Muhammad Zayn Kalyan
On a cold and gloomy November morning, Stanmore Jafferys FC arrived at their home pitch at Sun Sports raring for their cup clash vs Sandridge Reserves, a team two divisions above them in the league.
We all knew it was going to be a physical game yet everyone seemed up for it and that showed from kick off with some meaty challenges flying in from the off. The first half progressed with Stanmore controlling the game and neither team taking their chances. Eventually some beautiful build up play from Stanmore lead to Mahdi Hemraj playing Yaseen through on goal who managed to slot it away in his favourite corner of the goal. Some good game management meant Stanmore entered half time 1-0 up.
After a quick pep talk from the gaffer, Stanmore walked out for the second half extremely motivated. However, due to a slow start the Stanmore XI conceded. Both teams continued to have chances, once again no one could convert. The opposition were getting a lot chances from corners and free kicks from crossing positions. At one point a corner came in and Shahid Abbas leaping like a Salmon headed the ball off the line keeping the score 1-1. The game was getting tense now, both teams wanting to score a winner to avoid extra time, yellow cards and sin bins were flying out of the referees pockets who thought he was Michael Oliver.
The game reached full time at 1-1 meaning extra time was inevitable. Extra time was a fairly boring affair with both teams clearly feeling the effects of the gruelling 90 minutes they had just played. Extra time finished with the scores still level at 1-1.
The game had to go to penalties to decide the winner. It ended up being a 20 penalty, penalty shootout. The shoutout had everything, missed penalties, tidy penalties and even retaken penalties. A series of brilliant saves from Muhammad Zayn Kalyan to keep us in it, meant the game was in the hand of Shahid Abbas who had to score to win. He stepped us, calm as you like and tucked the ball into the bottom left corner. Stanmore had won, Shahid Abbas turned to face his team and stood there arms out like Eric Cantona.
On to the third round.