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Match report: Quarry Rovers 2 – Cholsey Bluebirds 7

Quarry Rovers 2 (Faizaan 2) – Cholsey Bluebirds 7

Sunday 27th November 2016

A welcome strengthening of the Quarry squad this week with new signings Christian and Adam which, along with the return of George from suspension, meant that Coach Alex had the luxury of some substitutes, although it was a shame Xander and Haider were absent for this game.

If the team had a new look, the start did not. After 5 minutes, a corner wasn’t cleared, the ball was crossed back in and was put away quite softly off the post. After that, Quarry held their own with decent amounts of possession, although never really creating any clear chances of their own. It all turned a bit scrappy in midfield, with neither side getting a grip on the game, and Quarry had plenty of players at the back to mop up any attacks. A couple of times Cholsey did break through, but Ollie was quickly off his line and made a couple of close range blocks. Cholsey did find the back of the net a second time in a carbon copy of the first, but it was ruled offside. On the half hour the Ref awarded a penalty for the tiniest of touches on a Cholsey player who didn’t even fall over, which was tucked away to make the score 2-0 at half time.

Any hopes of a comeback in the second half were dashed almost from the kick-off after a horrible misunderstanding at the back (Tobi was waiting for Ollie to come out and claim the ball; he didn’t). As in the first half, Quarry regrouped and held their own, although never threatening much, and Cholsey always looked dangerous when they broke through. Half an hour in to the second half, a quickly taken free kick found an unmarked forward on the left who jinked into the box and beat Ollie at the near post (oh, the shame of it!) to make it 4-0, and the pattern of the game started to look horribly familiar.

However, cometh the hour, cometh the man, and that man was Faizaan. A move up the right wing led to a throw in by Aslan which found Faizaan on the edge of the box. One beautiful turn later and his powerful low shot was nestling in the bottom corner.

If Quarry thought they had a route back in to the game, such thoughts were short-lived as their defence started to disintegrate in the final 15 minutes under the constant pressure: A Cholsey through ball found a striker who held off three defenders to slide the ball under Ollie’s outstretched boot; then a really scrappy goal followed as the ball failed to be cleared repeatedly and Cholsey finally put it in to the roof of the net; Cholsey’s seventh had a hint of the unjust about it, a player went down injured noisily in the box which distracted everyone, apart from a Cholsey player who unleashed a rather good shot from outside the area.

Quarry can never be accused of giving up even when beaten, and a consolation goal came as the Cholsey defence dithered and that man Faizaan nipped in to rob the defender and slot home his second of the game.

Cholsey’s manager was overheard before the match saying to his players “knock it over the top or through the middle, get round the back and finish it off”, which is exactly what they did, even if they didn’t finish very well. Quarry hardly forced the Cholsey keeper in to any saves apart from collecting the odd over-hit pass, and Quarry’s goals came from two pieces of individual brilliance from Faizaan. Somehow Quarry need to learn how to unlock defences, either by copying what our opponents do (over the top or through the middle), or by using the wingers to get round the back and cross it. Defensively, each goal was different and you can’t do anything about the odd piece of attacking brilliance, but we’re conceding too many sloppy, scrappy and avoidable goals at the moment.

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