It was always going to be a tough game in the North Riding Cup. Made tougher with key players being unavailable or injured. And even tougher when Jordan declares himself fit and starts (WTF gaffer).
With players missing, there were nods to fringe players to stake a claim for starting eleven action such as Matty Leaf and Millers who was making his first start when the usual centre back failed a late fitness test. Also, veteran goalkeeper Kenny was called into action when none of the other 23 goalkeepers we have used made themselves available.
With rolling subs an option, Danny was pleased as he needed to save his energy for sitting on his hairy arse later on to play FIFA (priorities Danny).
The game started a bit scrappy with neither team holding onto the ball too well. In the first few minutes there were early exchanges that came to very little. Kenny had to make a smart save with his right hand when their striker found himself clean through, denying the away side from taking the lead. There was then a small passage of player where we didn’t seem to get a hold of the game well, and Kenny was called into action again with two other good saves to stop the visitors taking the lead.
We settled into it though, and with some good play down the left, Swanny gambled on the cross and had a smart, flicked finish past the goalkeeper to make it 1-0 to the home side, much to the disappointment of the travelling team who thought they were coming for a walk over.
There centre-mid was looking the most dangerous player. It was clear that everything was coming through him and so tactical genius Rammer, brought Matty Leaf on for his debut with one job; “mark their centre-mid” (which by the way Leafy was class at, and he was largely anonymous for the rest of the game).
Shortly after, some soft play down the home-side’s right led to their full-back putting over a great cross, only for their right winger to tap it in with no one around him. A bit disappointed with the goal, the Town battled on and Danny had a great shot saved by their keeper when the ball looked destined to go in. Danny had another shot from outside the box, this time with his left foot and wily fox Swanny gambled that the keeper might drop it, which he did and Swanny tapped home to make it 2-1 at half time.
Now, we might not have played too well, but 2-1 up against a good side in the cup we would take. Early in the second half however, another cross from their left went all the way to the back post, their right winger collected and cut back to the edge of the 18 yard box and the midfielder hit a great shot into the roof of the net to draw.
After that, not a lot happened. Both teams had some opportunities to break through, but it came to nothing really. Arguably we had more of the play and looked the most dangerous. The game finished 2-2 and went straight to PKs.
We ended up losing 4-3 on penners, Matty, Rob and Danny scored theirs. Miller, Swanny and Captain Lugs missed theirs. It’s a shame as with the last penner to take we would have won 4-2 with West Pier already ballooned two over the bar.
In the end, the result was probably for the best. Gilroy who we know as Eddie (just a nickname from school), was being filmed and pictures taken by the opposition who felt we were fielding eligible players. Had we gone through, there would have probably been some inquest anyways – they have form I understand.
So what did we learn lads:
1. Danny likes playing digital footy more than real footy – perhaps he doesn’t tire as quick
2. Swanny is awesome up top and can play centre-back too
3. Despite not playing too well, we can mix it up with the rest of ’em
4. Rammer does have some tactical nouse in there, he just hides it well…. really well!
5. Sean is really shit at scorpion kicks
6. Nathan loves nothing more than taking a dump just as penners are about to start
7. Kenny still has it (although he is an old man and is feeling it this morning)
8. Jordan’s new line in boob tubes and short waist coats is not going to take off.
Unicorn next week lads, tough game but we have the class to win that. UTT!