Campion AFC Dev vs Athletico FC
Date: 19th September 2015
Venue: AA Van Hire Stadium
Referee: Mr. A Grooby
Man of the Match: Paul Davidson
The Early Bird Catches The Worm
The District Cup is one of those competitions that can so often throw up awkward games against opponents you know little about. Athletico were one of those teams. Unbeaten this season in the Spen Valley league the first round tie offered a potential banana skin to a Campion Development side on a good run of results.
The team reverted to a 4-2-3-1 formation following the very open game the previous week at Thornes FC where they won in an eleven-goal thriller. Jaden Powell and Carl Trenerry returned to the defence, but the team was otherwise unchanged except for Cam Green taking the right midfield place of Tom Bentham who had been called up to the First Team.
From the off Campion got the ball down and attempted to play football, offering particular penetration down the left flank from Emmanuel Omojola who was frequently running at the full back with great effect. And it perhaps should have been rewarded as his good work led to an attempt where it looked as if Josh Ludford had earned a penalty only for the referee to disagree. Only a few minutes later Omojola got away again down the left and was pulled down on the edge of the area but again Campion were denied the spot kick.
The good work into the final third was rarely rewarded with the only real opportunities coming from Josh Ludford scrapping in the six-yard box and a mis-fire from Cam Green who was getting in good positions off the right. Perhaps the best chance was a long-range effort from Aaron Metcalfe that finished only a few yards over the bar.
As the game went on Athletico settled into the match more and began to get more joy going forward. But despite some forays down the right hand side, Trenerry and Powell continued their good form and effectively snuffed out any threat.
The breakthrough finally came as Josh Ludford smashed the ball from 7 yards past a helpless keeper into the top of the goal.
Half time was called only a few minutes later and it was stressed how important the second goal was going to be. And as often happens Campion didn’t start the second half in the same way they had finished it. Athletico were pushing forward and the respect which was given in the first 25mins was no longer being afforded.
After holding tight for ten minutes, Sadio Barry was brought on to replace Damien Hields and add some solidity to the midfield. From then on it was a fairly even game which was always worrying while the score remained at 1-0. But that was soon to change.
A Chris Hellewell shot from 20yards was not the most vicious but somehow squirmed through the goalkeepers legs in a Massimo Taibi-esque act of goalkeeping embarrassment. Suddenly the penny dropped that perhaps this keeper had not been tested enough. So just five minutes later Hellewell again hit a shot which although aiming for the left hand corner of the goal, was bundled over the line by a helpless diving goalkeeper.
At 3-0 up the game looked won, but there was still a consolation to be had. Despite a crunching tackle from Sadio Barry in the centre of the park, the ball was moved across to an Athletico player who managed to get his shot away that curled nicely inside the post and around Karl Renardson in the Campion goal. It was harsh on a back four which had performed so well, but was scant consolation to an Athletico side that had already been beaten.
It wasn’t the best performance this term but it was a hurdled which had been successfully overcome, in the next round a local derby against Tyersal FC!