The Under 18 Boys faced a very skillful and determined Sevenoaks in the Quarterfinals of the EH Cup Tier 1. The result had the boys facing a sudden death penalty shoot-out for the second time in three weeks.
GHC's EH Cup campaign started in the first Round when we beat Woking 4-0. This set up a Round 2 match at Old Merchant Taylors where in the second half the team started playing some fast flowing passing to finish with 7 past OMT. Next up was another away match, this time at Marlow - again the boys had a better second half than first finishing the game 5-0 and progressing to the Quarterfinal at Sevenoaks.
The team hadn't yet conceded a goal in the Cup competition. That all changed at Sevenoaks. We had pushback but were under a lot of pressure from a skillful midfield opposition. We had early chances including a super steal and run from Will T before Sevenoaks regained possession. We forced two saves early on but when Sevenoaks went on the attack we didn't break them down early enough and they got through and scored only four minutes into the game.
More end to end stuff with chances saved by the keepers at both ends including a well taken free hit by Raph into the D which found Will's stick for the deflection, which unfortunately found the keeper's chest. We then faced a penalty corner which Elliot C saved but the rebound found the net for 2-0 down. Frustrating because up to that point we had had more and better chances, forcing the opposition keeper to make more saves at his end than we had at ours.
We grew into the game and Isaac went on a good run (keeping possession through 4 stick tackles) but his shot was saved (again). It seemed it would take something special to get past the reliable keeper. Then came our chance at a PC - Raph's flick was well taken and somehow in a rather messy few seconds Will T got a stick on it and the ball managed to trickle past the keeper at a very slow roll (not the something special we were hoping for but it worked). 2-1.
Freddy then created another good chance but once again the deflection went straight to the keeper. We faced a pretty hectic few minutes then inside our own D with Elliot C making two saves and the defenders clearing up afterward.
The second half started with the boys having taken on the half-time messages. This worked a lot better and we scored three goals in a few minutes to go up 2-4: Freddy sent a ball into the D to Elliot S who teamed with Nick who finished; 30 seconds later Elliot had a shot saved and then another shot was saved and Elliot scooped up and put away the rebound; then another Freddy to Elliot ball scored on a beautiful backhand shot from the edge of the D.
Much better. But the action wasn't finished yet. Sevenoaks had come into the second half on the back foot but were getting back into the game and some messy defending saw them claw one back for 3-4. After an intense period of defending Raph went on the break from the back and sent to Will T who passed to Isaac but the shot was high.
Then things didn't quite go our way with a yellow card being given and a dark cloud moving in with so much rain and so little light we could hardly see. Sevenoaks had the ball in our 23 when the deluge came and we were down a defender and didn't manage to keep the ball out on about the seventh back-and -forth in the D and so the scores were drawn at 4-4.
A timeout at that point to turn on the lights showed just how dark the conditions had become. With four minutes on the clock at the re-start we had created about five chances but converted none so the game ended 4-4 and went to a penalty shoot-out to determine a winner.
GHC were first up:
1 - Isaac's flick was saved, Sevenoaks scored: 0-1
2 - Will T scored, Sevenaoks scored (on what everyone watching except the umpire thought was a slap but heh ho): 1-2
3 - Elliot S scored, Elliot C saved: 2-2
4 - Raph scored, Sevenoaks scored: 3-3
5 - Freddy went wide (oops - he was as surprised as anyone), Elliot C saved (phew): 3-3
Now into sudden death and Sevenoaks were up first:
6 - Sevenoaks scored, Will T scored 4-4
7 - Elliot C saved, Raph scored 4-5 to Guildford
Huge congrats to the boys and to Coach Tylo whose half time messages got the boys thinking and doing the right things to get the needed goals. And super well done to Elliot C and the p-flick takers whose experience and calm saved the day.
Squad (back to front): Elliot C, Raphael, Marcus, Jake, Max, Harry, Will F, Freddy, Isaac, Joel, Olly, Ben, Elliot, Nick, Josh, Will T
Next up, semi-finals which is likely to be the winner of Cheltenham v Reading. Other teams still left in the competition are Deeside Ramblers v Wakefield and Beeston v Norwich City.