CSKA pulled of another impressive result in The Alliance Cup on Sunday with a 2-1 victory away at Division 1’s Midland FC.
CSKA had lost the two most recent meetings back in the 2018/19 season as well as a 2-4 defeat during preseason back in September.
The game was rearranged last minute to Queniborough FC, with the wider pitch encouraging more expansive play and would hopefully suit then CSKA passing game. Manager Jon Brice recalled Jack Lucas, Adam Gent and Chris McCafferty to the starting line up, with Dave Payne playing in a deeper role to aid the midfield.
Neither side was able to create much in the early phases of the game with the best chances coming from corners at both ends. Midland came close with a deep cross from free kick that was spilled by Augustus in goal, but quickly gathered up before any damage was done. Nathan Tate had a downward header just glanced wide of the post, whilst Brice almost caused a goalkeeping fumble at the other end.
Midland took the lead just before half time, a long ball through the middle bounced off the striker’s shoulder to completely wrong-foot Augustus leaving the striker with an open net to tap into.
But CSKA came out in the second half much more focused and prepared to want the ball and play. The slight uphill direction allowed for an easier passing game, resulting in more created chances from open play. And The Mods were rewarded 10 minutes into the second half, McCafferty’s free kick headed home by Tate to make it 1-1.
Midland struggled to get back into the game at this point, although the did hit the post from an overhit cross. But Tate and Gent dealt comfortably with the extra midfield man in the middle, whilst Payne had the freedom of the pitch to run into.
Midland became increasingly frustrated, and began a series of overly aggressive fouls and poor discipline. And it got worse for them as Brad Parker’s piece of magic gave him another contender for goal of the season as he held off off several players before dinking past the unsighted goalkeeper to make it 2-1 to The Mods.
CSKA saw the game out professionally despite one or two moments that saw the game threaten to boil over slightly. But a job well done, Midland FC conceding the first goals since the April Restart, and CSKA now sit in 3rd place on 5 points. CSKA will host group leaders Sileby Athletic next with Midland facing Blaby & Whetstone. (Latest standings can be found here: Alliance Cup Group 1