Final Score: 1 – 1
Penalty Shootout 2 – 1 (Pearl Hyde go through on penalties).
Today, the Broad Heath football team went out of the Harry Shaw cup after a monumental effort seemingly with the odds stacked against them. The team lost in penalties after coming back superbly from a goal behind to a strong and organised Pearl Hyde team.
The game started in lively fashion with some great build up play between Osman and Umarr; a theme that would certainly run throughout the match. In the opening two minutes, a foul was given against Umarr for a shoulder barge and the tone was set.
The opening half was goalless and although Pearl Hyde seemed to enjoy the greater possession, they couldn’t find a way through the resolute Broad Heath defence. Broad Heath on the other hand had the greater share of the chances with Umarr, Osman and Umar peppering in shots with some fantastic counter attacking football. The referee brought the first half to a close and Broad Heath made a change with Hani being replaced by Abdullah as a tactical switch.
The second half was much the same, and in fact, Pearl Hyde only managed shots from outside the penalty area. It must be said that some of their players had feet like traction engines! Broad Heath continued to look stylish and swift on the break with Osman putting a close range effort just wide and another over the bar. Nidal in goal remained relatively untroubled.
Five minutes into the second half and disaster struck. Pearl Hyde played in a corner from the right and the ball seemed to hang for an age. Umar was covering the front post and the ball hit him and ran to safety. The referee gave a penalty for handball; the first of two key decisions involving handballs from the Broad Heath players. The resulting penalty was scored with the player smashing the ball to the right of the goal. Nadal got an hand to it but the power carried it over the line.
Ms. Shilton was quick to make changes. Farhaad who had recently replaced Abdullah in central midfield switched into a defensive position, allowing Umarr to switch into a more attacking role (just behind Osman). There was an instant impact and after more super link up play between both Umars and Osman (and a bit of a scramble). The ball was squeezed into the net by Umarr.
After this, the game became fractured and scrappy as Broad Heath lost their shape somewhat and a flurry of dangerous corners came in from the Pearl Hyde players. Their main danger throughout was from set plays and at this point; they certainly got a few. This included a handball from Farhad on the edge of the penalty area when the ball was blasted into his midriff, bounced of his stomach and touched his hand.
The game continued with Pearl Hyde attacking with little end product and Broad Heath launching penetrating counter attacks that often resulted in close range shots, but never in a goal. Full time! Penalties.
The penalty shoot out was won by Pearl Hyde after a great penalty from Umarr and a spectacular save by Nadal. Credit to ALL of the players (including the opposition) for having the guts to step up and take one. It’s a really tough way to go out of the tournament but on a personal level; my hat goes off to you all as I don’t think that I would have had the confidence to take one!
All in all, after a somewhat fortuitous first round victory, I think that the players are right to feel fairly hard done by with this result as we had many chances to win the game and in reality, the game should never have gone to a penalty shootout.
I’d like to also say that credit must be given to all of the players on the pitch. Peal Hyde and Broad Heath players played the game fairly and honorably and although parts of the match were feisty and some of the Broad Heath players felt aggrieved towards the end, both the Pearl Hyde and Broad Heath players can fee proud of how they represented their schools.
Abdi (CB) (Man of Match)
Hani (AM) (replace by Abdullah/Farhaad)
Unused sub: Yahya