1ST Qualifying round Result
AFC EMLEY 1 – 2 SPS
With the home team setting up a 4 – 5 – 1 formation the early passages of play gave the U18 boys something to think about and it was clear that the tactical intention was to catch us on the break. Good possession and inventive football gave the home side plenty of defending to do but this tactic almost proved a great decision when a long clearance from an Emley defender found their pacey forward Tyrone Moore who sprinted clear shooting wide of the goal from 18 yards.
With Sam Kassim looking dangerous and making great runs a goal looked on the cards and this proved to be the case, some great work down the left from Murphy, Austin and Middleton on 7 minutes, the lively Kassim converted a deep cross by glancing a great header over Thomas Thornton the Emley keeper and high into the net.
Murphy for SPS was always a threat going forward and on numerous occasions was thwarted by solid defensive work. Crosses from both flanks were just evading the SPS players but SPS continued to press, commit forward and look for the second goal.
Emley battled away and on 22 minutes equalised, against the run of play but not surprisingly when Anthony Dawson the Emley midfield player caught the boys out by intercepting a poor forward pass on the half way line and quickly threading an incisive through ball splitting the SPS central defenders where Tyrone Moore converted comfortably from 12 yards. Emley did come into the game more and pressed forward creating two or three corners, one of which resulted in a free far post header that was easily held by Greaves the SPS goalkeeper. Charlie Shepherd was switched to play down the left to provide solidity to the right wing threat but soon got into his stride going forward, the pacey midfield player raced onto a brilliant Matt Ensor ball, skipped past a defender and crossed accurately for Joe Martini to convert from close range on 42 minutes. A good time to score.
The second half continued much the same as the first with SPS playing some stylish football keeping the ball for long periods and dominating play.
The Emley lads had put so much into it were becoming tired, SPS pressing more or less all the time now and should really have sealed a great performance with more goals. On a rare venture forward from the home team Chris Pickford showed his class with great defensive work nullifying the speedy Tyrone Moore 25 yards from goal.
Kassim shot over from close range and was always there or thereabouts he was a constant thorn to the home side. Numerous SPS attacks gave opportunities to score or pick out a cross but these were not taken. Charlie Shepherd shot from 40 yards went well wide with the home keeper not troubled. Then the same player pounced onto a second ball from a corner in the box and shot cleanly only for the goal bound effort to be cleared off the line by an Emley defender.
SPS saw out the game with some intelligent possession football. Overall a good experience for the boys and hopefully they have learned a lot from the outing.
Thanks to AFC Emley for their hospitality and good luck to them for the season.
We now look forward to the next round to be played early October and await the result of FC Halifax V Staveley.