The Rovers' recorded a second consecutive league defeat in the hands of league leaders Sporting 50 as they grabbed an equaliser and the winner in the last 5 minutes of the match at King's House.
Looking to bounce back from the loss against Oxted & District last week, the Rovers opened the deadlock with a 4th minute strike from Facundo Barreto to take and early lead. 20 minutes into the half, Sporting 50 was awarded a penalty after a short corner and equalised through the following spot kick. A tense argument broke out between our coach Petar Dragin and the referee, resulting in Dragin being sent off.
Sporting 50 took control of the game afterwards but ended the half level at 1-1, and the Rovers regained the lead on the 70th minute through a poaching effort by Joshua Shonowo to make it 2-1.
The Rovers managed to thwart Sporting's constant waves of attack but with 2 minutes left on the clock, conceded an own goal to make the score level. After some hassle in the penalty box, keeper Ilija Galovic pulled off a brilliant save and as the ball trickled towards the nets, defender Amin tried to clear the ball only to strike it low against Ilija's leg and force the ball into the back of the net.
Trying to grab all three points, the Rover's unleashed some last offensive efforts but Sporting were the more efficient side, defending and countering. Their patience paid off as a corner in the 1st minute of injury time looped over the defence and Sporting's Ollie Brindley tapped in a winner from the far post.
The result makes it two losses in all competitions. The Rovers had several great chances to finish the game off but the lack of finishing prowess and some selfish decisions all but allowed Sporting to take a late win. With two consecutive cup games coming up, we looked to top the table before the cup weekend but the lack of concentration and tactical leadership via Petar's sending-off resulted in a shocking result, albeit deserved for a Sporting 50 side who wanted it more.
Chelsea Rovers face Richmond Park FC this Saturday in the London Junior Cup.
Petar made few changes from the team that started in the loss against Oxted & District last week, with Ilija in goal. Jake, Amin, Jonathan, and Jason take their places in the back four, with captain Jie returning in the centre of the midfield to partner Abraham, while Facundo, Juan, and Giorgio sit behind Joshua in attack. Alvaro, Shairfgan, and George all start from the bench.
Chelsea Rovers (4-3-3) Ilija; Jason, Amin, Jonathan (c), Jake; Jie, Abraham, Facundo, Juan, Giorgio; Joshua
Scorers: Facundo, Joshua