By Chris Gibbs
Season kicks off with entertaining cup draw
What for long spells looked like being a comfortable afternoon down on the outskirts of Birmingham, ended up being a bit of a skirmish, as we let slide 1-0 and 2-1 leads and had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Romulus, as our FA Cup campaign got underway.
Romulus were game opponents and fought hard, but this was an afternoon where we probably ought to have got the job done. The omens were good in a dominant first half, which was rewarded with an impressive finish and debut goal from Josh Jordan.
Josh was part of a new central defensive pairing with Kyle Stubbs, and it was the vice-captain who was inches away from extending our first half advantage with a powerful header,which was brilliantly cleared off the line.
However, our failure to capitalise on our dominance was exploited by the home side ten minutes into the second half,when Josh was stripped of possession out by the touchline and the home side’s substitute Fin Douglas then nutmegged another of our debutants – goalkeeper James McClenaghan – with a powerful finish.
We responded well to falling behind, with an outstanding free kick delivery from Jack van der Laan being nodded home by his brother Tommy.
And that was the way it stayed until four minutes from time when Fin Douglas grabbed his second of the game tapping home at the back post. There was time for Romulus to almost win it with James relieved to see a late effort miss the target, but that would have been an injustice on a day when there was much to enjoy and some very good performances.
Max Chimenes led the line well, new signing Callum Speed lived up to his name with some sharp runs while Joe Berks – back at the club for a second spell – created plenty of dangerous moments with his direct running.
In short, there was plenty to be enthused about on the day and lots to look forward to for the season.
The replay will take place at Buckmaster Avenue on Tuesday evening at 7.45pm. Try to get along to support the boys if you can.
Team: McClenaghan, Holden, Richie, T van der Laan, Jordan, Stubbs, Speed, Thompson, Chimenes (Holdham), J van der Laan, Berks
If we win on Tuesday, we will be away to either Rugby or Malvern who were involved in an extraordinary 5-5 draw yesterday. Rugby led 4-1 at half time, but Malvern came roaring back to lead 5-4 before the home side secured a draw with a last minute equaliser!