Cup joy again for the reserves
By Gary Brigden
The Reserves retained their Surrey Elite Reserve Division cup with a hard fought win over a battling Horsley side on Easter Monday.
Rovers went into the game in confident mood having already beaten Horsley twice in the league this season, and they started positively, taking the lead after only seven minutes. A great ball down the line by Ryan Steadman-Hoyte set Alfie Carney away, and his cross was turned into this own net by the Horsley defender.
We continued to press and Finlay Carney was denied by an excellent stop from the keeper after his free kick had been deflected. Horsley though were full of fight and put us under some pressure, and a fizzed area from just outside the area was well saved by Brandon Farley away to his left.
Rovers were holding the upper hand though, with the pace and persistance of widemen A.Carney and Luke Guest being a thorn in the side of the Horsley backline, but it was the prolific George Baker who almost increased the lead, when his low shot was well saved by the keeper with his legs.
At the other end, sterling work by the central partnership of Dan Jones and Joe Elbishlawi was coping admirably with anything Horsley could throw at them.
The sides went in level at the break.
Rovers started the second half brightly, but were unable to force that second goal, and gradually Horsley came back into the game. A couple of low shots were comfortably dealt with low to his right by Farley, before Horsley found an equaliser on 53 minutes with a goal of excellent quality. A bouncing ball into the forward was met with a guided finish over Farley giving the Rovers keeper no chance.
Both sides had chances as the game opened up moving into the latter stages, but two goals in a very quick space of time turned the tide massively in Rovers favour.
First up on 73 minutes a sliced clearance by the Horsley keeper found F.Carney just inside the Horsley half, one touch and strike and the ball was on it's way into the net for 2-1. Almost immediately Rovers regained possession from kick off and this time F.Carney turned provider, threading the ball through to Guest, who calmly poked under the keeper for 3-1.
To their credit Horsley hit back strongly and reduced the arrears with just over ten minutes remaining, and again in keeping with a final of quality goals, it was another excellent move and finish which bought it back to 3-2.
Horsley pushed hard for an equaliser, and so nearly forced extra time, when Farley made a point blank stop from a header as the clock ticked onto the 90 minute mark.
Full time came with the lads retaining the cup they had won last year.