By Simon Dean
vs Kimpton FC
I really don't know where to start today. We did everything right, we made so many chances, we defended brilliantly. We worked for one another and the game could only be decided by penalties - for a second time this year, only this time it wasn't our day.
I'm sure our opposition would agree today that we were the better team and that they had luck on their side. We started very well and settled brilliantly, when in recent weeks we've taken a while to get going.
Our passing made sure it was them playing our game and in the first half, with some really good link up play between Josh Stannack and Tom Mercer, the ball was slipped through a defenders legs to Simon Dean - who managed to find the bottom corner with a lovely finish.
Again we were on top and it stayed that way for along time. With chances at both ends it was only a matter of time before the next goal went in... Tom Mercer narrowly missing the top bin with his back to goal, Sean Norris putting his boot through one just over the bar. Too many to list them all, but none were taken.
We went into the break 1-0 up.
With the second half underway it was very much the same chances at both ends and after a ball over the top their frontman, with James Parker hot on his heels,managed to get round our keeper and make it 1-1.
Again we narrowly missed the mark off the counterattack when breaking down the left - Simon Dean squared the ball to Josh Stannack and with only the keeper and a giant bobble to beat he forced a fine save.
At the opposite end, and with this months player of the month up for grabs, Simon Hill was at it again, one stand out save low bottom right and a string of other saves kept us in the game.
Kimpton turned up the pressure and bagged a second form a set piece - a week point that we really have to work on, because that is happening too often now.
But we didn't let that phase us - we weren't really doing much wrong. With our defensive back line stopping them in their tracks and a some fresh legs on from the bench we came back in to the game. From an Andy Flood throw-in and a flicked header from Sean Norris the ball made its way to Alex Field with his second touch since coming on, his back to goal he's turned and found the net. Well done son. 2-2.
GAME ON !!
Extra time came and went!! Again with chances at both ends Josh Stannack, a candidate for MoM today, had another chance to kill the game off, and a header from Tom Mercer going fractionally wide, but we couldn't finish the job.
I'm really pleased with the character we showed to get ourselves back in it. After 120 mins of football we were really dead on our feet but we dug in deep and kept going right to the final whistle. I'll let stats show you how it finished up but really it was our game to lose.
It's not nice to be on the opposite side of a penalty shoot out when we had the glory only a few weeks ago. Some really epic performances today... our back 5 - Simon Hill, Andy Flood, Joe Howard, James Parker and Danny Calmels. Nick Vaughan was an absolute battle axe in the middle and Josh Stannack on the wing really stepped it up this week.
We move on to some tough league games now and we will have to keep the same work ethic and determination we showed today.
Today's MoM was Simon Dean. I've not given it to myself, Danny and Pete called this one, but I'll take it.
For another week it's over see you all Wednesday.