SMS Australia held 4-4 after costly late errors

SMS Australia were guilty of complacency as they let a two goal lead slip at the death of what had been a competitive yet comfortable match-up against the 4th placed Old Poms.

With Tim John injured following last week's brusing encounter, and Tim Haywood and Toby Ford absent, the news that confirmed Leo Cartwright had left to join a traveling circus added further insult to injury, as Bobby, Mandeep and Luke ended up being the only first team regulars in a makeshift team including two emergency subs.

SMS started brightly enough, taking a 1-0 lead through Mandeep after some fantastic close control and an accurate finish. The lead was doubled a few minutes later as Bobby slammed a low shot into the corner after the keeper went to ground too early. A solitary goal by the Old Poms gave SMS a 2-1 lead at the break. The second half started in the same way as the first, with SMS appearing to have taken their foot off the pedal and seemingly content to do the bare minimum required to get the win. Despite this, they soon found themselves 4-2 ahead and missed several chances to extend the lead further. A week earlier SMS had performed an excellent comeback to gain an unlikely win, but this week they were on the receiving end as their complacency cost them dearly. With just a minute and a half remaining, Mandeep was uncharacteristically dispossessed and the Old Poms moved within a goal of SMS, whether this provided them with the extra incentive they needed to raise their game or whether SMS were simply unable to close out the game in the last minutes, the result was the same. With just 33 seconds remaining, Mandeep failed to weight his pass to Bobby and the Old Poms grabbed the all important equaliser. It was a wasted opportunity but, on a positive note, SMS maintained their recent unbeaten run of four matches and are now guaranteed of a fourth successive semi-final appearance. Next week should see the first team regulars return for SMS, and they will need to be at their best as they come up against a highly impressive Froths team in a top of the table clash which will hopefully be a dress rehearsal for the Grand Final next month.

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