Sporting Khalsa is a long way away. It is a particularly long way to go for a game that determines which of the two cups a team will be in. So whilst every game now is competitive and has a string need for performance and result, this one sits somewhere in the lower echelons of that sub group
As far as the game went. City were low on numbers, just 12 players travelled in the party to the game, with a number missing through injury. Even still Chris Hames was able to name a very strong group. Once of the days nicest points was the full debut of young reserve team player, Alice McKenna – the 17 year old giving a very strong and composed performance in the middle of the park
The rest of the game? It wasn’t one for the neutrals. Over zealous refereeing and a cacophony mistakes really broke up the rhythm of the game, and it was hosts who dealt with that the better
City started strongly, bombarding the Sporting Khalsa box on a number of occasions in the opening 20 minutes, without ever really having too much of a clean sight.
The game turned on 20 minutes though. A mistake from City in possession, and a swift Khalsa counter allowed Clark to tap home at the back post
5 minutes later Sporting were given the chance to double their lead. As their striker received a throw in to the box, she turned into the waiting Jackman and fell, both Tom Daley and the referee were impressed and the spot kick was given – Smith then rolled it low into the bottom corner
The second half saw much of City possession, and a few half chances as both Knight and Brookes (introduced on the 60th minute) flashed efforts across the 6 yard box, with no Tigers prepared to pounce
A few more City chances came and went, but much of the game had died out with the persistent and consistent stopping by the referee for each and every touch
As the game reached its zenith, Khalsa had one more chance – a long ball fired over the top after a City attack broke down, and Austin-Short stole in to poke home and round out a poor day
After the game, manager Chris Hames reflected on a poor defeat “It wasn’t our day. We were disappointed with our output again, both sides of the ball, and it cost us key moments in the game. It doesn’t matter if it is the Cup, League or World Cup final we are here to win, and failing that, here to perform – so today is very disappointing.
I need to review, I take full responsibility for this mess as 6 goals in 2 games is a very poor return, and the we need to work to help this group get this right going in to the league next week”