ORFC -LOB Quarter Final
ORFC 2 v 1 IB Albion (LOB QF)
Squad: Twigg, Lane, Kington, Duggan S, Haynes, Evans Al, Bishton, Samra N, O'Callaghan, McIntosh, Watson, Blackwood
The Old Reptonians carried on their strong form in the LOB Cup by advancing to the semi-finals with a 2-1 win over IB Albion. The ORs had to come from behind to win the match and were good value for their win showing some strong attacking play as well as defending with grit and determination. IB Albion were a tall and direct side. The ORs where possible were looking to play on the deck and utilise the flanks while their opponents saw their best chance of winning in looking for long balls, knockdowns and set pieces.
The ORs set out in a 4-3-3 formation against their opponents and were showing real promise in the early exchanges. Sadly with somewhat of a centreback shortage the ORs had to change things up a bit. With a lack of central defenders yet again the ORs called on the experience of Si Duggan and an emergency loan from the OR Vets in Alex Kington, to come in and play at the heart of the backline. Both were absolutely immense. Praise to both of them for the way they played. Si Duggan playing in an unfamiliar role was excellent. His comfort on the ball and "Quarterback style" elped alleviate the pressure for the ORs. Alex Kington was colossal alongside him. A monster in the air and very good on the ball as well. Both were integral to the ORs win.
It was the ORs who were looking most dangerous down the flanks with good work from McIntosh on the left and O'Callaghan down the right lead to promising opportunities for the home side. Nicky Samra took a quick short corner to Evans who hit a low shot but saw it saved well by the keeper before getting cleared. They threatened again when McIntosh delivered a dangerous cross into the box but the defender just took it away from Watson who was waiting to pounce.
Repton were attacking in waves but the final ball was alluding them getting the opening goal. Samra and Bishton in midfield were doing a good job getting forward to support the attack, while Evans playing as the anchor looked to distribute wide to the wingers and fullbacks where possible to spring attacks.
The first goal came against the run of play. Sadly a mistake lead to possession being lost cheaply and the IB Albion striker breaking through to slot home for 0-1. A bad goal to concede particularly on reflection that the ORs were having the better play and chances.
Mike Watson nearly got the ORs level again from quick thinking at the corner to go short, only for an IB defender to get his body in the way to deny the equaliser.Their lead was short lived however and the ORs fought back with good play down the right, saw a ball delivered to the back post where James Bishton knocked the ball home at the second attempt after having his first effort saved by the keeper. 1-1 Half time.
The home side were ready to grab this game by the scruff of its neck. It was a very good game to be a part of and watch with many chances going begging. Charlie Twigg was called upon in net and made an excellent low diving save to keep the scores level. The specialist emergency keeper showed his worth with the save and the constant communication he delivered to his defence was much needed.
The ORs were really pushing now. O'Callaghan was beating his fullback at will and had a few opportunities to score but for good work from the IB Keeper. Thankfully the goal came for the ORs. Excellent work from Bishton winning the ball in his own half he played the ball down the left. Not satisfied with that contribution Bishton continued into the box and when the cross came in from the left Bishton was there again on hand to smash the ball home for 2-1.
A deserved lead for the boys but by no means was this game done and dusted. IB Albion were throwing bodies forward and the ORs survived a few close shaves. An almighty goalmouth scramble that looked more like a ruck in Rugby than anything else finally got cleared and the ORs survived. Another chance saw Alex Haynes scamper back to the OR goal-line before clearing away to safety.
The ORs were really digging in now and were showing some real determination. They implemented a half court press that was brilliantly executed all day it must be said. It got to the stage where IB Albion simply ran out of ideas. The backline of Haynes, Kington, Duggan and Lane were in fine form but the work all over the pitch was of high standard that saw the ORs over the finish-line.
So 2-1 it finished in a really good (cliche' incoming) old-fashioned cup-tie. The ORs demonstrated their togetherness and will to win that also earned them the right to play some nice stuff. They looked threatening whenever they attacked but had to be resolute when asked to defend. A great win for the boys who will now await their opponents in the semi-final.
The ORs have shown some strong form in the LOB Cup this season against a mixed bag of opposition. The challenge now is to transfer this form over into the League to ensure they get some much needed three points on the board. Starting with this Saturday 30th November against Old Westminsters. The game is at home (Kings House Chiswick).
Up the ORs!