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Crediton v Hatherleigh Town
December 3rd 2005 : an important Premier Cup Match, and Hatherleigh were through to the last 16. While this doesn't sound much, it's a great achievement and the papers picked up on the story and used some of our pictures too. Crediton fielded two highly talented players who normally play elsewhere, so the Reds were up against it from the start. To make matters worse, it rained ... and rained ... and then poured. If this had been a league match it would have been abandoned but being the Cup it went right to the wire.
Town were the determined and resourceful team that we remember from all those weeks ago when we last saw them, and they gave a good account of themselves, with barely a silly mistake to be seen. Even when Crediton scored they kept plugging away but the sheer talent and experience of the opposition won the day. Particularly noticeable were the many passing lobs used down both wings, on the left in the first half and down the right in the second - in the middle quite often too. These were skillfully executed (the conditions made them easier because the ball just stopped) and took some defending against. Gary in goal played well and kept Crediton at bay during several tense moments.
It was that experience that finally beat the Reds, despite a massive effort in the last phases of the game. The conditions go so bad that passing along the ground was impossible while turning quickly or stopping was silly. These conditions levelled matters somewhat but Crediton's experience ultimately paid off.
A great match - hugely enjoyable to watch and often hilarious for all the wrong reasons, especially the cabaret. Town never stopped trying and came close several times, but in the end ... .
Ah well, there's always next week.
Coach Jon Hayman added this: As you can imagine, an extremely wet pitch, which to the credit of both teams did not really detract from the overall quality of the game. Both sides looked to play positive football as much as possible. Early exchanges fairly even, with both sides created two good chances each, difference being Crediton scored from both of theirs. Conditions worsened for the second half, Gary Toop made two outstanding saves to earn Man of the Match but the last 20 minutes was all Hatherleigh with Steve Millington scoring a scrambled goal with 5 mins to go. Unfortunately our Right-Back Mark Tucker then broke his ankle following a challenge on the half-way line with two mins to go, so we were reduced to 10 men for the remainder. Overall, a really encouraging performance against the Devon League side. One other point of mention - we have signed Dean Rice a striker from Torrington 1st team, who has been in the starting line-up for the last couple of months and who will be eligible to play for us this Saturday at home to University."
PS: because of the rain we stood under Crediton's excellent stand on the half way line. This meant using the long lens a lot of the time, which results in a fair bit of wobble. Also, the light was so bad that we could not set the right camera conditions for fast action, so there is some motion blur, a lot of grain and high contrast. We hope you enjoy the following pictures nevertheless. There were a lot more printable shots than we expected - we hope that makes up for the missing weeks recently ... though don't expect so many next week!.
Hatherleigh Town FC is sponsored
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