Late goal ends Tadleys cup run
Tadley-Calleva’s cup woes continued as a late goal from visitors Christchurch FC saw the Barlows Park side drop out of their second cup competition in the space of four days.
After a crushing FA Cup defeat, Tadley were looking to bounce back with a win in the Hampshire Senior Cup, a competition that has brought the club some memorable nights in the past. The hosts welcomed centre half Brad Neal & forward Kieran Rodgers back into the side following their absence at the weekend.
Tadley held most of the possession in the very early stages of the game, but this was to be to their detriment, in just the fourth minute. Being pressed aggressively, Tadley attempted to play the ball back to Aaron Bufton in goal, but the ball was short & the visitors forward, Rossiter intercepted. He took a touch and managed to round the oncoming goalkeeper and tap the ball home, leaving Tadley with a hill to climb early doors.
Despite going behind, Tadley found themselves again in control of possession, attempting to create chances by playing the ball wide to both Sheldon Wright and Alex Miller. This style was paying off, and the hosts first real chance of an equaliser came just after the quarter hour mark when some impressive play found it’s way to Jack French on the edge of the box, his strike was met well by the goalkeeper however and Tadley remained a goal down.
The following twenty minutes were cagey, possession being won and lost in the middle of the park with both teams being caught on the ball.
Tadley created the better of the chances and a goal two minutes before the end of the half rewarded this. A great passage of play in the middle of the park allowed the ball to move forward, out wide and then back inside to Alex Fragata who’s quick footwork opened a pass to Sheldon Wright in the box who rifled his shot past the goalkeeper and into the top corner. Tadley were level.
Moments later, the assistants flag was to be the only thing stopping Tadley going in 2-1 up at the half.
A whipped, in-swinging corner from the left hand side was cleared, but only as far as Batchelor who put the ball back across the goal. The high cross evaded most, but Alex Miller who found himself in space at the far post, in space & with time. He wrapped his right boot around the ball and struck a powerful, curled ball across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.
Celebrations were short lived as the referees assistant ruled Miller to be offside and thus the scores were level at the break.
The second half started much as the first concluded, with Tadley high in the press and looking to create openings to go into the lead. Chances soon followed with both Darboe and Miller coming close, forcing saves from the goalkeeper, keeping the hosts at bay & frustrating the home crowd of just over 90.
Christchurch got back into the game, forcing an evenly contested tie once more with little action of note.
Cries for a red card rang around a now floodlit Barlows Park as a corner from the turnstile corner was floated to the back post where the rising, already cautioned full back, mistimed his jump & instead attempted to punch the ball into the back of the net. The referee awarded Tadley the free kick but was not interested in punishing the Christchurch defender.
No less than five minutes later, Tadley fell behind once more.
A fairly routine throw in, in front of the dugouts, should have seen the ball cleared up the field. Instead, the away teams throw in managed to find it’s way through the heart of the Tadley defense where Christchurch substitute Samadi took a touch to get the ball into his stride and rifled the ball past Bufton to put his side in the lead.
Tadley threw everything at the game in the final stages, with Kieran Rodgers crashing the ball off the post with a half volley.
Unfortunately, they could not convert a flurry of late chances and were subsequently eliminated from the Hampshire Senior Cup. Attention now turns to the league where the host Jersey Bulls on Saturday 26th August at 14:15
Full time – Tadley-Calleva 1-2 Christchurch FC