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Home to Frenford Senior (ECFA Cup)

Hale End Vets v Frenford Senior ECFA Cup

Britannia Sports Ground

The Vets, coming off the back of a 100% record in the league, approached this cup game with caution knowing that the opposition were riding high two leagues above.

Anything they could get out of the game would be a bonus, but again injuries and players unavailable meant another reorganisation to the team.

Hale End started the stronger of the two teams putting the visitors under pressure from the off.  Perhaps Frenford thought this was going to be an easy ride today, but whatever the reason they started very slowly off the blocks.  The Vets buoyed by 5 straight victories in the league showed confidence and fitness to bring the game to the visitors.

In a fast flowing game a good twenty minutes went by in the blink of an eye and without the ref having to blow for a single foul.  The ball was almost continuously in play and the speed of the game was starting to tell on The Vets.

Frenford began to make more of an impact on the game and around the half hour mark they scored two goals in very quick succession which seemed to knock the stuffing out of Hale End.  For the first time this season heads seemed to drop as questions were being asked.  Thankfully this didn’t last and Vets started to rally, with the ball being played around to feet for the remainder of the half.  2-0 at half time, but certainly not out of it.

The half time talk was all about closing down a lot quicker.  It was felt that too much respect was being given to the visitors and they needed to be given far less time on the ball.  Steve Hunter asking for players to pick up a man quicker in the box.  “if you haven’t got a man ask yourself why not?” (quote cleaned up for publishing purposes).

Unfortunately The Vets didn’t take the advice from the half time talk and under pressure from a pretty effective side they went three behind shortly after the break.  Gary Doodes, having a solid game in goal doing everything he could to stem the tide with good back up from Roger Gayle getting stuck in after a return from injury.

The second half brought a few more attempts on the goal, but it was disappointing not to really test the keeper all afternoon.  He was a huge figure in the goal and perhaps this put The Vets off from having a shot at him.   It wasn’t through lack of trying but the visitors did a great job at keeping Hale End at bay.

Sadly the game finished 6-0, with a calf injury to Steve Hunter a worry as The Vets go back to concentrating on the league.  Surely the focus now must be trying to win a game but with clean sheet.  I’m sure Mr Doodes would love that!

Team; Gary Doodes, Shaun Windeatt, Roger Gayle, Steve Hunter, Halil Hassan, Darren Foss, Barry Smith, Kevin Whitworth, Paul Obinkwo, Trevor Burton, Taju Oyedeji. 

Subs; Young Barry Smith, Billy Howard, Tony Graves

Report – Danny Magill.