FC Team moved into the third round of the Middlesex County Senior Open Cup after despatching Brentham FC 2-0.
Mitch Young’s men arrived with a depleted squad with no substitutes and without a recognised keeper. Down to the bare bones, Young was forced to fill in between the sticks.
Nonetheless, Team started brightly, playing in what was a rare 4-4-3 line-up straight from the off Richard Salmon and Howson were causing the opponents problems. Five minutes in and Team should have taken the lead good work from Weyman and Gideon Moss down the left who found Allen Curry to slip a delicious through ball to Salmon one on one the keeper saved well.
Brentham then woke up and started to take control of the game playing some nice one-touch football although with no end product with Team’s defence dealing well with everything led by Paul Kent.
Team had further chances as the half wore on. Allen Curry came close with a couple of free-kicks. One flew just over while the other forced the Brentham keeper did well to save. Minutes later, the keeper denied Kent following a long throw from Weyman.
Team forged ahead five minutes before the break. Good work from Laurence Judah released Allen Curry who held off his man superbly before going on a jinking run between two men down the left hand side. He laid it square to Howson who finished smartly at the near post.
Having only 11 Team were expected to tire but they did not flag as they started the seond half as they finished the first. The first chance of the half saw Mitch Lassman cross for Salmon who headed wide. Brentham were still trying to keep the ball and they fashioned a couple of chances and should have levelled but their striker failed to trouble Young in goal as he headed wide on both occasions.
Young was finally called into action when the striker’s tame headed was hitting the target but Young was there to save. More chances came but this time to Team. Judah was beginning to run the midfield with Allen Curry and they managed to fashion a move that saw Salmon go through to miss another one on one.
Team clinched the tie with a goal of the season contender. Morris played a ball up front that Salmon nodded down to Howson, Howson with the outside of his foot flicked the ball over the defender’s head before volleying home the winner ala Paul Gascoigne against Scotland. Team celebrated with Howson who deserves plaudits.
Team saw out the game in a professional manner and saw them progress to round three where they will hopefully have a bigger squad to take with.
FC Team player-manager Mitch Young said: “I’m very proud of the 11 that started the game to stick together and work hard against a good footballing side in Brentham. Irvine Howson was just unplayable and his goal was magical. We rode our luck at times and credit to Brentham who play good football but we have some extra special players that can make the difference and they did.
“We stuck together when a couple of the balls cramped out all working hard for each other and we are a real Team. We have players all coming back next week as we start a run of tough league games but its a positive start and we aim to really push on now."
FC TEAM: Mitch Young, Josh Morris, Marc Hecht, Paul Kent, Gideon Moss, Mitch Lassman, Laurence Judah, Kieran Allen Curry, Neil Weyman, Irvine Howson, Richard Salmon