Re: MET POLICE FA TROPHY
Very disappointing as I felt we could have had at least a replay out of this. Last month I was grateful for a point from the league game here, but this time I was more confident after the Maidstone performance. We really should have been in front after a strong performance in the first quarter, but the game was won and lost during the period leading up to the interval as Hamlet twice conceded from free kicks in the same place around 35 yards out on our right flank, and wasted a penalty in between.
McCoulsky wasted a glorious chance inside the first couple of minutes, shooting wide with his left foot from right in front of goal after a near build up had unpicked the home defence. Early in the game Clunis was clattered by a disgraceful challenge from behind by the Plod's left back; it was so unacceptably late and after the ball had gone I'd argue it was worth a straight red card, but he didn't even get a booking just a lengthy talking to, leaving him free to make further poor challenges with impunity while Clunis hobbled on in clear discomfort before eventually being substituted at half time. The home keeper had to be alert to tip over a couple of powerful long range efforts from Carew and Hibbert before Hamlet got caught on the break. Forbes broke up an attack but Kamara fouled an opponent in going for the loose ball (getting booked for a challenge nowhere near as bad as the earlier one on Clunis) and when the free kick was launched beyond our far post the first effort hit the post before the rebound was scrambled into the net. Hamlet had a prime opportunity to draw level when Kamara turned past an opponent inside the box and was felled by a clumsy challenge, but Carew's penalty kick was too close to the keeper, who saved comfortably. Just before half time the Plod doubled their lead from another free kick, this time given in rather dubious circumstances a from the main stand their no.11 was clearly holding onto Carew around the midriff before our man was penalised.
For the second half Koroma replaced Clunis, but Hamlet generally lacked the width and invention to get amongst a solid defence and there were few clear chances at either end. We always seem to look a bit naive and lightweight whenever we play these opponents. Apart from a couple of times in Gavin's first couple of seasons as manager, when we were well beaten over there, the games are usually fairly close but it always seems to become a war of attrition and not much of a spectacle and we never come out on top. They had ten men behind the ball whenever we were in possession, but are capable of counterattacking in numbers when the chance arises without losing their shape when they lose the ball again.
Team (4-2-3-1): Wilson - Kamara, Forbes(c), Pinnock, Shaw - Care, Samuels - Clunis, Vidal, Hibbert - McCoulsky.
Sub: Koroma (for Clunis), James, Ottaway, I.Mansaray, Kalakoutis (not used).