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Away to Ford Basildon (D3W Cup)

The Vets travelled to Basildon for the second round of the league cup. We knew this would be a challenge as both sides were unbeaten this season.

Once again this player availability and injuries resulted in yet more changes to the side. It is perhaps worth noting the vets have not managed to play the same eleven in two consecutive games this season. On a fantastic pitch we started the game playing our usual 4-4-2 formation but with Steve Hunter dropping into the back four and Sean Windeatt moving into midfield alongside Kevin Whitworth. The game started evenly with neither side managing to dominate proceedings. However it was Ford who created the early chances missing twice when perhaps they should have done better. A midfield exchange worked well as Sean dispossessed the Ford midfield allowing Kevin Whitworth to supply a through pass to Taju who finished clinically to make it 1-0. Perhaps a little fortunate on the balance of play. Ford came back hard and created another opportunity which was wasted. Fresh legs were introduced after 25mins using the roll on roll off substitute rules to our advantage. Without playing our best football we were looking more comfortable at all Ford had to throw at us. Gaining in confidence we started to push forward in search of a second only to be caught by a sucker punch. Losing the ball in the midfield we failed to deal with a long ball not once but twice as two men tried but failed to clear. The ball finally fell kindly to the Ford striker to stroke the ball home from 10 yards. To be fair it was nothing less than Ford deserved  H-T 1-1.

The second half was an equally tight affair. A few positional and personnel changes again at the start of the second half for both sides as they went for the win. Both sides created a number of half chances but some questionable decisions by their linesman for offside meant the score remained at 1-1 until the 87th minute. A corner from the left was met with a bullet header from 10 yards from an unmarked Ford striker. With three minutes to go we had to push forward. It resulted in an over hit ball being chased down by the hard working Kevin Whitworth and crossed back in to six yard box for Taju to head home and take the tie into extra time 2-2. 

Extra time was as expected a cagey affair, in the first half both sides seemed determined to win and we had a chance from another Kevin through ball only for the Ford ‘keeper to make a great save. This was matched at the other end by Gary Doodes as the first half of extra time ended in stalemate. The last 15 minutes were somewhat of a procession resulting in the inevitable penalty shootout. No need to go into too much detail but suffice to say we lost for the first time this season 6-5 on penalties after all ten of the original kicks were converted. Penalty scorers were Steve Hunter, Martin Treadway, Martin Saggers, Taju and Roger Gayle.

Huge disappointment in the bar after the game as this was a cup we had a real chance of winning after falling on penalties at the quarter final stage last year. In truth it was a great pitch and once again we never really found third gear. Weekly changes to the side are not helping but we must pick ourselves up for an important league game next week. MOM Steve Hunter  Report Sean Windeatt  

Team

Gary Doodes, Sean Windeatt , Bill Howard, Steve Hunter, Hilary Francis Trevor Burton, , Kevin Whitworth,, Paul Obinwko, Darren Foss, Martin Treadway, Taju Odeyji, Subs Tony Graves, Barry Smith, Barry Smith, Martin Saggers

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