I’ve sort of fallen out of the habit of updating the Sunday League section of my website, but there was no way I couldn’t write about this one – it’s not every day that you score a goal from inside your own penalty area…
This game was the quarter final of the cup. We knew we were going through to the semi-final from the outset, because our opponents only turned up with 8 men. We loaned them a few players so they could have a full 11 and we could have a game, but playing non-registered players meant that they would’ve been kicked out anyway, even if they had beaten us.
Because of this, there was a more relaxed nature to the game and we actually struggled to break them down at times, despite having most of the play. We scored a couple of goals early in the first half, but a lapse of concentration at the back allowed a long diagonal ball over the top, which found their star man who powered a half-volley past me at my near post – there was no stopping it the power he put into it.
In the second half we extended our lead back to two at 3-1, but were again carved open when a couple of our “on-loan” players combined to make it 3-2. A breaking run down the line into the penalty area, saw a ball squared across the six yard box to be tapped in at the back post. Frustrating.
Then the magic happened. The pitch was not the biggest. The ground was hard and the sun in the eyes of the opposition goalkeeper. With the wind behind me and the ball in my hands, I punted a long kick straight down the middle, trying to seek out our striker who was breaking clear of the defense. My kick just evaded him as he tried to get something on it and bounced towards the keeper. The hard pitch sent the bounce high, but still within his reach. Managing to get just his fingertips to the ball, it somehow evaded his grasp and bounced over his head to nestle in the back of the net.
Being my first goal since I was about 9 years old, you’d think I’d have been happy, but I didn’t really know how to react. You always think about the “what-if’s” when kicking long, but never actually believe it will go in. Yes, it’s hardly the World Cup final, but it’s a good feeling to get on the score sheet and one that I’ll remember!
Aside from scoring to make the game safe, I was also called into action a few times in the game, being forced to pull off 2 or 3 three good saves, so I was happy with my performance on the whole. They did score again, a powerful header from about 8 yards out was fired into the far corner, another one I couldn’t really do anything about, so despite conceding three, I think I had a good game all round.
Next up for us is the semi-final on the 30th April. We’re playing Wells Hall, who we know well and have already beaten this season, so the final looks to be a real possibility. It would certainly be good to finish the season with some silverware, so here’s hoping!