HBU had two teams taking part in semi-final seconds legs at the weekend. The first team were 3-1 down against Premier League champions Grimsby.
HBU travelled to Grimsby on Saturday 1 – 3 down from the first leg and without captain Joe Singleton. Captain for the match was Fabio Vicente.
HBU started brightly and had most of the play. Alex Mount scored after 5 minutes and reduced the overall deficit to 1. A minute later Lewis Greenwood put the ball in the net but for some inexplicable reason the goal was not given and play recommenced with a face-off. This should have levelled the overall score and put a very different complexion on the match.
As it was, the HBU manager struggled to get composure back into his players. 5 minutes later Grimsby’s Mark Waddingham managed to get his stick ahead of his marker and slotted home Grimsby’s equaliser. Another 5 minutes and Waddingham scored again with a brilliant piece of individuality that jinked the ball over Mount’s shoulder when the angle looked far too late for a shot. A further goal from Waddingham on the other post saw Grimsby go into the interval 3 – 1 up on the day.
HBU’s plan for the second half was to rotate forwards and conserve energy without conceding goals in order to apply a late push for goals. The team put in a disciplined holding performance and it worked extremely well. Fabio Vicente scored from an Italian turn with 12 minutes left. HBU were now dominating the match but Grimsby’s keeper Eddie Revell was on top form. With 6 minutes to go tackling players crashed into the barrier and a spectator crashed to the floor banging her head. Play stopped while she received attention and was then taken off by paramedics. The side effect was that Grimsby had time to recover some energy and hold HBU out for the rest of the match.
So, a 3 – 2 defeat on the day and a 6 – 3 loss overall. Apart from the disappointment of the disallowed goal, a really good game. A young HBU team containing two 15 year olds and two 16 year olds can take a lot of credit from this match with great experience to take into next season.
HBU Veterans were the second semi-final of the day and we’re travelling to Middlesbrough with a 9-4 lead.
HBU Vets expected Middlesbrough to go for it today and have a full complement of players for this leg. United really didn’t take advantage of what they gained and were almost immediately on the back foot. United managed to keep game in reach and in front overall through out the half, leaving Middlesbrough to still have a mountain to climb.
The second half recommenced and Middlesbrough went about climbing that mountain, and were doing so efficiently, with 12 minutes to go they had closed the gap and the game was back to effectively 0-0. United now had to kick into gear and change tactic, however following a direct free hit that could have put them back into the lead, but denied by the post, Middlesbrough also had a chance but missed from the spot but it was not enough to stop them and they soon got the goal to put them in front over the two legs with 3 minutes to go the comeback was complete with the score now 10-4 Middlesbrough. United we’re given a further chance but failed and were pushing very hard with a minute to go it looked to be impossible but could not penetrate Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough goes through to the final and the impossible was achieved and Won the National Cup Semi-Final 14- 13.
United were openly disappointed and Middlesbrough were jubilant and deservedly so.
United’s Brendan Barker said after the game; “we are absolutely gutted with the result, to travel all this way with such an advantage and lose is crazy, we have no excuses and Middlesbrough were far better than us today. Unfortunately our hope of getting our old team together again and reaching a Final one more time but as Veterans was not to be, I very much doubt we will enter another and this is likely to be the last time this team enters a National competition.”
United’s veterans side was very dominant in there time and today their goal keeper Garrett Priestly who is approaching 50 played the full game with 5 of the 9 players all over 40 years old and the youngest being 36 have done a good job overall and can still very much hold there own against the current top teams in the UK. What HBU have now is a very promising young side in the club and very much could have a bright future as a title contender for next season.
HBU 1st team vs Grimsby: Eddie Mount, Alex Mount(1), Josh Branchett, Lewis Greenwood, Fabio Vicente(1), Tom White, David Martindale
HBU Veterans vs Middlesbrough: Garrett Priestley, Phil McVey(1)(c), Nigel Mills, Nick Barton, Simon Hosking, Richard Walker, Brendan Barker (3)