National Cup Semi-Final – Middlesbrough 18 April 2015
“All To Play For”
With many players unavailable due to personal commitments and a shortage of drivers, HBU had only a bare team of 4 out-players and a GK for this match in Middlesbrough. The semi-final is, however, a home and away tie and the focus had to be to set things up for a win at home with an achievable scoreline for overall victory.
In possession HBU played well from the start of the match and withstood Middlesbrough’s attacks for the first quarter but a couple of mistakes were all that Middlesbrough needed to steal a couple of goals before Jordi Soldana beat home a rebound to make it 2 – 1. Jordi picked up a couple of heavy knocks and needed some ice after which a period where HBU were unsettled Middlesbrough scored a soft 3rd goal to put HBU 3 – 1 down at half time.
From the start of the 2nd half, HBU’s defence was looking very good and Middlesbrough seemed to have no idea as to what to do about it. Despite Middlesbrough having their full squad and using their reserves, it was the HBU players that were looking fresher. The best chances of the half fell to HBU and there were a couple of times that it appeared that ball had been put in the net but goals were not given and the full time score was 3 – 1 to Middlesbrough. It promises to be a cracking match at the Arena in Herne Bay on 16 May.
Team List: Eddie Mount (GK), Neil Austin, Fabio Vicente, Jordi Saldana (1), Josh Branchett.
Manager for the day Ron Barker, commented “Over this season I have been very unhappy with the way our team defend but in this match they showed they can do it properly. In the second half, standing on the side I was thinking “I don’t see how the other team are going to score!” A big thank you and well done to the players for putting it on the line to play this match and leave us in with a chance to turn it around. We can add a bit of power for the next match but the downside of a win is that the final will be in Middlesbrough as it has been moved from Herne Bay because of the expense of holding all-day events at the Arena.”.