Under 11's progress further
An up and down match
The under 11's went into this match with a point to prove after the last encounter between the two sides. The previous match ended in a 5-5 draw after being 4-0 down at half time. For the lads to progress into the next round of the cup, they needed to show the same character and fight of the second half of the previous match, without the sloppiness of the first half. Having won every match since then and remaining unbeaten since the end of September, the team was in good form and confident.
Following the success of the second half in the 5-5 draw previously, the manager opted to go for a changed 3-3-2 formation with a tighter packed midfield three and two attackers to pressurise the Gedling defence. This seemed to work immediately as the boys in the middle restricted a lot of the Gedling play, while anything that got through was neatly tidied up by Finley O'Neill, Liam Evans and Owen Robinson in the defence. while the half was pretty even in terms of possession, it was Kirk Hallam who created the first chances, Ben Morley going through to narrowly miss, followed by a shot against the post. The breakthrough was made however when Owen Robinson took a throw in to Ben in the Kirk Hallam half, with Ben then racing past three players to slot home for 1-0 on ten minutes. Gedling followed this up with a few chances of their own, but nothing to trouble the solid Caleb Topley in goal. With Richard Frost, Keane Eyre and Emin Alcin working well in midfield, Harris Khan had the chance to reward his hard work in the half, but narrowly missed the target. Twenty minutes in saw the introduction of Joel Ogden, Oakley Ryan, Wil Turner and Lewis Smith. Minutes later, the tireless effort from Ben Morley saw him break down the right, and after going past the full back, sending in a superb cross for Oakley Ryan to power a header in from close range.
Half Time, 2-0 and totally in control of the match.
The second half however was a completely different story as Gedling came roaring out of the blocks and scored two quick goals to have the match level again after 10 minutes. They then piled the pressure onto the Kirk Hallam goal, but with a breakaway and a shot from a ridiculous angle, Ben Morley made it 3-2 to Kirk Hallam with his 25th goal of the season. This lead lasted a matter of minutes as Gedling again equalised through some soft defending on Kirk Hallam's part. With it looking like the match would go to penalties, Ben Morley again raced clear to net his second hat trick in two games and win the match for Kirk Hallam.
A very hard fought game for both sides, with Gedling possibly counting themselves unlucky to lose, having hit the crossbar in the final few minutes following a free kick for a dubious foul.
Next week sees Cotgrave Blue, the division 3 blue champions from the winter season coming to the Gallows in the next round in what will surely be another hard fought match.