Sat 26th Aug 2017
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Cockfosters 2-2 TAFC First team
TAFC goals: Christopher Vardy, Chris Blunden
CURATES EGG OF A PERFORMANCE FROM US
To leave Cockfosters with a point is not to be sniffed at, after all they are always a tough outfit to beat (we have failed to beat them in our last 6 encounters against them) and they have made a reasonable start to the season with just one defeat in their 5 games.
But it could have been so much better after we produced our best football of the season so far to dominate the first half. We recovered from an early set back to score twice through strikers Chris Vardy and Chris Blunden and really should have had a more commanding advantage going into the break having missed a penalty and some good chances. Our hosts equalised early in the second half and thereafter went on to have the better of the game as our performance dipped and we found ourselves clinging on for a point.
We lined up with a better looking balance to the side with the width provided by Max Hercules, making a welcome return after missing some games, on the right and Luke Dunstan on the left. There was also a first start for John Smith in the centre of midfield and he settled in very well and looks a very good addition to the side. We were still missing some players (eg Jack Seaton, Mark Riddick, Jack Read and George Carbery to name a few) but it still looked a strong side.
Our hosts made the early running with their powerful centre forward Peter Rosmin muscling his way through several challenges to force a good early save from Jack Hopwood. Rosmin, who was a right handful and was surprisingly taken off in the second half, then set up Claudio Tipote for a shot at goal which drew another good save from Hoppy.
We were struggling to get our game going and paid the price in the 8th minute when we were caught out by a long ball down our left that sent Rosmin away. The angle seemed too tight but the Foster's number 9, Peter Rosemin, smashed a superb shot past Jack Hopwood to open the scoring. Score 1-0.
The goal seemed to spur us into action and we went on to play some great football and dominate the rest of the half. We won a series of corners as Cockfosters were forced back onto defence and Chris Blunden was inches away from converting a superb first time cross from Sam Joliffe after he had been picked out on the right by a fine pass from Chris Vardy.
Another good move set up newcomer John Smith with a shooting chance on the edge of the opposition area but his thunderous shot was bravely blocked by a Cockfoster's defender. Chris Vardy will wonder how he didn't score in the 26th minute when he headed a super cross from Tommy Twelves wide from close range.
A goal was on the cards and Chris Vardy finally got off the mark a minute later when he latched onto a lovely defence splitting pass from Chris Blunder to score. Surprisingly it was his first of the season but hopefully it will be the spur to go on a scoring run. Score 1-1.
We had a great chance to doubled our score a few minutes later when the Referee awarded a penalty for handball. The decision may have seemed harsh but in the end it didn't matter as the home keeper Lee Walker made a fine save to deny Chris Blunden.
But Chris Blunden soon made amends for his penalty miss by scoring from close range after being set up by Luke Dunstan to put us ahead in the 43rd minute. After a slow start we came back strongly and should have had more to show for our efforts than a one goal advantage. HT Score 1-2.
All our earlier good play was cancelled out within 4 minutes of the restart after we allowed our opponents to score an equaliser, Piero Bagarone shooting past Jack Hopwood after some nice interplay with his colleague Rosemin. Score 2-2.
It was now anybody's game with Jack Hopwood making a sharp save from Tipote with the home keeper tipping a goal bound shot from Vardy over the bar. As the half wore on the big home players started to pose a greater threat from set pieces and we had to endure some anxious moments
The free flowing football we produced in the first period was now replaced by some pragmatic defending as we dug in to save a point. Defender Bradley Marriott headed a corner over the bar and sub Oscar Egboh shot over following one of a number of dangerous long throws from full back Andrew Kinoshi.
We had one bright moment when Luke Dunstan superbly picked out young sub Zac Crawford unmarked at the far post but his header went well wide. In the end both sides had to settle for a draw which was probably a fair result. FT Score 2-2.
We are still looking for our first league win but its still early days yet and we have yet to field a full squad of players having been hit by suspensions, injuries and player unavailability.
Ian and his team will be frustrated by the contrast in performance between the first and second half that bore more than a passing resemblance to the fictional character with a split personality devised by Robert Louis Stevenson. This may be down to a lack of concentration or fitness but we have the quality in the team to overcome this problem and go on a winning run.
Our next game will be a home fixture on Saturday against Hoddesdon Town who like ourselves have had a mixed start to the season with just one win from 6 games.
C:1 Lee Walker 2 Lee Callum 3 Andrew Kinoshi 4 Panny Boxer 5 John Cush 6 Bradley Marriott 7 Claudio Tipote 8 Iain Salt (Capt) 9 Peter Rosemin (12 Tyson Talawya 68) 10 Piero Bagarone 11 Phillip Agathangelou (15 Oscar Egboh HT). Subs not used: 14 Ciaran Grant 16 Ed Davis 17 Zeka Pireali
TA:1 Jack Hopwood 2 Tommy Twelves 3 John Smith (15 Zac Crawford 80) 4 Luke Dunstan (12 Lewis Smith 88) 5 Dan Steadman (Capt) 6 Dave O'Connor 7 Ryan Sturges 8 Sam Joliffe 9 Chris Vardy 10 Chris Blunden 11 Max Hercules.
C:Peter Rosemin (8), Piero Bagarone (49)
TA:Chris Vardy (27), Chris Blunden (43)
Match Report League taken from Cockfosters F C website
Peter Rosemin (1)
Piero Bagarone (1)
Sat 26 Aug, 2017
Cockfosters began this game brightly and took a well deserved lead on 8 minutes when PETER ROSEMIN created a gap in the penalty area and rifled a rising effort in at the near post. However, having taken the lead Cockfosters took their foot of the gas and allowed Tring to get into the game with visitors Max Hercules (son of Cliff Hercules who made 648 appearances for Aylebsury United & Slough Town) causing full back Anthony Kinoshi no end of problems throughout the first half. The visitors were dominating the game and should have been level when a Hercules cross reached the far post and somehow the Tring attacker directed his header wide when it seemed easier to score. Soon after CHRIS VARDY levelled matters up and then Tring were awarded a penalty for hand ball against Iain Salt, up stepped Chris Blunden who sent his kick towards the bottom corner but Lee Walker dived and made an excellent save. Walker though was powerless to stop CHRIS BLUNDEN giving the visitors the lead when he guided a cross in at the near post.
Whatever Leigh said at half time had the desired effect as within minutes of the restart PIERO BAGARONE scored with a magnificent effort. The game played out to it conclusion and Cockfosters now move on to face Harpenden Town on Tuesday night before the Emirates FA Cup takes centre stage with a trip to Colney Heath next Saturday.