AFA Minor Cup Preliminary Round
Scribe: Jonathan Hindi
After two wins out two in the league, the Vampires faced a tricky AFA Cup tie against Southgate County 3's.
Crouch End kicked off the game, boasting an average age of 39. But age is but a number as the Vamps took the game to Southgate. And it wasn't long before the Vamps were rewarded. A throw was flicked on by Reilly, which found Hindi in the box. Hindi's shot beat the keeper, but not the Southgate defenders hand. Penalty to the the Vampires and Southgate down to ten men. With Reilly slotting the penalty in to the bottom corner, it seemed Southgate were going to be in for a long afternoon. Unfortunately for the Vamps, the sending off gave the Southgate players a massive lift. Suddenly they were winning first and second balls, popping the ball around. The midfield of Reilly, Kalashy and Taddei has to work really hard as the Southgate midfield started to take control, forcing Hill to make some great saves. As much as Hill tried he couldn't keep our everything as Southgate equalised to make it 1-1.
Manager McKeon made three changes, bringing on Breen, Fleetwood and Buli. It wasn't long before Breen put through Hindi with a defence splitting pass, who smashed his left foot effort passed the keeper. 2-1. But the lead was short lived as Southgate hit back with the equaliser. Southgate installed further misery as they took the lead shortly before halftime. Mackey somehow managed to handle in the area giving the referee no option but to award Southgate a penalty, which was calmly put away.
So at halftime and the ten men of Southgate lead 3-2.
McKeon rang the changes again, this time ditching 3-5-2 for a more compact 4-5-1 formation. The change seem to work as back four of De Mel, Coleman, Buli and Duarteshut down the space where Southgate had exploited in the first half. The game went back and forth, both sides creating chances but not able to capitalise and it wasn't until midway through the second half the ball was in the back of the net. The Vamps won a free kick in the Southgate half, Bradley floated in a wonderful cross and Knighty leapt highest and directed the ball in the top corner. 3-3 and the Vamps pushed for the winner. Crouch End won a throw in deep in the Southgate half after a long driving run down the right by De Mel. The throw in was flicked on by Reilly and some how their keeper and defenders managed to bundle the ball in to their own net. They all count and a great time to score. Five minutes remained but with the experience in our squad, Southgate had no chance of getting another equaliser.
So it finished 4-3. Another win for the 4's and another proud, gritty performance COYV
TEAM: George Hill, Jonathan Hindi ⚽, Barry Mackey, Dan Coleman, Lee Duarte, Henry Buli, Jason Reilly ⚽, Jason De Mel, Ashkan Kalashy, Jordan Flynt, Martin Bradley, Matthew Breen, Anthony Knight ⚽, Charlie Fleetwood