Amateur Reserves Cup Quarter Final
18 August 2011
Hamersley Rovers 0-3 Southern Spirit
On paper this looked to be the amateur reserves clash of the year. Southern Spirit, top of the Premier Reserves league, had won 16 of 16 scoring 70 and only conceding 10. Hamersley Rovers, top of the Division One Reserves league, also undefeated having won 14 of 16, scoring 72 (not including 28 in the cup) and conceding only 7.
The game did not dissapoint and the standard of football was more fitting of much higher billing. Hamersley were on the front foot early with some teasing crosses that tested the Spirit goalkeeper. Rovers were controlling the game and camped in the opposition half but the final touch just would not come. In the 25th minute against the run of play, Spirit scored when young goalkeeper Alec Glass missed his clearence and their forward tucked it into the empty net. Alec has been outstanding all season and unfortunately a leg injury had affected his ability to clear the ball.
The goal seemed to rattle Rovers and suddenly the crisp passing was not finding feet as it had been earlier. Still the Rovers defence held firm and did not let Spirit get another chance that half.
The second half started with Spirit finding more confidence on the ball and their defence was looking water tight as chances were few and far between for the Rovers. Spirit also rarely threatened the Hamersley goal but they were seeing more of the ball. Rovers best chance came from a corner when a Ritchie Partridge header was cleared of the line by a defender.
Player coach Nik Silsby made a change with Imre Szabo replacing Matty Austin to inject some pace up front and soon after Joe Wright replaced Gary McCue who was struggling with a knee injury. Ben Comber was having an outstanding game and Jackson Richardson was working hard on the wing. Jon Craik was controlling the defence with Craig Rogers anchoring the team.
With 15 minutes to go and Rovers pressing for an equaliser, Spirit broke down the left and their striker put away a difficult chance to make the game 2-0. Only minutes later a Spirit free-kick flicked off a Hamersley head and found its way to the bottom corner for 3-0. The game was effectively over but the Hamersley team kept pressing and working hard to restore some pride to a scoreline that did not reflect the game.
It was not to be but the lads can hold their heads up high for an outstanding effort against a very good team. With 7 of the Hamersley team under 21 the future is bright at the club. Well done to you all.
Team: Alec Glass, Ritchie Partridge, Pat Guggisberg, Jon Craik, Dan Guggisberg, Jackson Richardson, Craig Rogers, Matty Austin, Gary McCue, Dave Howell. Subs: Imre Szabo, Joe Wright, Nik Silsby.
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