A sunny but cold day in the shadow of the Underhill stadium in Barnet saw Sun Sports demolish Hadley Reserves in this Aubrey Cup 2nd round tie.
A mixture of youth and experience scored the goals for the yellows, which shows that the future looks bright on the footballing side of things to come.
Josh Connolly opened the scoring in the opening minutes of the match when he got hold of the ball and with a sudden burst of speed outside the area, left two Hadley defenders behind and with only the keeper to beat, calmly picked his spot in the bottom left corner of the goal to give the Sun an early advantage.
Hadley tried to get back into the game from the re-start and from a free kick lofted into the Sun area, a flick on found a Hadley attacker but he was unable to control the ball.
Both sides then had minor chances but nothing to really worry either goalkeeper.
Tom Herbert had a couple of chances but couldn’t get his shots on target, and in all the Sun looked well refreshed after a month’s break of playing football, making some good movements and excellent passing which to be honest, is probably not seen at this level of football at many other clubs.
A great long pass from Andy Brennan found George Hobson over on the left whose first time cross found Callum O’Connor in the six yard box and his initial touch beat the outcoming Hadley keeper but two covering defenders on the line managed to stop Callum from knocking the rebound over the line.
A Hadley in-swinging corner was headed by the Sun’s Gary Wallace onto his own crossbar, leaving Sun fans and players holding their breath for a moment or two and from the resulting corner, a Hadley player got on the end of the deeper cross which was then headed off the line by Callum O’Connor.
George Hobson soon found himself on a one to one with the Hadley keeper who did well to spread himself as large as he could and blocked the lob, leaving George with his head in his hands.
Hobson was soon in action again down the left and after beating his marker he laid the ball back to Connolly whose close range effort was saved by the Hadley keeper but the rebound fell to Herbert, and although he was facing the wrong way, cheekily flicked the ball at waist height over his head and into the goal to give the Sun a two nil advantage at half time.
The game was certainly played at a cup tie pace and there were plenty of tackles flying in from both sides.
Ten minutes into the second half and it was effectively game over as Andy Brennan used the space he had in front of him to move forward unopposed and then let fly from 30 yards with a wicked dipping shot that fooled the reds goalie, making him look rather silly in front of his own fans.
Three – nil to the Sun and a place in the next round was looking like a dead cert, Joe Horwood was a rock in the centre of defence and made some brilliant strong challenges, and of course it wouldn’t be a Sun match if George Hobson wasn’t booked for being “over efficient” in a tackle!
Another youth player was brought on as the game moved to its close, and Morrocan born Yussef Enajar helped to control the midfield and then found himself beating the offside trap as well showing amazing composure for his age by calmly slotting the ball past two defenders and the goalie to make it 4-0.
But respect needed to be given to Hadley, as they refused to give up and with another cross into the area, Gary Wallace was there for the yellows to get to the ball first and yet again clipped the crossbar….Wallace was certainly Hadley’s most dangerous player, even though he plays for the Sun!
Hadley finally managed to get on the scoresheet with a flicked header and a player, who looked to be offside, heading in at close range, reduced the deficit a little, even the scorer for Hadley expected to be flagged for offside and looked surprised when the goal stood.
As the game went into injury time, Hadley continued to push forward and from another attack a header was scrambled off the line by Youssef Enajar.
Young Youssef was soon back in the thick of it when he took a direct free kick which floated beautifully over the wall but just past the post.
But it was Hadley who had the last attack and a cross from the left found an unmarked attacker but Sun’s Luke Furlong in goal flung himself across the line to make a great save.
We await to see who Sun Sports will meet in the quarter final.