Tue 18th Jul 2017
TAFC First team 3-0 AFC Dunstable
PRE- SEASON PREPARATIONS START WELL
Our preparations for the new season got off to a good start at the weekend but on Tuesday night we faced a much stiffer test against Southern League side AFC Dunstable, but we rose to the occasion to produce a very encouraging performance from a squad that was a mixture of previous and potentially new players.
Packed with first team players the visitors had the better of the first half and although they enjoyed the bulk of possession and played some neat, accurate football they didn't create too many clear cut chances or overly stretch our defence. That was down to some solid defending from the lads who showed the sort of resilience we demonstrated last season.
AFC did clip the top of the bar, force new keeper James Catlin into a couple of good saves and did score through Jermaine Hall only for the linesman to rule it out for reasons we are not clear about. Our guests were a constant threat especially from set pieces but we reached half time still very much in the game with the score standing at 0-0.
With the lightening producing a dramatic backdrop both sides made the customary changes during the second period and its fair to say that ours had a bigger impact on the game.
Chris Vardy hit the post with a deft header and from a quickly taken free kick Tommy Twelves scored a superb goal with a lovely chip over the keeper only to be denied because the Referee was doing up his laces!
One of our subs was Max Hercules and the 17 year old certainly made his mark by being involved in 3 second half goals. The first came in the 75th minute courtesy of a lovely pass from newcomer Josh Hart to Max who whipped over a fine cross which the keeper fumbled. Another newcomer Louis Smith was on hand to head the ball home from close range.
Just a few minutes later Max shut down the keeper who misplaced his clearance which yet another new boy Dan To took advantage of to neatly curl the ball into the empty net.
The 3rd and final goal came right on time with Max leaving the defender for dead then pulling the ball back to another new player Qwam Thomas to calmly place his shot wide of the keeper. FT Score 3-0.
This was a very encouraging performance against a side who are a step above us in the football hierarchy and who reached the play-offs last season. It looks like we have retained nearly all of last season's squad and there were some good performances from a host of new players on view. So whilst at this stage prospects look promising for the season ahead we need to keep our feet on the ground because it is still very early days yet and things can change quickly in football.
One further note, having picked up 3 prizes from the 100 Club draw after the game it proved to be an enjoyable and worthwhile night for yours truly!
James Catlin, Tommy Twelves, Louis Smith, Zack Crawford, Dan Steadman, Dave O'Connor, Ryan Sturges, James Shaw, Jack Read, Chris Vardy, Luke Dunstan, Max Hercules, Ben Seaton, Jack Seaton, Josh Hart, Dan To, Seb Smith, Qwam Thomas, George Carbery, Sam Joliffe, Mark Riddick.
You tube highlights courtesy of @lutonvids88 on Twitter