Mitch decides to abandon football in favour of auditioning for the Harlem Globetrotters….
CTSA FC travelled to Cambridge for their first ever appearance in the IFA Cup, with the reward of a tie with AFC Wimbledon for the victors. The minibus set off from the Broadfield Stadium at 7:30, only a few hours after many of the lads had arrived back from Wolves.
The game got underway and started disastrously for the CTSA as Cambridge took the lead in the first 5 minutes. Good work by the home side down their left led to them getting a shot off that was saved by Comper, but the rebound was pounced on by United and smashed into the net…1-0. Maybe the late night/early morning was having an effect! The Crawley side responded well though, and were soon on level terms. A ball into the box was handled by a Cambridge player and the Ref pointed to the spot. A confident Callum Vaughan-Murray picked up the ball and rifled it into the bottom left-hand corner sending the keeper the wrong way. The half continued in an even fashion but Crawley suffered a new blow as they lost skipper for the day Ashley Comper to injury. Both sides had chances to take the lead, but it was the CTSA that took the initiative from a set-piece. The ball came into the box and bounced around as shot after shot was blocked- until it fell to Dan Palmer who made no mistake in smashing the ball into the net, almost breaking it! 1-2! Lots of pressure then followed as Cambridge looked to get back into the game. For a while it seemed Steve Evans had taken over the Cambridge side, as ball after ball was lofted into the box and long throws peppered the goalmouth. Eventually, the pressure paid off. After a corner was only half cleared, they ball was swung back in for the unmarked skipper to head home from six yards. 2-2, as the half time whistle blew.
At half time, Comper and Lowndes decided to shuffle the pack. Palmer took the gloves and Comper moved up top. Brad Clarke came on at left wing replacing Krunaal.
The Incredible Shrinking Dan!
The second half got underway, and Crawley regained the lead. Mitch Moylan whipped in a beautiful corner that was met by the head of CVM who notched his second of the game and his 7th for the CTSA. This time, Crawley maintained the pressure, and increased their lead. Mitch floated a superb free kick in behind the Cambridge defence finding an unmarked Joe Comper who headed into the far corner. At 4-2, the game should have been done and dusted, but in true Crawley fashion, the game was only a defensive error away from re-igniting. James Hollingdale looked to play back to Palmer in goal, but hit Lowndsey (who, to be fair, hasn’t moved quickly enough to have avoided the ball since 1973) and United pulled one back. That goal set up a nervy last 20 minutes. One moment of comedy saw the CUFC striker race through on goal with Palmer rushing out to meet him; Dan stayed on his feet, much to the surprise of the striker who, in Louis Suarez fashion, flopped to the floor despite nobody being within a metre of him!!! The last 10 minutes saw an onslaught with balls peppering the away box. Crawley seemed prepared to put their head where it could hurt, and Palmer dealt with anything that broke through the defence. With what seemed like 10 minutes of injury time played, the ref blew his whistle, and Crawley were into the next round.
A great effort from all involved! Que sera sera….
T.Jones R. Lowndes A. Giles A. Comper
M. Cook J. Hollingdale M.Moylan K. Patel
C. Vaughan- Murray D. Palmer
Subs: M. Geal, B. Clarke
Words by Joe Comper, CTSA Community Officer