The Chargers headed into the game knowing that in order to reach their second successive cup final they would need to do what no other team have managed this season – beat Curley Park.
The boys started brightly and took the game to Curley Park. The first real chance fell to Wilson after Jake won the ball high up the pitch, Wilson tried to bend it in the top corner from the edge of the box but narrowly missed. A bit later Chargers had the chance to go in the lead. Callum beat his man and whipped in a cross to find Joshua in space but he couldn’t keep his shot down and it went just over. Joshua had another chance soon after from a free-kick but put it just wide. Chargers were on top in the first half, the whole team working their socks off, pressing high, with any hint of a Curley Park chance being snuffed out by Alfie, Nathan and Callum at the back, restricting Curley Park to long shots and creating a few of their own.
The old saying “it’s a game of two halves” was certainly true of this one. Curley Park vastly improved on their first half performance, they piled pressure on the Chargers goal but still the Chargers stood strong with goalkeeper – and captain – Ethan not having to make any real saves. Disaster then struck half-way through the second half, Curley Park were awarded a penalty. It was struck well but Ethan was equal to it and pushed it wide, amazing save. This inspired the Chargers and it became an even game again. Chargers created chances but were nearly caught on the break, Callum acrobatically cut out a cross with 2 Curley players waiting for the ball to drop to them in the box.
As the game became more end to end, Curley Park had a couple of half chances but every opportunity was either blocked or didn’t hit the target with Nathan a rock at the back who refused to be beaten. The Chargers rode their luck at times and then the breakthrough came near the end of the game. Wilson and Leo battled hard to win the ball from the Curley Park defence, Leo crossed from the right and Joshua expertly volleyed the ball in the net. Wild celebrations which the whole team got involved in. We thought it was practically the last kick of the game but the referee somehow found 6 (six) minutes on injury time. Curley Park reacted by taking a defender off for a striker and throwing everything forward in an attempt to equalise. Still they couldn’t find a way through with Edward making a great block at the death to preserve the clean sheet.
The players, parents and coaching team were rightly delighted at the end of the game. Callum was awarded coaches player of the match for his solid performance with Ethan parents player for his crucial penalty save and clean sheet. It was a tough decision as all the boys battled from the first to the last minute of the game.
The Chargers can now look forward to a cup final against Twyford Comets on 15th April at Hill Farm Lane where they will be looking to go one better than last year and lift the trophy!
Come on You Moles!
Report by: Ben Churchill Team Manager