MATCH REPORT: Sporting Pudsey 9:2 Republica

Republica suffered another heavy cup defeat at the hands of higher division opponents when they took on Sporting Pudsey in Woodlesford this Sunday. Andy Kitching scored his first goal for the club and Stephen Graham’s cross resulted in an own goal but the Reds were comfortably beaten 9-2.

Playing on West Riding FA’s immaculate 4G pitch, the stage was set for some good football but the Reds fell behind almost before touching the ball as Pudsey came forward and cut through the midfield before forcing Dave Hansen into a good low save. Unfortunately for the stand-in keeper, the rebound fell to a forward who slotted home with less than a minute played. There was then some end-to-end football for the next few minutes with Republica scrambling away a couple of crosses and Mourad Shoushan almost getting in behind for the visitors. Notably, a good passing move saw Seamus Lundy find space outside the Pudsey box and his shot arced over the keeper and came crashing back off the crossbar. Unfortunately, that sparked Pudsey into life and they scored again with a cross from the right that was converted by a striker sliding in at the back post. A third followed soon after as the home striker surged through the middle before firing low past Hansen.

Republica had had several decent opportunities and enjoyed more of the play than the scoreline suggested, so it was deserved when they pulled a goal back. Some more good play released Stephen Graham on the left and his teasing cross forced the retreating centre back into a panicked header which flew past the keeper to make the score 3-1. Wadah Alhasan was steaming in to meet the cross, leaving the defender with little choice but to attempt to clear. Mourad Shoushan then saw an effort kept out by a fine save from the home goalkeeper and Republica went further behind right on half time as they were carved open down the Pudsey left and the striker fired onto the crossbar from close range. A Pudsey head was again first to the rebound to convert and restore the three-goal advantage as the sides went in for the break.

The second half started in similar fashion to the first with Pudsey adding two more goals after playing the ball well through the middle. The half quickly became one-way traffic as, despite some good saves from Hansen, Pudsey added a seventh and then an eighth with little reply from the Reds. Republica at least had something to cheer when Abdelwahab Osama moved forward and picked out Andy Kitching running in behind with a good through ball. The striker steadied himself and fired a powerful finish low across the keeper and in off the far post to score his first Republica goal. Sporting Pudsey still had the final word on the match and made it nine in the closing stages.

It was a second chastening defeat in a row for Republica who couldn’t cope with the quality and physicality of a side two divisions above. Nevertheless, the Reds played some good football when in possession and should arguably have scored more than two goals given the chances created in the first half. Abdelwahab Osama was named man-of-the-match for the first time in a Republica shirt after showing some neat touches in midfield and setting up Kitching for the second goal.