Surrey United entertained first division opponents NK Hrvat in the second round of the Imperial Cup at Cloverdale Athletic Park on Saturday and made hard work of what should have been a routine game squeezing out a 3-2 regulation time win thanks to a late goal by striker Angus Burke. United enjoyed the better of the early encounters but had to wait until the 19th minute before opening the scoring. Full back Rob Wilson crossed the ball from the right to Joseph Martin whose neat flick found Andrew Proctor who hammered home a powerful shot from fifteen yards out. In the 28th minute, United added a second when, following a foul on Burke at the top of the penalty, some opportunism by Rizal Ganief saw him curl home a quickly taken free-kick. Two minutes later United were awarded another kick in a similar position but this time Ganief’s powerful shot rattled off the cross-bar and rebounded to safety. Next it was Jeff Skinner’s turn to show his prowess at free-kicks but his exquisite left foot shot which was destined for the top right corner was brilliantly turned round the post by the visiting keeper. With eight minutes remaining in the opening frame NK Hrvat reduced the deficit when they capitalized on a free-kick of their own when their striker ran unchecked to head home a superbly flighted cross. It was the visitors first effort on goal but all of sudden they were right back in the game. United might have notched a goal when Skinner broke clear in the 53rd minute but once again he was thwarted by a great save from the keeper. At the 60th minute the unthinkable happened when NK Hrvat tied up the game on a header from a corner-kick to set-up the possibility of an amazing upset. Surrey created a number of scoring opportunities in the remaining thirty minutes but squandered them all and then had to thank their own keeper Drew Smiley for a great point blank save to deny the visitors the lead. With the game seemingly destined for overtime Ganief made another tantalizing run down the left and fired over a low cross which was met by Burke who made no mistake hammering into the net from close range. Surrey now meet Westside in the next round at Cloverdale Athletic next Saturday at 2.00pm.
Mens CAT “A” DIVISION
Mens CAT “B” DIVISION
The masters advanced to the semi-finals of the cup also with a 3-2 victory over Wickham thanks to a goal in the last three minutes by substitute Brent Roberts. United dominated most of the first half against a Wickham team that threw up a ten man defensive curtain. Despite all the pressure United missed several great chances to score and were caught twice by quick counter attacks from Wickham who at the half-time whistle miraculously enjoyed a two goal lead. With a new resolve United started brightly in the second half and after only two minutes grabbed a goal to reduce the deficit when Murray Howes rose above the defence to head home a Craig Brown cross. United piled on the pressure and had the ball in the visitors half of the field but were unable to convert their chances into goals. The injection of speedster Roberts as a substitute in the 70th minute paid an immediate dividend and on his first possession he raced down the right flank beat two defenders and then squared the ball into the path of Darren Villars who hammered home a low shot from fifteen yards. United powered forward in search of the winner and had tons of pressure and thought they had scored when Kelly Bey headed home but the goal was ruled off side. With time running out Roberts made a late but determined run into the box to head home a left wing cross by Howes to secure the victory and keep the Masters chances of a provincial cup berth still alive. They now meet Westside in the semi-finals at Cloverdale next Sunday at 10.00am
No game scheduled. The ladies play their final league game of the season against Westside on Wednesday March 17th at Cloverdale Turf at 8.00pm and a win will clinch the league title for them.
Ladies DIVISION ONE
No game report at time of going to press.
Player of the Week
This week’s Player of the Week goes to Brent Roberts of our masters team who after coming back on as substitute scored one goal and assisted on another to help his team advance to the cup semi-finals.