SASS U17 Make Hard Work of Winning Cup Semi
By Gary Tustin
SASS U17 are into the final of the league cup after a win at Spartak 78, the winning margin though, should have been more comfortable.
SASS overcame tricky opposition in difficult conditions to make the final of the league cup. They did so by playing some attractive football and would have won by a larger margin if their finishing was up to their normal standard.
This game was a continuation of an alarming trend whereby SASS get themselves into comfortable positions, squander chances to put the game beyond the opposition and then concede a scruffy goal to make the latter stages uncomfortable for all those involved.
Playing against a really strong wind SASS had the better of a scrappy first half. Will’s header from a corner was well turned over by the Spartak keeper.
Ollie B missed the target on a couple of occasions when well placed. He should really have tested the goalie!
Louie fired wide from a tight angle James also failed to work the keeper when played in.
Spartak also created a few opportunities of their own aided substantially by the strong wind in their favour. This made defending difficult but the SASS rear guard held firm. Nil all half time.
The second half, with the wind now behind them SASS were dominant. It seemed only a matter of time before SASS took the lead. Ollie B again had an opportunity but failed to come up to his own usual high standards.
When the breakthrough came it was a well-crafted team goal. Greg’s throw–in was flicked by Jake to Daniel whose first time ball into the box looked as if it maybe going out. Sam P somehow got something on the ball to knock it back to Louie who did not hesitate, striking the ball firmly into the net.
Huge credit has to go to Sam as his persistence and desire to keep the ball in led to the goal. The relief was palpable among the team.
Five minutes later the lead was doubled and again huge credit goes to Sam P. He chased a long ball to the by-line looking third favourite. Most people thought it was going out but if it didn’t then the opposition keeper would deal with it.
Sam got to the ball knocked it back into play. James’s ball into the box fell to Jake who was calmness personified as he stroked the ball home.
SASS created a host of chances to put the game beyond Spartak. Ollie F fired straight at the keeper when well placed. James fired wide again.
With the game seemingly won SASS decided to make it interesting by conceding a needless goal. Sloppy defensive play by an unnamed centre back (Lawrence) led to the Spartak centre forward clean through. Aidan did well to block the shot which ricocheted off the on-rushing striker to creep over the line. Jonnie’s valiant efforts to get there fell just short.
However the game was almost over and SASS saw out the remaining time.
SASS are playing well but somehow their finishing is not as good as it was meaning games are becoming tighter than they need to be.
St. Ives next week and now a cup final (against Thaxted) to look forward to SASS still have a lot of football to play. Hopefully their finishing will get back to where it was before Christmas so games like this do not become tighter than they need to be.