Hook Norton 4th Round Senior Cup
Freeland were gearing up for their biggest game in their 108-year history. They had done fantastically well to reach the 4th round of the senior cup already beating Hellenic sides Woodstock and Heading ton amateurs on the way, not to mention a very difficult game against fellow senior league side Cropredy.
The game against Hook Norton started with a large crowd expecting a very good away side to take the game by the scruff of the neck and dominate in all areas.
This is what they did. Adam Lonsdale
called into action in the first twenty seconds making a fantastic save with his legs and steering the ball wide of his right-hand post.
Only 4 mins in and the away side did make the breakthrough. A right footed shot curled from the outside of the box high into the roof of the net giving Casper Lonsdale absolutely no chance. A superb effort from the lively Reece Baylis.
The home side were staring down the barrel and the away side were showing why they were flying high in the division above. Wave after wave of attack and Adam Lonsdale
had to be at his very best to keep the score at 0-1.
This said though the home side did start to settle down retain the ball better and start to get a foothold in the game.
Both sides now playing in the middle of the park rather than in Freeland s final third. It was only a matter of time before the home side would start to carve out some chances for themselves.
This they did and I think everybody in the ground thought that Tom McCudden
had scored. Unfortunately for the home side his left footed shot just curled around the wrong side of the upright.
Then the turning point in the game. Hook Norton race down the other end the ball crossed in from the right-hand side into Freeland s box. The home side fail to clear and Stevie Howkins goes down in the box. In all credit to player he didn’t appeal for a penalty as he had kicked the unfortunate Jason Lonsdale
laid on the floor. The Referee thought different and a penalty kick was given.
A very good penalty was taken by Stevie Howkins who had picked himself up off the floor to fire high into the roof of the net.
Halftime and the away side were two nil up. Hook Norton decided to make some changes at halftime and I think they had thought the game was done and dusted.
This certainly was not the case as the home side came out from the first whistle and gave absolutely everything. They were the better side second half and were unlucky themselves not to score on several occasions.
The home side did manage to get their goal with 12 minutes left a great turn inside and left footed shot from Tom McCudden
finding the bottom corner of the net via the inside of the post. This created a frantic end to end game with ten minutes to go. On another day, Dean Mays
and Liam Harris
could have scored with long range efforts but it was not to be.
The game finished 1-2 and Freeland can be very proud of what they have achieved in the biggest cup competition they can play in.
They gave everything and they now need to focus on the league and the other two cups competitions they are involved in.
Season starts now. Lots to play for. I love Saturdays!!