Southcott Village Residents Association, Leighton Buzzard, LU7
COUNTY CUP SEMI FINAL THRILLER VS Luton Old Boys
SVRA 4-3 Luton Old Boys
Joey Leotta x2
It was a windy spectacle today, the game started with both teams taking ten minutes to adjust to the conditions and both having long throw players meant the balls in the air were battled for rigorously.
Luton Old Boys had the best chances to score first, but it was straight at the super stand in keeper Bill. Luton continued to pile on the pressure as they were winning most of the first and second balls however, lacked quality to do anything with it.
SVRA started to find Jonnie and Harry on the wings and they both gave the full backs nightmares, with 4/5 crosses between them but a Luton Old boy head that clears them every time.
Charlie Alford turned up late and subs on at left back, getting the ball straight away and done his long ball over the top to Jonnie with a goal scoring opportunity however, the defender just done enough to put him off. Charlie made an imperative impact but also got the instant wooden spoon for turning up late!!
The game quietened down for ten mins and Luton became the team to have the better chances, one of them saved by a solid wrist from Bill from a point blank powerful shot, a world class save. SVRA didn’t switch on and learn from this pressure, failing to clear a cross and scramble in the 6 yard box, ending up in the back of the net! A very scrappy goal to concede and it was 1-0 Luton.
This goal only gave Luton the desire to come at us again applying pressure, but was swiftly shut down by a Jonnie Jefcoate run who got the ball at the half way line, cut inside, left two players for dust, the the other 8 Luton players in between him and the goal but somehow, managed to get a the perfect shot away from outside the box and it just glided through them all and rippled in the bottom right corner, a great solo goal! 1-1 half time!
A rant by the gaffer at half time as SVRA were not showing what they can do as a team in the first half, been a yard off it but still in it with everything to play for. Harry was subbed off to recoup a minor injury, a reshuffle Terry Hamilton who set up out wide and Joe Leotta went in the no10 role.
The 2nd half started just the same as the 1st ended, with terrible conditions dictating the play. Leotta clashed heads with a Luton Old boy Centre back and the defender went off the pitch caked in blood with a broken nose. He showed great desire to come back on later in the game, bandaged up fairplay to the lad and we hope he has a speedy recovery.
Harry Elliot after some magic water and a bit of deep heat, came back on to the right making an impact straight away with a few warning crosses that SVRA failed to convert, but it only takes the one, and landed for Leotta to hit it in near post. 2-1 SVRA!
This didn't last long though, with a ball over the top which threw off the SVRA back line and Luton done well to keep the ball under control and find the perfect slot to slip in the net to the left of Bill. 2-2!
The level playing field battle continued, as both teams fully went for it, no player had it easy out there today, every minute from here involved a strong tackle or a challenging header. Eventually half a dozen of passes did come together for SVRA, Harry & Joel worked well with Harry drilling a low one behind the back 4, and found the left foot of Leotta just inside the box who smashed it bottom left!!! 3-2 SVRA!!!
This did calm things down a little for SVRA as the belief came alive through the team and we started knocking it about playing simple football. Jonnie and Harry the two workhorses doing the job well like every week, terrorising defenders. However, SVRA found themselves running back in a desperate attempt against the run of play to stop a cross from Luton, but wasn’t enough to stop the cross and tap in equaliser from them!
Shortly after we found ourselves defending a corner near the end of what felt like longest game ever in the cold and windy weather. Referee confirms this is the last kick of the game and we are heading straight to pens!!! Luton bringing everything they have, including the keeper for this one, but SVRA skipper Lewis showed his strength and wins the ball comfortably dominating what Luton thought was their chance the take this win.
Nonetheless, SVRA took full advantage whilst the final whistle hasn’t gone yet, finding the feet of Harry who delivers to Jonnie on the right of the field who drove forward towards goal making the well needed accurate pass to Alex’s feet, where his first touch from 25 yards out, was a curler straight in to the top right corner!!!
You couldn’t even hear the final whistle which was blown straight after as SVRA go crazy!!
Showing courage, belief in each other and themselves we done the snatch and grab in the last kick of the game, which was a great victory and well deserved from the boys battling literally until the last second.
We now have earned a well deserved place in our first County Cup Final under the lights, which will be played on Friday 14th April, 7:30pm KO @ Biggleswade FC’s pitch
Up the Southcott!