London Old Boys Challenge Cup - Round 1
Old Paulines 1 - 1 SCFC - AET
Cam Wallis, Luke Kelly, Neil Spackman, Steve Fahey, Matt Wright, Bradley Doherty.
County had a 140 minute away round-trip to Thames Ditton to face Old Paulines from AFC's, Intermediate South. After a selection week from hell, (we actually had more 1s players unavailable than committed to play this game), we headed down with the bare 11. Calling up Michael Coehorst from the 2s and Fraser Simpson and Preston Onyechere from the 4s.
Old Paulines had provided a fine playing surface, giving County no excuses.
County started strongly with a 4-2-3-1 formation and kicking off left to right.
First 20 minutes saw both sides playing the ball around with very little goal threat.
21 minutes in and Erhan Altunc, playing a more advance left sided role, provide a decent cross for Steve Fahey but his header went over.
On 28 minutes a Cam Wallis corner saw Luke Kelly's header cleared off the line and Neil Spackman unable to convert the rebound.
Old Paulines had a couple of efforts on goal but our back line and Alex Molloy in goal, held firm.
A decent first 45, little created but we were working hard and making things tough for Old Paulines.
54 minutes in and Matt Wright found time and space, 20 yards out, had time to settle but shanked his shot well wide.
A minute later Matt Wright had a headed chance but saw this go wide.
Chances began to swing both ways.
61 minutes saw Alex Molloy with a fine close range save.
80 minutes and Erhan Altunc was booked for a shirt tug.
84 minutes and another Matt Wright chance went wide
With legs tiring, Old Paulines had a 5 minute period of sustained pressure, seeing Alex Molloy pull off a couple of decent saves and Neil Spackman a vital box to box saving block.
FULL TIME - 0-0
With only Lovett Snr on the bench and cramp already hurting few of us another 30 minutes for the 11 looked a daunting task. But attitude and commitment from all was spot on and we went out still looking for victory.
5 minutes in and we took the lead a fine move found Erhan Altunc clear down our left, crossing, saw Steve Fahey climb, salmon like and finish with a powerful header. 0-1.
Time to keep things tight and bring on fresh legs. Oh yes these were all back at home!!
On 7 minutes another fine move down our left, found Erhan Altunc clear in the box but his low shot was well saved by their keeper.
Then on 12 minutes a silly, cheap free-kick was given away. Old Pauline's best player step up, punished us by curling a beautiful free-kick into the top corner. 1-1
HALF-TIME in EXTRA-TIME
Cramp and fitness was now killing us with a number of the lads going down. but we kept going and held out for the last 15 minutes.
FULL-TIME in EXTRA-TIME
1-1 - Off to Penalties
5 players stepped up. Cam Wallis, Luke Kelly, Neil Spackman, Steve Fahey, all calmly slotted their spot kicks away and with Old Paulines missing they're first, the winning penalty fell to Alex Molloy. He stepped up but saw his shot come back off the bar. Sudden death.
Penalties from Matt Wright and Bradley Doherty followed and we went through when Old Paulines put their 6th wide.
5-6 on penalties
What a win. This turned into a proper back to the wall fight from the 11 chaps. Great attitude and commitment from all, gave us the opportunity at penalties and our penalty success continues. A proud and lovely journey home. Well done.
A must, is a mention to those who lacked the above commitment!!
County (4-2-3-1): Alex Molloy, Michael Coehorst, Neil Spackman(c), Luke Kelly, Bradley Doherty, Cam Wallis, Preston Onyechere, Erhan Altunc, Matt Wright, Fraser Simpson, Steve Fahey.
Sub - Cliff Lovett
Referee: Graham Shaw
MoM - Luke Kelly - - Cracking all round centre half performance - Amazing what can be done if you don't get wankered the night before!
Donkey - Alex Molloy - Missed the winning penalty chance.