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Royals Match Report

Royals edge it on panalties
Shrewsbury Junior Colts 1-1 Royals (AET - Royals win 3-2 on penalties)
(League Cup, 12-10-08)

Royals will see themselves in the draw for the semi finals of the League Cup, after just doing enough to beat their opponents, Shrewsbury Junior Colts on penalties. In a hugely entertaining game, neither team deserved to be eliminated, certainly not on penalties.

Royals had the better of the first half and tested the Colts' on more than one occasion, only to be thwarted by their outstanding keeper. However they found it difficult to find their rhythm and many of the players looked tired. The best chance fell after a goalmouth scramble saw Smith's shot firstly saved by the keeper with the follow up cleared off the line.

The Colts seemed to be more hungry for the ball and were marking key Royals' players out of the game. With just 4 across the middle, instead of the normal 5 Royals found it difficult to control that area of the pitch.

The teams went in at half time with the score still at 0-0.

Immediately after Shrewsbury took the kick off for the second half, they ran at the Royals' midfield, who did nothing to prevent them from sending a ball through the middle, splitting the defence. The Colts' striker coolly chipped the ball over keeper Keugler's head to give the home side a 1-0 lead..

As the second half went on Shrewsbury defended in numbers, making it difficult for the Royals to penetrate. It became more likely that if Royals were to equalise, it would be from a set piece. With 10 minutes to go Royals were awarded a free kick after Moffat was pushed down just outside the penalty area. Green took the resulting free kick and Moffat just managed to flick it towards the goal. Again the Colts' keeper made an outstanding save to deny a goal. It seemed that luck was not on Royals' side.

Then with just 5 minutes remaining Royals were awarded a corner, which Hearle sent over high into the area. Moffat leapt above the defence and powered the goal into the back of the net to make the score 1-1.

Extra time came and both sides were now hungry for victory. The first period was an even affair with not too many chances created. The second 10 minute period saw much of the same, with the best chance falling to the Royals. With 2 minutes remaining, Fielding pushed the ball through the centre for Smith to run on to. With the goalkeeper advancing he shot under pressure only to see the ball ricochet off the crossbar and then scrambled away to safety.

At the end of extra time the score was still 1-1 so penalties commenced. Royals ended up 3-2 winners with Miles, Green and Lewis each scoring their spot kicks.

Team: Keugler, Agnew, Green, Al-Houbani, Baker (Miles 25), Hearle, Moffat, Leech (Lock 30), Fielding, Lewis (Weynberg 45), Smith


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