The mystique and romance of the cup, minnows from the lower divisions aspiring to become giant killers and even dreaming about winning the cup. The chance of an upset and that once in a life time trip to
Wembley Burton to compete for some silverware provides many with that increased desire and incentive to succeed. Dreams become a reality or so you think until Lady Luck pops up and nails you at the death….
Round two of the CSL Cup saw Le Glamour drawn at home against the might of Pembroke Reserves. Happy to assume the role of the under dogs, Le Glamour were quietly confident of causing another Cup upset.
Despite a first defeat of the season the previous week confidence remained high within the group. This weeks training was of a good intensity and of a competitive edge as the newly appointed Training Implementation and Tactics (TIT) coach (Crab) put Le Glamour through it’s paces.
‘Hot Fuzz ‘ and the TIT coach had plenty to ponder given the long list of absentees from Le Glamour squad this week. Leo (scouting in Argentina), Juan and Cam (Anger Management Classes) were joined on the side lines by Matt Bate (ruptured haemoroid), Fairuz and Ian.
An in-depth tactical session involving several beers, a steak sandwich and a couple of lap dancers finally saw what was hoped to be the winning side selected.
Youth most definitely conquered experience this week with the average age of the side hovering around the low twenties. It was left to Big Dan (38) and Crab (108) to carry the flag for us ‘old boys’, as Jacko was forced to withdraw late in the day due to an outbreak of ‘Fungal Late Blight’ on Uncle Yuri’s potato farm.
Putting family first the big man spent most of Saturday harnessed to and pulling a plough to help avoid a catastrophic loss of the families potato crop.
With limited resources available Le Glamour had a somewhat defensive minded bench, until the addition of Alex ‘The Greek’ Tsirbis-Smith -Gayen , Pete Hamilton, Jonny Wilson and his Dad Kevin ‘Bloody’ Wilson bolstered the attacking options.
A good warm up, a chocolate doughnut for ‘The Greek’ and final words of encouragement sent Le Glamour onto the pitch in determined mood.
The first fifteen or so minutes were played at a frantic pace as both teams attempted to stamp their authority on the game. Crab quickly made (and left) his mark (on one or two of the opposition) and quickly became involved in a game of ‘mines bigger than yours’.
Slowly but surely Le Glamour found their feet and began to gain a foot hold in the game. By maintaining a solid, disciplined structure Le Glamour began to frustrate Pembroke as they struggled to find a way through the well organised back four.
As the half wore on Le Glamour began to create chances as our wide players began to run at the full backs and linking up well with the front two. If only Le Glamour could nick one before half time…
As the referee brought the first half to an end it remained scoreless but Le Glamour were well and truly in the ascendency.
The second half saw Pembroke well and truly under pressure as Le Glamour upped the tempo. Having won a free kick on half way Le Glamour poured numbers forward seeking the opening goal. Pembroke packed the box expecting the ball to be driven in.
A quick free kick caught Pembroke napping and saw Hubi break forward from right back drawing Pembroke players out of the crowded box. The ball was cut back to Damo who sent in a dangerous looking cross. Pembroke were stretched and struggling to re-organise at the back.
Having lost his marker at the back post young Chris met the ball with a right foot volley and sent it back across the keeper for the opening goal of the game (Surely an early goal of the season contender).
One nil up and firmly in control of the game Le Glamour began to utilise it’s bench. ‘The Greek’ was introduced in place of Crab in the centre of midfield and Pete replaced Damo on the right wing to add a greater physical presence.
As the minutes ticked by the upset looked well and truly on. Pembroke offered very little in way of a goal threat until a twenty yard drive was sent goal wards through a crowded penalty area. Unsighted till the last second big Dan pulled off a top save diving away to his right to preserve Le Glamour slender lead.
With minutes left Pembroke forced a corner and threw players forward. The big ‘Donk’ (Oh Jacko where art tho) from the back trundled forward, walked onto the cross unchallenged and buried the ball in the back of the net. One all at the final whistle. Extra time to come and maybe even the lottery of penalties to settle the tie (still we have a German in the side so surely a good omen).
And so to extra time….
The first half saw Le Glamour hammer Pembroke carving out a series of chances, with their keeper making two decent saves when in one on one situations. Still one all at the half way point in extra time and the threat of penalties began to loom even larger.
The second half was a lot more ‘cat and mouse’ as neither team wanted to make a mistake so late in the game. As the coach began to finalise his penalty takers Lady Luck looked down on Le Glamour, flicked them a middle digit and said ‘Up yours’.
crock of shite, shanked, hooked, hoofed, up and under into the box from Pembroke looked harmless enough until it somehow found the top left hand corner of the net. Big Dan no chance. The goal scorer no idea. Le Glamour no luck.
Two one down and suddenly out. The Cup dream now a distant memory. A fine margin between winning and losing but when Lady Luck isn’t on your side it sucks….