Close but no cigar in Charity Cup Final
2nd September ILT Turf
Old Boys 0 vs Gore 1
The last match of the season and the last opportunity to win some silverware. Old Boys had been building nicely in recent weeks with a draw vs Gore and a pair of wins against Park ensuring a runner’s up finish to the League.
Coming off the final round bye we were fresh for this one and with the prospect of a couple of Southland lads available the squad was looking very strong. Cue some last-minute withdrawals and a bout of the flu going through the team and by kickoff we were back to being underdogs with the Coach stripped and Oscar winning a call up.
We started the match playing into a breeze which caused the team a few issues clearing the ball as the half wore on. While we defended well with Hamish and Danny leading the way we were reasonably poor bringing the ball forward and often guilty of giving it back to Gore. For their part, a change in personal dropping Miguel into the midfield seemed to not be paying dividends as he was well looked after by Fozzie and Jack had a lack of accuracy in front of goal. Britton safely dealing with some of the shots coming in. Old Boys were limited to a couple of breaks down the right from Jared and a few miscued shots from Preddy.
Going into halftime at 0-0 the Coach was happy as we knew battling into the wind would be energy sapping in the second half. Clearing from the back was also going to be much easier. No changes at the break although Danny was looking whiter than a ghost having spent much of the week on the sick bed.
Gore started the second half well and from a long ball into the box and a mistake from us they were first to get on the board. A failed clearance saw Britton have to turn a header onto the post and while he blocked the follow up well he couldn’t keep out the third attempt leaving the players to query potential offside with the ref.
From this point to the final whistle Gore defended in their own half doggedly. Whether they parked the bus or Old Boys improved is up for debate but either way Old Boys were unable to fashion a clear-cut chance with a host of maybe’s left to rue at the final whistle.
At full time, the disappointment was palpable in the team as another Cup slipped from our grip. The effort and determination of the team couldn’t be faulted. As with many matches this year we lacked depth in the squad upfront and didn’t have any impact off the bench to create chances in the final third.
Reuben and Grant have been pleased with the efforts and endeavour of this new team in 2017 which just hasn’t been rewarded with results at times. Some good finds this season with some of the younger players developing well. Into the summer break now and back stronger in 2018.