Match report by Ashley Loofe, Graduate Surveyor, Hurstwood.
With the clocks going forward an hour the night before, a couple of the organisers (cough cough) of the Hurstwood-Red side failed to make the 1st game. Nevertheless, with a squad of 4 men, we still to edge past AC FIRST INVESTMENTS 2-0.
With all 6 men back in contention for the next game, we eased past WHR 6-1 in a game that stamped our authority on the tournament.
We went into the next game with lots of confidence (maybe too much) as we swept aside TOM LIGHTWING 3-1 with class and swagger.
With our passage into the knockout stages all but guaranteed we came up against our toughest competitors of the group. After a couple of goal keeping nightmares we twice let our lead slip and ended up drawing against LAMBERT SMITH HAMPTON 2-2. However, the result was irrelevant as we sat pretty on top of the group.
With one of our start performers having to leave early, we endured a gruelling encounter in the Quarter Final. Having been 2-0 down for much of the game it took a last 2 minute goal rush to turn the game on its head and allowed our passage through to the Semi final with a thrilling win over DK ARCHITECTS 3-2.
The semi-final saw the meeting of our group runner-up again. In a very tired game, honours were shared again with the match going to penalties. After both sides missing penalties (cheers Andy Mac) we entered into sudden death penalties, HW-Red struck twice with only one in reply from LSH securing our place in the grand final. LSH 2-2 pens
With the lactic acid now pumping through our legs, the pace of the final considerably dropped, playing into the hands of a very well organised Arcus side that did well to stifle our attacking talent on display. Having been behind for much of the game, HW-Red was always within one goal of our counterparts. Going into the final 2 minutes of the game being 3-2 down, the HW-Red keeper made what can only be called a world class Schmeichel esque save to keep us in the game (ye that was me). Now with only a minute on the clock, we needed something special to force the game to penalties and Maccers duly obliged with a bullet shot into the bottom right corner (all 5 of the crowd went wild!!). There was little time to dwell on the goal and the referee announced 10 seconds to play and HW-Red still in possession, but an unfortunate slip saw the Arcus attacker go clean through and with what was the final kick of the game we had lost to ARCUS CONSULTING 4-3. A devastating blow to all the hard work of the lads!
Comment from the Editor ” Well done lads, a valiant effort, keep it up!”