ROBIN HOOD ATHLETIC 5 STANLEY UNITED 0
LEEDS & DISTRICT CUP 1st ROUND.
By Matt Wright
On Saturday we welcomed local rivals Stanley United in the Leeds & District Cup 1st round. The game originally an away tie was changed due to ground issues, but suited us on our own patch. On ability probably more of a 1/4 final tie in honesty.
Stanley came to hood with a few missing from their ranks, but let’s not forget local dog fights tend to even up despite this if your not careful. They win a lot in their league which is expected, as is the strength of it but with that comes a confidence and it gives you that extra little bit when needed.
One change to the team today as Josh Corbett replaced Declan Parker in the starting line up. We knew what to expect and we got plenty of it.
Last week we looked defensively sound from front to back and the message was simple, front up for the imminent physical battle and play our stuff after.
For the first 15 minutes we had a lot of the ball, we passed the ball well but more importantly we moved it quickly. Stanley to their credit worked incredibly hard to restrict us from any out and out chances. Two experienced and capable defenders Marshalled them well. Their keeper pulled off an unbelievable save from a James Finlayson Free kick and positionally got himself in a good place whilst facing a 1v1 from the same player forcing the shot wide. It was 25 minutes into the game when we struck our first, some good 1 and 2 touch football and a good ball through from Jinky found Jamie Lister 1v1, Ligger finished well. Prior to our 2nd and 3rd Stanley had long range efforts through the fwd line which sailed wide, this acted as sign of things to come if we didn’t concentrate and keep our standard. Our 2nd and 3rd goals, one from a corner kick with Joe Ritson applying the finishing touch with a fine volley, and then Jinky himself getting on the score sheet rounding the keeper and slotting home. At this point we started to cruise in 3rd gear, we moved the ball quickly and Stanley gave away free kick after free kick in frustration. Before the whistle a shout for miss of the season as a Josh Corbett Free kick hit the far post and rebounded across the line for Dale Pickering to nod home. ..The unthinkable happened as he headed it sideways from half a yard out into the keepers arms.
HT 3-0. We spoke about a typically robust Stanley coming to force the pace after the half, and again we must front that up for the first 10 at least.
Stanley came out and shaped up differently which made us think, and to be honest that is what we needed to keep concentration levels high. Stanley got the ball forward at every opportunity but our defence and midfield held shape again restricting opportunities at Alex in goal. We made a few changes to freshen it up, as Chris Coupe who was back this week came on for Dale and Harold the helicopter on for Joey. Both slotted in well, we continued to create chances but a feeling of job done was there as it looked like we were going through the motions. Luka made an appearance for an injured John Tunney and looked accomplished in the middle, having a great chance to score himself. Josh Corbett scored a fine individual goal, his first for the club and another goal from Chris Coupe on his weaker left foot gave us a 5 goal cushion. We missed a couple of great opportunities to further the goal tally which was in spite of the pace of the game dying in enthusiasm. There was time for tempers to boil over as the Stanley number 3 was sent off for a wild lung, injuring Tunney in the process. A needless tackle but I think all the excitement got a bit too much.
A steady game of football we always looked better in, ability showed in the end. Stanley gave it a real goal in the second half and had us on our toes. They had a few missing as was mentioned but we played the 11 in front of us well. We got kicked a lot which was to be expected but we dealt with it and didn’t react where many would. For Stanley, the keeper who made some great saves keeping the score down, Young josh in the middle and Leroy (could be wrong with the name) all did themselves a huge amount of credit playing the game in the right way.
We wish Stanley all the best going forward, hope they do the local area proud and bring the league trophy and get a few more of their players back quickly to aid that. Play some football with the talent you have, All the best to Daz and the club.
Josh Corbett man of match today, class above, with the team getting another clean sheet in support.
Next up its back to the league and a home fixture against Leeds City at the Coach Ground – Kick Off 2.30pm
If you can, get along to cheer the lads!