Sunday 27 April 2014
The first team were in action for only the second time in April as they faced Deloitte in the semi-final of the Kings Cup at Hough End.
The opposition are directly below Village in the league and the two clubs have already faced each other twice in the league. The previous encounters saw one win apiece – but both games were tight with one goal separating the teams in both games.
The line up saw Ure and McAuley provide an experienced centre back partnership whilst Edwards and McPherson took their place each side of them. Hardern was on the left wing, with Clayton on the right and Wilson and McNaught in the centre. Connell and Curtis were the two most attacking players in a new look strike force.
Despite the match being the first team’s first game in three weeks, it didn’t take too long for the side to blow away the cobwebs. Unfortunately they found themselves 1-0 down after 15 minutes as a smart pass and clever run saw the Deloitte attack spilt the defence, round goalkeeper Baker and score. The defence will be disappointed that they allowed the striker so much space but they tightened themselves up to make sure that such a chance wouldn’t come around again for the opposition.
The task for Village was made harder as Clayton managed to get himself sent off a few minutes later. The usually calm McNaught reacted angrily to a poor tackle by a Deloitte midfielder which triggered some pushing and shoving between a number of players. At the end of the melee, Clayton was shown his marching orders for raising his hands.
As often happens with football teams, Village started playing some of their best football with 10 men. McNaught and Wilson combined well together numerous times to get past the opposition and Hardern, Curtis and Connell put in tireless shifts that made a mockery of the man disadvantage. The defence looked a lot more assured and tried their best to start moves from the back. Deloitte did have a couple of chances but Baker was equal to everything that was thrown at him.
As the game wore on, Village kept pushing men up to get the equaliser that would take the game straight to penalties and they went close a number of times with Edwards, Curtis, McNaught, Hardern and Wilson among those to see their efforts fail to hit the back of the net.
With a minute left, McPherson was left on his own at the back against two Deloitte attackers. He managed to push the ball carrier wide which allowed Edwards to get back but the opposition player played a smart pass inside to the unmarked striker. Despite McPherson’s last ditch attempted block, the ball sailed into the corner of the net past the helpless Baker.
It was disappointing result for Village but the team can be proud of the effort they put in to try and get a positive result. The sending off galvanised the team and the interplay and team ethic that shone through in the final 45 minutes was an encouraging sign.
The team have three more league games left as they finish the 2013/2014 season.