We weren't at our best today, which was not suprising having had a few weeks of cancelled games, but were still in full control of this game.
It took 25 mins to register the first goal. Charlie Holliday dribble down the left flank, beat 2 and crossed for an Ed Leech tap in. 10 mins later and another Charlie Holliday cross led to a goal, the clearing header falling to Kye Brice on the edge of the area, who found the top corner. Kye then turned provider on 40 mins with a wonderful back heel that put Charlie Holliday through in the box and he finished superbly past the keeper.
On 67 mins, Cameron Thornton floated a free kick in behind the defence, which found Ethan Dunbar who headed past the keeper. 2 mins later and a shot by Kian Gardiner, was then volleyed by Ed Leech, to cannon off a defender and into the back of the net. Dubious goal decision panel awarded the goal to Ed Leech :). 2 more mins later and a ball kicked from the Wotton keepers hands, was expertly controlled by Jaydon Lehal, who then dinked the ball over the top for Ed Leech to run on to and chip the keeper. Then 3 mins later we may it 7. Cameron Thornton hit a shot across the keeper, which was turned in by Kye Brice.
The players dropped the tempo to that of the opposition. Had we played at the standard and pace we are capable of, this would have been a far bigger margin. The player who was superb today, adapting what he has been shown in training in regard movement off the ball, and for his hat-trick, the player of the match is Ed Leech.
This was an excellent win, in a game that was always going to be tight and get a bit contentious at times. It was the belief, attitude, focus on football and high energy from the kick off that won through. A very much deserved vistory for Panthers.
We went in level at the break
The only goal of the game came on 54 minutes. Ed Leech was brave in a tackle to win the ball and put Ethan Dunbar away on the right. Ethan got to the byeline and whipped the ball across the box, for Jakub Kroliczak to finish at the far post.
We created enough chances to perhaps have scored another goal or two, but football won out in the end. All players should be really proud of their adaption today. For terrifying the Cleeve defence with his pace, and doing a good job of securing the ball high up the pitch, our player of the match is Kye Brice.
GFA COUNTY CUP QF: Mangotsfield 8-1 Churchdown Panthers Whites
Sunday 4th February 2018
We were up against a very strong side today who passed the ball really well and had bags of pace and physicality. However, we didn't do ourselves many favours in the first half. It seemed as though we gave the opposition a bit too much respect and stood off them a bit allowing them to play in key areas. Three first half goals came from balls over the top and the pace of their forwards, one from not clearing a corner effectively and another from not applying enough pressure. Unfortunately those 5 goals in the first 30 mins put the game beyond us.
The second half was much improved and we battled and contained for large periods. We did concede another 3, but also grabbed ourselves a deserved goal on 65 minutes. Jon Whiting played forward to Kye Brice who passed the ball behind the defence for Jaydon Dix to run on to. The shot from Jaydon was saved, but the rebound turned in by Ethan Dunbar.
Despite picking the ball out the net on 8 occassions, Alex Fulford pulled off some great reaction saves, stopped a number of one on ones and gets our player of the match.
The first half effort was excellent. The only suprise at half time was that we were only one goal up. That goal came just before the half hour, with excellent play out from the back, before Kian Gardiner played the killer ball for Ethan Dunabr, who turned 2 defenders and then beat the keeper.
The lead was doubled 15 minutes into the second period. A corner fell to Ethan Dunbar on the edge of the area, whose shot was blocked, only for Ed Leech to be on hand, to smash the ball home.
That triggered a period where we dropped the effort levels and stood off a bit, allowing Leckhampton to get a foothold in the game. And half way through the second half they got back in it. A mistimed effort to clear a corner, span the ball across the area for a tap in. But Panthers had the last say. With 3 minutes left, Jon Whiting floated a free kick to the back post, where Ethan Dunbar hit a sweat volley into the roof of the net.
Really good spells of football, and worked together nicely. For bossing the midfield, our player of the match is Ehren Wintle.