Reserve Team Sub
Dec 12, 2011, 12:48 PM
Post #382 of 540
@Hughesvideo; “No real surprises?!” I don’t think 7-1 to Lapton against a team runaway leaders of their league was a predictable result! I was at the Lapton game. I arrived at HT (by which time Lapton were already 3-0 up and the game was over as a meaningful contest). Let’s just say that Lapton are a cruel and merciless team. They are physically powerful, eviscerated Hendon and quite frankly took the p*** out of them. I will post a match report later when I get confirmation of the goal scorers. However I want to dedicate today’s match report to the New Salamis FA National Sunday Cup game which I also attended.
MATCH REPORT – LESSON NUMBER 1: ALWAYS TAKE YOUR CHANCES
New Salamis (KOPA League – London) v Lea Hall Sports and Social Club (Festival League, Birmingham), FA National Sunday Cup, 3rd Round, Kick-Off 1pm
Venue: Cheshunt FC, Att: 45-50
The match programme (£2) was a pitiful waste of paper that had no info other than a bland list of Salamis’ recent results and ads by businesses. That said, New Salamis are no ordinary ‘Sunday team’. Even without their GK Michael Kalli and Colombian import Steve Valendia (Waltham forest FC – Ryman league, Step 4), their starting 11 had at least 9 semi pro Saturday players including:
RB – James Chrysanthou (ex Waltham Forest, Step 4), CD – Costantinos Zarnas (a Cyprus U21 international and professional in Cyprus for Aris Limassol), LB – Michael Deane (Harlow Town FC - Ryman League Div 1 – Step 4), CM - David Hicks (Wealdstone FC – Ryman league, Premier - Step 3), LM – Mario Georgiou (Haringey Borough FC, Spartan South Midlands League – Step 5), CF: Jeff Hammond (Waltham Forest FC – Ryman league, Step 4), CF: George Gregoriou (ex Leyton, Enfield and Cheshunt), subbed on: John Kyriacou (Chesham FC, Southern League, Step 3), Kyriacos Portou (Spartan South Midlands League, Step 5), Doug Morton.
Wikipedia profile of New Salamis' Cyprus under 21 international Constantinos Zarna:
I spoke to a Salamis official and asked him whether they get such high quality players through their association with Cheshunt FC (Ryman League Div 1, Step 4). He dismissively told me that most of Salamis’ players are “too good to play for Cheshunt”. New Salamis are a high quality and exceptionally well run team.
Salamis “officially” played 4-4-2 but it looked more like 4-2-4 due to their wingers who pushed far forward. The FA Cup actually allows Salamis to make better use of their large squad as it frees them from the “max 3 foreigners” rule in the KOPA League.
I arrived late (as usual!) by which time the score was already 1-1. Salamis were on top, playing slick inter-passing and dominating possession. Despite being under a lot of pressure, it was strangely Lea Hall who created more dangerous chances on the rare occasions they managed to get into Salamis’ half to attack. They were denied a blatant penalty by the ref when their striker (number 11) was tripped by the Salamis GK, and also had a goal-bound shot cleared off the line. The ref was very fussy and ordered Michael Deane off the pitch for wearing black underwear (which was not visible to anyone other than the ref – quite how he saw I have no idea) under his red shorts. He forced Deane to remove said black underwear even though they were not visible under his red shorts! The ref then refused to let Deane back on the pitch for several minutes after he took them off – despite several breaks in play and Salamis being down to 10 men as a result.
HALF TIME SCORE: 1-1
In the second half, Salamis’ midfielder David Hicks was excellent. He is not lightning quick, but has excellent technique, He retained and distributed possession well, and played some great short and long range passes. He reminds me of a young Glenn Hoddle (those old enough to remember him!) or Riquelme. He played in Jeff Hammond for a great chance, but the Lea Hall GK blocked Hammond’s shot with his right hand with Hammond 1-on-1 with the GK. Hicks worked three more excellent openings – for himself (one on his right foot, two on his left), all of which trickled agonisingly just wide of the post. Hammond injured his hand trying to turn the ball in and had to have his fingers strapped together.
Salamis’ 21 yo substitute and wonder kid Kyriacos Portou (on for Georgiou) then turned and smashed an excellent 25 yard curling shot against the underside of the bar. The ball bounced clear. Salamis would rue those missed chances and not capitalising on their superior possession.
RED CARD AND REF DRAMA
The Salamis Capt’s armband went from Georgiou to Hicks, and then onto Morton when he came on. More ref drama followed when a Lea Hall striker (number 12) was booked for a theatrical late dive. He dived ages after he had been tackled by Salamis’ center back Zarnas, and Salamis were already launching a counter-attack! A Lea Hall player was then sent off for two bookable offences. He was booked, then got a second yellow for dissent. The ref had to go off the pitch to explain the decision to the irate Lea Hall manager.
1-1 AT FULL TIME, EXTRA TIME:
Strangely, as often happens when teams go down to 10 men, Lea Hall IMPROVED after the red card. Instead of battening down the hatches and playing for penalties as expected, they changed to 4-3-2 and started putting Salamis under pressure – forcing some good saves. All of a sudden Salamis looked tired and you forgot that Lea Hall had only 10 men. Their two giant center backs were rock solid and kept Salamis’ strikers Hammond and Portou shackled.
With a penalty shoot out looming, Lea Hall won a corner. Salamis did not clear, and a fierce left footed drive from 10 yards hit the back of the net and sent Lea Hall and their fans into wild celebration. Salamis were shocked and crestfallen. Their players all sat down in their penalty area in disbelief (they looked like the Bayern players when Man U scored those late goals in 1999). They did not seem to believe there was enough time for them to equalise.
119 minutes: As Salamis pushed men forward, their GK and sub Doug Morton hesitated and allowed an almighty 100 foot high clearance by Lea Hall’s capt and center back to bounce 10 yards outside the Salamis area. The GK hesitated before making a clumsy challenge in which he, the Lea Hall striker and Morton collided. The Lea Hall striker got up first, and lobbed the ball into the empty goal from about 12 yards out. Lea Hall went wild again, and their jubilant subs and bench ran onto the pitch to celebrate with their players. Salamis’ fans started leaving the stadium. Salamis were beaten by 2 goals in the last 3 minutes of extra-time.
This game reminded me of the epic Baldon Sports –v- Clapton Rangers LFA Sunday Challenge Cup semi-final a couple of seasons ago. Same scoreline (3-1) and one team dominating possession and playing the better passing football (Salamis/Clapton), the other team getting red cards (Lea Hall/Baldon), then fighting back to win with two late goals in the dying minutes of extra-time (Lea Hall/Baldon).
Final Score: New Salamis 1 -v- Lea Hall Sports and Social Club 3 (AET)
(This post was edited by stevegraze on Dec 12, 2011, 2:11 PM)