2nd Round of the Sheild Cup
By Tony Bennett
Bennett Magic !!!
After what seemed a long winter break we are finally back to business.
The scheduled league fixture for this date has been put back to February to make way for this re scheduled cup match and see's St Anns & Sneinton Orange playing division rivals AFC Warriors U12 Saxons for a place in the quater finals.
This is the first of two encounters which will take place, the 2nd being a league fixture in Newark in 2 weeks time.
Both teams arrived in buoyant mood ready to run off the festive lag but it was AFC Warriors who managed to get an early foothold in the game.
A little bit sharper in the duels, AFC just edged the early exchanges and played some really neat football using the width of the pitch.
This led to the first goal after 6 mins after some incisive passing in the middle of the park isolated our centre back against a big speedy striker.
The pass in behind caught SAS on the turn and he managed to get in behind and finish with aplomb.
This didn't deter SAS though and for the next 5 mins started to push AFC back. They always had the get out pass though because of the speed they had on the wings and through the middle and after 11 mins they executed a brilliant 5 pass move from defense to wide right.
The cross was swung in beautifully and swept home emphatically to make it 0-2 after 11 mins.
This woke SAS up, and after some alterations to the shape and line up they took it up another gear.
The boys played some neat football before going behind but the dynamism that wasn't quite there was now.
, Oluafemi Efuwape
and Luis Gjoshi were starting to take hold of the game playing through the lines and down the left hand side and AFC were struggling to cope with this added vigor.
Ever the goal threat, Tayonne Thomas
was starting to get into the pockets where he could hurt his opponents and this movement came to fruition after 21 minutes, passing home from a Luis Gjoshi cut back from the left of the box.
1-2 now and game on. Confidence was brimming though the side.
AFC were worthy opponents and were not ready to give up their lead but the way the team were being led by Modoulamin Fatty
and Oluafemi Efuwape
especially SAS were always knocking on the door and not going away.
Another slick interchange of passes on the left between this time Alexander Olamilekan and Modoulamin Fatty
set Luis Gjoshi away free down the left. Options were there but he had the confidence to to take on the opportunity himself, finishing with a low drive at the near post after giving the keeper the eyes
2-2 now after 27 and half time came at just the right time for the visitors.
After the break for probably 7 or 8 mins the play went from end to end like a champions league game with some quality football being played by both teams.
During this period SAS probably edged it having two or three opportunities to take the lead.
After this period though SAS started to turn the screw.
Under pressure, one of the AFC defenders stopped a through pass with his hand around about 8-10 yards outside the box.
Not as dynamic as usual due to being under the weather Jamal Bennett
confidently took control of proceedings.
AFC set up a 4 man wall and the keeper took up a good position.
This mattered none as Jamal bent the ball up and over the wall into the top corner. The keeper got fingers to it but the strike was too fierce to stop. A fantastic strike and 3-2 now.
To their credit AFC did their best to stay in the game but on three occasions should have found themselves 4-2 down but for some incredible keeping and a missed penalty incident by the ref when Oluafemi Efuwape
weaved through to be one on one, only to be pushed in the back when taking his shot.
All in all a deserved victory for SAS Orange again showing how good they can be against good opposition.
Man of the match was Modoulamin Fatty
but a mention has to go out to the whole squad as they continue to show improvement and great attitude.
Well done again boys.