Trowbridge Tigers v VMFC2
Sunday 3 August 2014
Village Manchester are through to the last 16 of the GFSN Cup after defeating Trowbridge Tigers in a hard fought contest.
The club made the mammoth trip to Warminster in Wiltshire to face their opponents in the Preliminary Round of the competition of which they were beaten finalists in last season.
It was the club’s first competitive game of the season and the squad had a fresh look to it with a number of new players and returning players joining a number of old hands in the 14.
Baker was in goal with debutant Kidd the only new face in an experienced defence containing Edwards, Sal and player/manager McPherson. New boys Johnson and Ampeh partnered each other in midfield with last season’s top three goal scorers Langford, Holmes, Golds supporting the returning Nelson up front.
Village started the game on the front foot and put together some good play as they maintained possession well. The team looked to use the youth and energy of their front four to trouble the home defence and were rewarded with a number of throw ins and corners on each flank.
Despite coming under pressure from both wings, Trowbridge stood firm and kept goal scoring opportunities to a minimum.
This meant that Village started to look for ways through the middle and it was from one of these runs down the centre that they were able to find the opening goal.
Village were awarded a free kick 30 yards out following a clumsy tackle and Langford dropped the delivery onto Holmes' head and the striker smartly diverted his attempt wide of the keeper and into the back of the net. 0-1
Village were twice denied by the woodwork as they attempted to extend their lead. Firstly, Langford's attempt from a corner brushed the crossbar, then from the other side, Golds' effort also came of the frame of the goal.
Bracken soon came on to make his debut in centre midfield and Power replaced Nelson up front to make his first appearance for the club for a few months.
It wasn't one way traffic however as Trowbridge had a number of great opportunities to get on level terms before the half ended. A smart diagonal ball over the top caught Edwards too far up the pitch and left a Trowbrige attacker bearing down on goal. However, Sal was alert to the danger and knocked the ball out for a corner as the striker was poised to shoot.
There was an even bigger scare a few minutes later as McPherson got caught in possession in the centre circle and the blonde Trowbridge attacker bore down on goal unopposed. The player/manager had his keeper to thank as Baker was quickly off his line and forced the attacker into a quick shot which went just wide.
Baker also had to suffer for his art as he injured a finger bravely smothering a Trowbrige shot.
The half time whistle went with Village deservedly - but just about - in the lead.
Half time: Trowbridge Tigers 0-1 Village Manchester
Village had the job half done but McPherson felt that the team had another goal or two in them. He encouraged the team to stop going for Hollywood balls and to keep thing simple. Browning came on for Sal fairly quickly into the second half to freshen things up.
It was Trowbridge who got out of the blocks better in the second half though as they immediately started to lay siege to the Village goal. Their attackers started to move their feet really well and they managed to gain a decent amount of space by tricking their way through Village strong attempted tackles.
McPherson had had enough of one of these jinky runs and unceremoniously body checked a Trowbridge attacker a few yards outside the box. He was made to pay for this though as the home team scored directly from the free kick as they smashed the ball low and hard towards the far post. 1-1
This goal was a set back for Village but to their credit they kept Trowbridge at bay and limited the opposition to corners and shots from range. Johnson was putting in a sterling shift in an unfamilair central midfield role and his quick thinking, good feet and prowess in the air started to quell Trowbridge's midfield dominance.
Ampeh and Nelson soon returned to the action and it was that combination that would deliver the match winning strike for Village Manchester with 10 minutes to go. Ampeh fed Nelson and the striker took a couple of touches which seemed to have pushed him too far wide. However, he struck a venomous strike past the helpless home goalkeeper to put Village ahead. 1-2
Village took the sensible approach following Nelson' strike by attempting to play a bit of keep ball and not going too gung-ho for a third. This approach worked as Trowbridge didn't trouble Baker's goal again before the final whistle went.
And so, Village made it through to the last 16 of the GFSN Cup where they will come up against Newcastle.
The team can be satisfied with their performance and victory and as the first competitive game on the season, it was a great way to kick off the 2014/2015 campaign. Holmes and Nelson have already got themselves on the scoring charts, it was good to see Kidd, Ampeh and Bracken in a Village shirt for the first time and there are a lot of positives to build upon for the season ahead.
Full time: Trowbridge Tigers 1-2 Village Manchester