10 Man Fitz Come Back to Reach Semis
A late goal knocks Selwyn out, as Fitz move on to the Semi Finals of Cuppers.
Selwyn 1-2 Fitz
Jesus 2-3 Pembroke
Darwin 2-3 Queens’
Churchill 2-1 CCCC
Fitz fought back from 1-0 down to knock out Selwyn this weekend, after injuries and cards changed the face of a Cuppers quarter final, and were rewarded by becoming the only top-tier side left in the competition.
In a hard fought first half both sides produced some good football. Selwyn, who have already secured promotion to Division One for next season, showed that they will not be out of place there.
Setting up slightly more defensively than usual, they relied on the creativity of Mark Baxter on the left combined with the hard work of Chris Hutton up front, while Gregson anchored the midfield.
Fitz on the other hand looked to spread the ball side to side, with Paul Hartley and Jonny Kerr pulling the strings in the middle of the park, and could have felt a little unlucky to go behind after 21 minutes.
A Selwyn corner should have been dealt with, but took a ricochet off a Fitz defender to give the Division Two side the lead.
Fitz continued to push and gave the Selwyn defence problems from time to time, a long throw headed narrowly over the bar before Tom Barham nodded wide from 8 yards after a glorious cross.
Then, on the stroke of half-time, the game turned. A slid pass put a Fitz striker in the clear, and as Selwyn keeper Ermgassen came out to challenge him the two collided painfully.
Although the ball was eventually cleared to safety, Ermgassen was not able to take any further part, and Selwyn came out for the second half with a left back in goal and a reshuffled defence.
That should have given Fitz all the confidence they needed, but a moment of madness from Barham, kicking out at an opponent off the ball, saw him red carded.
Even against 10 men though Selwyn looked worried with their new defensive shake-up, and Fitz were soon level, when a long through from Kerr was flicked on and into the corner.
As emotions rose tackles began to fly in, resulting in a string of bookings on both sides, and with the game looking like it was going towards extra time, it was 10 man Fitz who stepped up.
In truth, the shot that came in would probably have been saved by a first choice ‘keeper, but with a stand in mistakes were always likely.
With Selwyn chuntering about the bad luck which had cost them, it was Fitz who progressed to meet Pembroke in the semis, after they knocked out Jesus, the only other top flight side in the Quarters.
On the other side of the draw Queens’, whose two cuppers games up to this point had produced an incredible twenty goals, managed to overcome Darwin by three goals to two.
They will meet Churchill in an all Division Two match, for a place in the final on March 14th.