The long awaited ESFA National Cup run for Mouton School came to the forefront on a glorious Friday afternoon against a relatively unknown Denbigh School side travelling from Milton Keynes. Amidst the early speculation that we were set to face another ‘Academy’ side, Jonesy assembled a solid squad including a mixture of Year 12 & 13’s as well as wonder kid O’Connor drafted in from Year 11.
Moulton got the game and their cup campaign underway with a dominant first period which saw them take an early lead through rampaging winger Reid after an exquisite through ball from Evans-Smith, deployed in an unfamiliar no. 10 positon. Evans-Smith’s persistence and doggedness off the ball was a key factor to the home side’s scintillating start as Moulton added 3 more goals before the half-time whistle courtesy of O’Hare (2) and veteran talisman Gibbins. The other notable performance of the first half was from holding midfielder Richardson, as a series of mistimed challenges saw the midfield general dragged off after 30 minutes. The back four remained solid throughout the first half however, with debutant Scruton rarely being called upon.
The hosts were in a buoyant mood during the half-time interval with Jonesy keen to keep them focused throughout his half-time team talk. Moulton dominated proceedings at the start of the second half as they looked determined to deter any growing beliefs that the visitors may have had of finding a path back into the match. O’Hare secured his hat-trick with a stunning volley from outside the box which left the opposing keeper stranded and made it 5-0 to Moulton. Soon after Jonesy rung the changes with Hillier, O’Connor, Lamin, and Tuck entering the fray to bolster the hosts. However it wasn’t a substitute that crafted the next goal, instead it was full-back White who turned provider following a lung-busting run from inside his own half which resulted in a pinpoint cross to the feet of Gibbins with the forward ultimately turning it into the back of the net. As the visitors tired the gaps began to appear and these were fully exploited by youngster O’Connor filling in at the no. 10 role for the closing stages. His efforts were rewarded with a fine header from an O’Hare free-kick to cap his first appearance with a goal. Richardson re-joined the game in an explosive cameo role up-front and he quickly went from villain to hero with two similarly taken goals in the final 10 minutes to further sweeten the score line and lay down a marker to the other teams in this competition. The game finished with a more than convincing 9-0 victory in front of a record audience for a school game, with Jonesy set to grab the headlines after installing Evans-Smith in a new role, one that won Moulton the game within the first 30 minutes.
Man of the Match: Evans-Smith
Team: Scruton; White, Sullivan, McCoach, Skuce; Richardson, Johnson; Reid, Evans-Smith, O’Hare; Gibbins
Subs: Nash-Knight, Hillier, Tuck, Lamin, O’Connor
Reporter: Luke Gardner
Photography: Ryan Coxhill