Five-star Scrabble through to last eight
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Five-star Scrabble through to last eight

Doubles from Josh Bharier and Elliot Espinoza seal Scrabble's place in cup quarter-finals.

Andrew Sherwood is the Jewish News Sport and Community Editor

Scrabble
Scrabble

Scrabble booked their place in the Cyril Anekstein Cup quarter-finals for the first time in more than 15 years.

Cyril Anekstein Cup Third Round
Faithfold B 2 Scrabble 5
Sunday, 13 November, 2016

The Scrabble lads dominated the early stages of the game with their slick passing and high tempo pressing game, but Faithfold defended well and caused problems on the break in a competitive yet well mannered game with both sides giving 100 percent.

On seven minutes a Scrabble corner was superbly back headed in by Josh Bharier to give the visitors the lead and the score remained that way till the break

Faithfold threw everything forward in the opening exchanges at the start of the second half and were rewarded with a penalty on 55 minutes which was duly converted.

Scrabble manager Ray Abrahams made two immediate changes from the bench and within minutes it paid dividends as Josh Pugh’s corner hit the crossbar and fell kindly to captain Elliot Espinoza who acrobatically turned the ball in to restore Scrabble’s lead at 2-1.

Espinoza, returning to the side after injury, made it 3-1 on 55 minutes with a brilliant header following superb work by Scrabble youngster Zac Summerfield

With half an hour to go Bharier converted from the spot to score his second after striker Danny Sherman was fouled in the box, to make it 4-1 and effectively put the game out of Faithfold’s reach.

With ten minutes left on the clock, Faithfold had a stroke of luck as the ball rebounded from an overhead wire to send their striker racing away to make it 4-2.

The game was entering the last few minutes when Adam Waters making a brief appearance from the bench raced away down the left to complete the scoring and make it 5-2 to cement Scrabble’s place in the last eight of the competition.

Scrabble manager Ray Abrahams said: “We came here knowing that Faithfold are a decent side and I thought we showed today that we had that bit of extra quality on the ball that comes from a team in a higher Division. We knew that the tie could have been a bit of a ‘banana skin’ game for us but we did a professional job and put away our chances when they came.

“We used all 15 players available to us and rotated things well and having a big squad we had the fresh legs in the last 15 minutes when Faithfold started to tire.

“Again today there were some big performances out there for us and it was good to see Elliot Espinoza and Zak McLeod both back from long term injuries and again our new signing youngster Zac Summerfield was outstanding. Our back three today were solid and I was very pleased with the all round performance.Josh Bharier was again immense for us in midfield and added two more goals to his tally.

“We are delighted to be in the quarter finals of this competition and at this stage of the cup we really don’t mind who we draw tomorrow night as all the teams left now will be of the highest quality.A home draw would be preferable but we don’t fear anyone and will be determined to reach the semi finals whoever we get.”

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