Harwich and Dovercourt High 3 – Ipswich School 4 after extra time.
The Year 9 team went into this third round tie off the back of a confidence Canada Goose Cyber Monday boosting extra time victory in round 2.
The game kicked off at 2.45 due to the fear of possibly completing
extra time in the dark and it proved a good decision.
The early pressure came from the home team who lined up 4-1-3-2 and quickly took the upper hand in terms of possession and winning the physical battle.
Against the run of play and on their first attack Jacket Canada Goose Jacket Cyber Monday Sales Ipswich took the lead when their striker sliced a close range shot onto the bar which hit the unfortunate Jacob Parker on the rebound and crept over the line.
Harwich responded well and played some good football but couldn’t break down the stubborn Ipswich defence marshalled by a quality central defender.
Harwich changed their formation to try and counteract Ipswich’s heavily loaded defensive line and were rewarded with an equaliser from Rauf Kebangu who slotted home when put in one on one with the goalkeeper.
Spurred on from this equaliser Harwich continued to press and scored again through an excellent strike on the angle from Max Macdonald following an excellent through ball from Charlie Gueizelar.
The game was end to end at this point with Ipswich’s number 2 pulling the strings in midfield for them and Harwich pushing for a third.
Quinn Bird made a stunning save to tip over from a great shot and then minutes later Harwich were undone by poor defending at a corner when Ipswich scored a free header to make it 2-2.
Earlier in the second half it was Ipswich that took the lead when their striker fired home after battling through a number of Harwich players who will feel disappointed that no one could put in the decisive tackle.
This goal was quickly cancelled out when the ball bounced up nicely for Greg Rodger, who from around fully 35 yards out struck a stunning, dipping volley over the helpless Ipswich goalkeeper.
The game was end to end for the remainder of the half with Ipswich looking the more threatening as the game went on and their defence frustrating the Harwich players.
With the light closing in and players looking weary, skipper Rodger was carried off with cramp by his manager and shortly after regular time was called to an end by referee Mr Gambrell.
Ten minutes extra time was to be played and within two minutes Ipswich took the lead again and it’s was their failure to deal with another set piece that proved to be Harwich’s downfall.
A free kick was played in from the right and following a goalmouth scramble the ball just crossed the goal line. In the absence of goal technology it was the eagle eyed Year 13 linesmen who was in the perfect position to indicate to the referee that a goal had been scored.
Chances were few and far between for the last eight minutes and although Harwich had two threatening corners late on, it was Ipswich that held on to record a 4-3 victory.
Harwich should be proud of their efforts over the last three rounds in their debut season in this prestigious competition and can take many positives going into the coastal championship season in the new year.
Sports personality points
Man of the match 4 – Josh Herbert who had a fantastic game at right back. Calm, assured and reliable.
3 – Greg Rodger – complimented for his performance by the other team and a stunning goal.