In our team talk before the game we used some of the Premier league results to inspire the way we were attempting to play. We had considered going defensive from the outset to frustrate Castlevale but decided given they only had 11 players to do the opposite and so we started with a 3-5-2 formation with an M shaped midfield (3 Defensive midfielders and 2 attacking).
We asked the lads to not underestimate Castlevale. We forced them to play this game or concede. They were looking for us to postpone. We anticipated that their coach would use this to motivate Castlevale.
Defensively out of possession we'd asked Luke, Luca and Aaron to sit just in front of the defensive line covering any gaps and cutting out any through balls.
Ben was given the Captains armband and asked to manage the defensive line. Defensively in possession we'd asked the players to move the ball quickly up the park through midfield or if they are playing a high defensive line over the top for Pablo and Cameron to run onto.
George and Sriram out of possession were asked to look to win the ball back as quickly as possible and again when in possession move the ball quickly looking for opportunities to switch out to the wings or into space for Luke or Aaron to run on onto.
Pablo and Cameron were ask to work as a team, keep close together to play off each other.
The first 30 minutes was a fairly nervous affair with both sides getting opportunities. We started to get a bit of control in midfield towards the end of this period. At this point we also substituted Cameron for Kyle to try something different up front. Shortly after we were awarded a penalty for hand ball in the box. Kyle stepped up and dispatched the penalty sending the keeper the wrong way.
The award of the penalty motivated Castlevale who dominated the next 5 minutes of play leading to a strong tackle from Rayan inside the box from which the referee awarded a penalty. Castlevale dispatched the penalty to even up the game.
In the same way the penalty motivated Castlevale, Corstorphine were dominant for the next 5 minutes and just before the half time break, Kyle received a through ball and out paced the last man to slot the ball into the net.
We substituted Pablo for Fin at half time with Sriram moving up front with Kyle, and Fin taking up Srirams attacking midfield role.
We started the second half slowly, something we need to work on as it seems to be a theme for us. Castlevale scored 5 minutes in with a player making a run through our defence to slot home.
The next 20 minutes was fast paced with both sides getting opportunities. Caelan made a great save to deny a shot from a Castlevale counter attack and unfortunately we had a player sent off for a second yellow card. Sriram dropped back into midfield leaving Kyle up front.
On 65 minutes Nathan replaced Rayan in defence and Daniel replaced Sriram in midfield and shortly after Luca scored a great goal on the break slotting into the bottom corner past a very good keeper.
Cameron went back on for Kyle for the last 10 minutes. We were dominating at this point and Castlevale committed players forward leaving further opportunities for us on the counter attack. Cameron picked the ball up on the left side and ran past a number of Castlevale players with Daniel on his outside making it 2 on one against the keeper with Cameron again slotting home a very composed shot past the keeper to make it 4-2.
Caelan went down in his box before the restart and needed to be taken off having put his hip out on the goal kick. Adam was given the responsibility of keeping goal for the remainder of the game which, saving from a free kick.
We kept a solid defensive line and played the game out for a 4-2 win and a place in the Semi-finals.