Cash sends MLFC through to Vets cup semi-final

An extra-time strike from Lee Cash sent MLFC into the last four of the Herts Vets County Cup following a hard-fought win over Oxhey Jets.




MLFC were pushed all the way by a really strong Oxhey Jets side in this County Cup Quarter Final tie on a cold winter's morning at Rowley Lane.

The opposition, big, powerful and experienced, play in an Open Age league, so what they gave up in years they more than made up for in experience and organisation. This was a proper battle from the start, with Guy Morris and David Soutar absolutely superb at the heart of the home defence against a front pairing who did all they could to test them physically.

Ensuring they got little joy meant Jets were unable to retain possession in dangerous areas for too long, allowing Maccabi to dominate possession and dictate the game. But their usual slick passing was off, Jets will take credit for not giving them any time and space in dangerous areas.

Despite not being anywhere near their best, with the balance of the play the hosts naturally created a few chances, the Jets keeper demonstrated impeccable handling as he gathered a number of high and low balls into the box. Jon Rayner was seeing a lot of the ball, and from the right hand side the forward targets were found, the best chances seeing Craig Pearl denied and Saul Conway heading narrowly over.

Jets continued to frustrate, Maccabi struggling to find their targets in the attacking third. But as the game wore on and gaps began to appear, it was indeed the hosts who created the clear-cut chances to win the game.

A flowing move found Steve Summers in the right channel, his low cross met on the run by Cash, but his low first-time effort went an inch wide. Moments later fine interplay found Pearl with half a yard just inside the box. He took aim and thundered an effort that was deflected onto the underside of the bar by a flailing defensive leg, but when the rebound fell for Daniel Stanton just a few yards out and the goal at his mercy he would surely break the deadlock...but his shot was blazed over.

It was all Maccabi now, Summers denied by another good save before, in the closing minutes, Cash drilled one past the keeper only for a worldie of a goal-line clearance enough to send the game into extra-time.

Both sides were keen to avoid mistakes, but Maccabi's extra mobility saw them continue to make the running. But Jets were a threat, especially from set-plays, but Maccabi defended them all well. And two minutes into the second period of extra time Conway won the ball high up the pitch and fed Stanton just outside the box. His initial effort was blocked, but when the rebound fell kindly he paused before slipping in Cash to his left who this time drove a low shot into the bottom corner to give the side a lead that, despite seven minutes of over time, they saw out with few alarms.

A home semi-final now awaits, with Garston coming to Rowley Lane to contest that game the last weekend in January.

LIONS: Rob Abrahams, Jon Rayner, Danny Berg, Guy Morris, David Soutar, Alex Levack, Craig Pearl, Daniel Stanton, Saul Conway, Lee Cash, Steve Summers. Subs: James Abrams, Max Radford


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