West Kent Challenge Shield WKCS - Final
Thu 09 May 2013 West Kent Challenge Shield WKCS - Final
|Halls Athletic 1st Team||1|
(Result AET; 1 - 1 full-time)
Halls Goal: Chris Vowels (1)
And then it was onto Thursday evening, and the League Cup Final at Sevenoaks Town FC, Greatness Park, to face Halstead. The party bus had the first drop off under-wraps and we arrived for the Barry Bundock West Kent Challenge Shield with a few knocks but still raring to go for our 5th game in 12 days... We re-shaped and headed out in front of our loyal Halls supporters once again.
Luca.F Alex Steve(c) Rob.F
Rocket Dav.S Chrissy Bradley
subs: Adonis, Lee.W, Christon, Chris.V, Dan.S
Well on top of everything else, I've watched 9 games in the last 7 days so some things are a little hazey... the weather kicked in, following the strong winds earlier in the day the ball was being gusted around the pitch and we were struggling to find ourselves in the game, 3 or 4 passes and we were being broke down. Halstead had a handful of long range efforts after nicking the ball in good areas, and Steve Zoghob palmed away one good effort with the rest well wide of the target.
The game was even, but Halstead had a little more spring in their step, and a short corner was soon crossed and headed goal bound, Zohbob made the parry and it was followed up into the net. 0-1. And Halstead had deserved that. We looked tired and off of the pace up til now. We did look dangerous still and had now pushed further into the Halstead half, and the tempo raised in the 15 minutes before the half time whistle. Dave Stevens, Lakey and Jamie had all come close, but it was Luca down the other end that kept us in the game, superbly blocking a certain goal in a goal-mouth scrabble just before the break.
Half-time and we needed to sort ourselves out. We need to be more organised and raise our game here... we need more players with more touches. And we got it right from the start of the half. By this time the rains had started and it had made this game a real battle and taken most of the gloss off of the spectacle, but we were moving quicker and we pushed ourselves closer and closer to Halstead with every minute.
Lakey had a great one on one chance but it was dealt with well by the keeper, and Christon who had replaced Bradley fired two long range efforts wide of the target. We had Halstead right on the back foot by the mid-way point and then the introduction of Chris Vowles gave us one more lift again. Vowlsey headed down the right wing and linking well with Rocket he fired in a first cross that was headed wide by Lakey, and then a second one for a corner a few minutes later. Chrissy Wills was tearing around by this stage, trying to work himself on the ball and linked up well with Christon forcing another series of throw-ins and corners down the left. We were all over Halstead and we continued to keep coming back at them picking up their hacked clearances comfortably. Adonis joined the game and again gave us an extra bounce in this match but when Dave Stevens free-kick hit the foot of the post, and wide, we were starting to wonder if we could work any harder to make some luck.
With 8 minutes on the clock, we had one last thrown of the dice and went 3-5-2 / 3-1-6 with Lee Wright, Tuesday night's equalising super-sub coming on for the limping Robbie Foreman, who was still feeling the really unnecessary tackle on him from Tuesday night - totally acceptable to the referee though!!
But it wasn't Lee Wright - or maybe him running on had distracted everyone - but Chris Vowles rose to meet the well delivered corner from Jamie and headed really well into the back of the net. The ball seemed slightly behind him and he was at full stretch there...quality header Vowlesy! And 1-1! If we had deserved a goal at anytime this season... that was right up there alongside the Belvedere cup match at 0-0...! ComeOnHalls!
We plonked into the second extra-time period in 2 days - and maybe being kept awake by the hammering rain on our backs - we were looking like taking this with all of Halsteads energy and attack being drown out with a fired-up back three of Vano, Alex and Lee. We forced two saves out of the Halstead keeper in the first half, and headed into the second again full spirit and looking like taking the next goal. But midway, a cross headed clear by Halstead was knocked to their big centre midfielder to hack it clear....and well the rest is a fairy tale. The wind carried the ball high with momentum and then another gust seemed to nose dive the ball back goal-ward. It really happened, 60 yards and aided all the way to the top corner. 1-2! Unbelievable!
The reality dawned and the game restarted. We threw everything forward once again, but with no help from the stop watch it was soon all over. How that hack has ended up knocking us out I don't know...and I'd have rather lost another penalty shoot out, we didn't deserve to lose this match over 120 minutes. But that is just how it goes...
We have been through an incredible amount his season and have put ourselves in this position with consistency week in week out. We showed every side of our game in these two finals...we scored some cracking goals, we defended brilliantly from open play and threw everything we had at our opposition... We didn't quite make enough luck and the focus can now all be on how we can improve once again in the summer and take this very young squad forward into the 2013/14 season along with the new re-structure in the Kent County League. A big thanks to all the League Committee for all their efforts this season as well as the cup competition!
We have showed ourselves brilliantly this season, and none more than with Rocket belly flopping into the foam party swimming pool in the early hours of Friday morning. Legendary, and we were all still together. Some dry, some wet and well one revising...