On Wednesday 15th November, we took part in the first round of the Wix Cup away at Hobletts - 'The Battle of the Hobs' as no one was calling it.
The first thing of note was that it was 9 a-side. The good thing was that more of our boys could play at the same time; the downside was that there was less space to play proper football. The second thing of note was that, with the failing light, the halves were only 15 minutes.
With both teams having pretty decent defences, the match was incredibly tight. The first half, although not entirely devoid of incident, was mostly devoid of incident. Chances were few and far between. Our boys certainly got taught a lesson in how to head the ball - the Hobletts players were only too keen to clear the ball with their heads. Ours' preferred the 'wait for the ball to bounce a couple of times before trying to hoof it clear' approach.
I think it's fair to say that we edged the first half and played some nice football, but we went into the break with nothing to show for our efforts.
The second half was more of the same, but with a few more highlights: there was a tremendous free kick that hit their bar; there was a fantastic dribble from Kyle who took the ball round most of their team and back again before being taken out; and there was that moment when we almost gave away a penalty with a loose, flapping arm (cough, Kyle, cough).
The best moment was saved until last - Dieago popping up in literally the final minute to lob the ball over their 'keeper. And it was a good job he did because it was getting dark and penalties were imminent.
All in all, another great match. It was a tough one, to be sure, but we were about ready for a challenge.