222: Pro Vercelli’s still alive in the cup

21 December 2030
Vercelli, Italy

Pro Vercelli continue to impress in this seasons TIM Cup. The relegation favorites are through to the 1st Round as well as sitting near the top of the league table. With the business end of the season approaching it will be interesting to see whether the Bianche Cassache can continue to maintain their performances or will they drop away.

~Chatty Jen, Korean FM Sports News

We face Novara in the next round of the TIM cup and then carry on with the Serie B battling Benevento, Bologna and Genoa.

TIM Cup 4th Qualifying Round v Novara

Novara sit in 19th spot in the Serie A and represent a significant challenge for us. That being said, it is possible that there is an upset on the cards.

I opt to send out an unchanged side for this match. I’m looking for “Roto” and “Macho” to come up trumps for us.

The match opens in cagey fashion with both sides feeling each other out. Novara is more threatening at first, before Pro Vercelli come back into the game. With a minute to go before the break, it is Novara who breaks the deadlock on the counter and we go into half-time trailing by the lone goal.

Chances are few and far between although we are having the between of the half. Final a breakthrough arrives courtesy of “Roto” who latches onto a pass from “Macho” to level the scores.

“Micci” pulled of a fantastic save from the kick-off and the game settled into a holding pattern. “Vags” replaced “Curlz” with 10 mins to play. With the match destined to go to extra time, a dreadful mistake by their keeper allowed a wayward cross from “Pizzo” to sneak into the net to give us an unlikely victory in the 91st minute.

Yet another close victory in what is turning into a glorious cup run. I’m looking forward to the next run.

This game was very tight and for once we didn’t dominate all of the stats.

When it comes to rivalries at this club, it doesn’t come much bigger that this. To fully explain I turn to an unlikely source – The Run of Play. Inter are sitting in 16th place in Serie A, and so maybe they could be ripe for the taking? Who knows?

Serie B Match 17/42 v Benevento

The witches are in the house! These guys sit in 11th place, although they are only six points behind us. We have to put the cup run to one side and focus!

Four changes in the side as “Vags”, “Zo”, “Cosmo” and “Tito” come in for “Curlz”, “Macho”, “Degi” and “Borto” who were struggling for fitness.

We start really well however we have been guilty of not looking after the ball. It comes as no surprise when we give the ball away and pay the price. Gelli in so much space at the far post that he couldn’t miss. “Vags” has a great chance but blazes over the bar and we go into the half a goal down.

“Roto” has a chance to level things up however he can’t beat the keeper. “Tomaz” comes on for “Roto” who is struggling and makes an immediate impact. “Vags” thrashes the ball goal-ward and the keeper can only parry the save to the feet of “Tomaz” who makes no mistake. Scores level at 1-1 with 22 minutes to play.

One became two as “Tito” gets onto the score-sheet. “Zo”‘s corner was cleared back out and “Tito” meets the second cross to guide it past the keeper.

“Zo” turns from provider to executioner as he thunders home the the cross from “Sadie”. That’s three goals in eleven minutes to give us control of the match, and we take the lead all the way to the final whistle.

This was a good result for us. For 70 minutes were struggling only to bag three goals in the final 20.

We dominated the game, and in the end we lived up to the dominance in the end.

Serie B Match 18/42 v Bologna

This is a huge battle as we face second placed Bologna. A win here would see us tied for second, a loss would see us six points adrift.

This game brings back my first choice team. This is not the game to experiment, so “Macho”, “Curlz” and “Degi” return.

We start pretty well and go toe to toe with the big boys. Genuine chances come at both ends of the pitch come to nothing in a tense game. Neither side can find the final finish and go into the shed locked at 0-0. The second half starts in the worst possible manner as we fail to keep possession and are made to pay. Chibuike scores from a wide angle.

Time ticks away and with 13 minutes to go we ship a second goal. “Lapo” is not having a good game and is partially at fault for allowing the space to Mengoli who finishes with aplomb.

We don’t fold however and manage a 85th minute goal to keep it interesting. “Fanna” collects a rebound and fires in from very close range to make it 2-1 with five minutes to play.

There was a 4th goal in the game, however it wasn’t from our side. “Sadie” continued his struggles and allowed the cross which was gleefully accepted by Mengoli. This made it 3-1 to Bologna and a defeat for the boys.

In the end we suffered a disappointing defeat. We are down, but not out and I fully expect the boys to bounce back next time out.

Interestingly we had more shots than Bologna, however we hit the target wins significantly less of those shots which tells a story in itself.

Serie B Match 19/42 v Genoa

After the last result it is important to bounce back with a good performance. Genoa are sitting in the middle of the pack and I am confident that we can bounce back.

After the performance last time out I opt to make a few changes. “Sadie” and “Pizzo” both had average games so “Lapo” drops back to left back and “Borto” comes off the bench. “Degi” switches sides, while “Macho” drops back to make room for “Zo”. “Vargs” is close to replacing “Curlz” but instead starts on the bench.

It doesn’t take long to exercise the demons of Bologna. “Roto” is dispossessed in the area and the loose ball falls to “Curlz” who finishes with clinical precision. We are 1-0 up after just five minutes.

“Curlz” turns provider some ten minutes later and his weighted pass finds “Zo” who makes no mistake. 2-0 after just fifteen minutes and we are sitting pretty.

With three minutes to go till half-time, “Curlz” once again is the provider as he plays a fortunate one-two off a defender before finding “Roto” with a sweet pass. Our top scorer needs no second invitation and it’s a deserved 3-0 lead at the break.

“Vags” and “Tomaz” replace “Curlz” and “Zo” as we work our way through the second half. To their credit Genoa play much better and it takes a lovely cross from “Lapo” to pick out a marauding “Roto” for our fourth goal.

Unfortunately we are guilty of switching off and concede right from the kick-off. It is a fair reward for Genoa, but annoying to blow yet another clean sheet.

It’s pleasing to see the boys bounce back following the Bologna match. We can be critical of the late consolation goal but three points is three points.

It was one way traffic in the first half, and a good battle in the second. In the end the better team won the match as the stats show.

Results

I couldn’t have asked for a better series of results. Ok the defeat at Bologna was tough to take, but on the whole we have done pretty well.

Table

Despite our poor form last episode we are still sitting in 3rd place in the table, and are still in wit a chance of promotion!

 

Next Episode

 

Only two matches remain in the year, so I will also bring you my mid-season review.

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MrBadDragon

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