After the highs of last week, today saw us put in a pretty dismal performance against 3rd division Omonia White, going out of the Challenge Cup 4 – 3 on penalties after a 1 – 1 draw in regulation time.
We could only field 9 players today, so there was little opportunity for us to change things around at all, but the simple fact was that we should be a cut-above any team that plays two divisions below us and today was simply a very bad day at the office.
Our first half performance was flat to say the least, but even playing well below the level that we can, we were very much in the game and a well delivered corner from Adam, neatly volleyed in by Ben, saw us go in 1 – 0 up at half-time.
In the second half, having tried to get the boys to up their performance, they very much did the opposite and let Omonia dominate them for the vast majority of the second half.
TJ was industrious in mid-field throughout but other than that we showed little industry or desire in mid-field or up-front and it was down to a number of fine saves from Matt that we were still hanging on in there.
It was looking like we may have done just enough to hang in, when Omonia delivered the killer blow with pretty much the last kick of regulation time to draw the scores level at 1 – 1. We could hardly complain as Omonia were by far the more industrious team in the second half and fully deserved the goal.
Extra time of 5 minutes each-way was never really enough for either team to make any serious inroads and thus the game came down to penalties.
Looking at the two line-ups, and the two goal-keepers, you would still have had us to win on penalties and we had every chance with Omonia missing their first two spot-kicks to allow us a 1 – 0 lead, having followed suit and missed one of our own. We subsequently missed one more to allow Omonia to draw level at 3 – 3 but the game was ultimately decided with the first of the sudden-death kicks.
Again, we can have no complaints about the results, the best team won on the day, and we will have to live with the fact that our tie was the only one of the last 16 games where a Red division side did not win out.
The captains armband was awarded to Keiran, although notable performances from Matt and T.J.