final act of the first half sees a brilliant kinking run from H. Barrett who plays in harris inside the box. He strikes his shot well but again Hill are denied by the crossbar.
Halftime 1-0. The second half was bound to see a slightly different character to the game as Prostar are now playing into the wind and their long balls forward into a lively No.9 who played the game with good character and spirit, plus a bit of banter with the touchline, start to put Hill under a bit more pressure.. The midfield battle is fiercely contested and ebbs and flows with Prostar holding the edge one minute and Hill the next. Harris is having a tireless game and up front on his own is working really hard to chaseand harrie. Grace drops a little deeper to help out in midfield and Prostar push forward. They don’t really create anything clear cut but the tension in Hill fans is growing. Our wide play seems to have stopped and we resort to hopeful rather than measured passes. The one bright moment is a mazey run from Procter who beats several players and battles well to get his shot away which is well saved. The final 5 minutes seem to go on for ever…..Hill cannot just get the 2nd goal to calm nerves and put the game out of reach. A god run from Grace on 35 mins sees his shot just wide. Hill’s defence has played superb all game. The middle combo of Jessop and Jehva holding strong and compsed against some pacey Prostar forward play. Finally the ref blows after a 2nd half of close to 40 mins.
Hill progress to round 2 where they will be very unlucky to come up against such tough opposition again.