Bluntisham Rangers reserves 2, Eaton Socon A 2

19th November 2016 :: Hunts Lower Junior Cup

Eaton Socon A team looked to make it to the semi finals of the hunts lower junior cup today with an away day at Bluntisham. Eaton started very brightly in the opening 15 minutes with some decisive passing and slick interchanges between a hungry Asa Johnson and the target man Liam Watts. This proved to be to much for the back line of Bluntisham as Johnson was slipped in behind but he took it wide of the keeper and then had his legs swiped, a dead certain penalty but the referee decided against the call. Eaton Socon then seemed to lose their focus and their shape for the next 10 minutes as Bluntisham came into the game, the A team though held strong and a slight adjustment to the shape brought the boys back into the game with a high pressing game plan. With more good play from the front two, chances were created and Watts soon crossed to Johnson at the back post who nodded the ball onto the bar and down well over the line, the defender hooked the ball out and the referee who couldn't see from where he was standing didn't give what was a certain goal.

It wasn't looking to be Eaton's day but 10 minutes before the half was up Eaton Socon were awarded a penalty for a handball from the Bluntisham man and James 'Playboy' Taylor stepped up and dispatched it. 0-1 Eaton. The half was nearing when Luke Jakes decided to make his mark on the game and the Bluntisham striker with a hefty airborne challenge and was rightly and perhaps luckily awarded only a yellow card. Taylor was very softly booked for tapping the leg of the pacey wideman as he used his pace to get away from the ageing Taylor.

Half time followed and Jakesy was replaced before he got too excited again by Troy Beavis. The boys came out for the 2nd half ready to go but Bluntisham looked sharper and 10  minutes in were also awarded a penalty for a tug on the shirt of their front man. They somewhat luckily scored the penalty as it sneaked in past Elliott Canham in goal. 1-1. Cue changes as Watts was replaced after putting in a decent shift by the returning Hayden O'Connor. The game was equally balanced as both teams jousted with Elliott Canham forced into an excellent save after an acrobatic effort. Toby McEvoy then returned from injury for the last 20 mins for Wade Cockram. A free kick then ended up in the back of the Eaton net as poor marking allowed a free man in the box. 2-1. Striker Asa Johnson then went up for a 50/50 with the Bluntisham keeper and the collision ended nastily with Johnson getting a bloody lip and some damage to his teeth although the keeper was subbed off with a bloody head wound. Johnson though carried on which was a testament to his style of play. This proved imperative to Eaton Socon as the boys rallied and created chances against the sub keeper. The footballing gods finally gave Socon some luck and Johnson was slipped through and he finished well ending his goal drought. 2-2.

The game went straight to penalties and Eaton Socon  goal keeper Elliott Canham stepped up between the sticks. The first penalty he incredibly saved as it arrowed to the left side of the net. The save made Manager Simon O'Connor extremely proud due to Elliott's age and experience.. 0-0 Tubby 'twinkle toes' Taylor then stepped up for the first for Eaton and he expertly slotted it in 0-1. Elliott Canham then saved the 2nd penalty to with a brilliant dive to his right, the referee though decided he had strayed off of his line, retaken the penalty hit the bar, perhaps it was fate. 0-1. Jonjo Smith then stepped up and smashed the ball Into the left side of the goal. 0-2. Bluntisham scored the next one 1-2. Charlie Gough then increased the gap when his effort squeezed over the line 3-1. Bluntisham again converted their penalty to keep the pressure on 3-2. McEvoy then stepped up to win it for Eaton Socon and slotted it in the bottom right.

2-4 Eaton win and are through to the semi-final. Eaton owed a great deal to their heroic keeper Elliott Canham who was nominated man of the match. We also wish a quick recovery to the injured Bluntisham keeper.

Roll on the semi's!!