Hotspurs rocked up to Dempsey with a surprisingly small match day squad for such an important game in our season against a side that had already beaten us twice in the league. Due to varying reasons we had 13 on the day with a debutant, and a goal keeper due to arrive 30 minutes into proceedings.
Trying to learn from our league defeats, Hotspurs set-up in a compact 4-5-1 formation with the aim to control position a little better and not expose ourselves to German counter-attacks.
Game started in usually fashion against the Germans with us kicking off, knocking the ball back and the Germans remaining unmoved until we entered there half. After the early exchanges, Hotspurs took the lead from a free kick on the left excellently converted by Marko’s head. The great start was immediately pegged back by a German goal from a long free-kick that was cleared but not followed out allowing then to put back into a dangerous area & convert.
2:1 came from the penalty spot when a German defender handled and Jason converted well. 3:1 from a deep cross to the back post, that Esad controlled and converted expertly. A fantastic start giving us a great chance to progress, but the Germans showed great resolve to start applying pressure towards the end of the half. Hotspurs did have an excellent chance to put the game beyond doubt but unfortunately a poor finish led to 3:1 Half-time.
This was still an excellent advantage, though during the first half we did seem a little uncomfortable at times and the Germans remained very much in the match.
2nd half was tough, with relentless German attacks and the Hotspurs being able to offer little in return. They scored about 10 minutes into the half and left us with a tough 35 minute period. Do you continue attack? Look to retain possession? Defend?
We chose / forced upon the option to defend and after a tough 30 minute period there big chance came in the last 5 minutes which saw Phil Childs dramatically clear off the line. End result 3-2 and a cup final against SCC to look forward to.
A game that won’t go down as one of Hotspurs finest footballing performances, said so much more about the desire, determination and resolve to get the job done. To those who played, hat’s off, Andy starting in goal, followed by Tony whose ability to calm crosses in the closing stages was invaluable. The FB’s & CB’s who gave a strong foundation, the efforts of the midfield and Esad doing his best upfront on his own. Bryan & Dave on debut also offered excellent support as we clung on to a great result.
With players to come back and everyone looking for a cup final start, the game against the Dutch should offer good preparation and a chance to try and secure a respectable league finish of 5th.
And the cup final, well it would be great to go one step further.
Good luck to the German chap that has retired. Played very well and was MOM
Hotspurs: Tony – excellent under the closing pressure.