Last weekend saw Old Tiffin’s IIIs begin their season with a tough cup tie against Old Suttonians IVs. After a high quality Premier League level warm up, the game got underway and saw the visitors have more of the ball in the early stages, but OTs kept the score line at 0-0.. most notably after a great save from Nader Meradji diving low to his right. It was OTs who then went up the other end and scored the opening goal of the game. After working the ball down the left, a Dan Hogg long throw saw the ball flicked on, controlled and then volleyed in from inside the box to the bottom corner by Owen Kirk. 1-0. The away team, who had already been vocal, to put it mildly, chased for an equaliser. OTs did well though and frustrated their attacks, until failing to clear the ball out in the box, saw it stolen and then squared to be converted from the middle of the goal. 1-1.
There were a few let’s say dubious officiating decisions throughout the game and OTs fell victim to one of these for the second away goal. Dan Hogg’s header in clearing from a throw-in was deemed to have involved a push in the box and the Ref pointed to the spot.. the penalty was converted. 1-2. From then on the game got a bit scrappy, and there were chances missed at both ends. Eventually it was OTs who scored though to bring the game level.. an effort palmed out by the away keeper saw Tom Marshall leap highest to nod in from close range. 2-2. Being a cup tie, the game would have gone to extra-time and then penalties, but OTs were somewhat the masters of their own downfall and after going a goal down, at 2-3 then made a couple further few errors in the late stages to see the game end 2-5.
Whilst the IIIs cup run ended before it got started, there were obvious positives to take from the game. Playing a tough physical team from the league above and remaining competitive throughout bodes well for the league campaign this season and hopefully the same level of performance will see a win next time out against Old Thorntonians.