Sat 7th Oct 2017
Suburban Football League Premier Division
TAFC Reserve team 1-1 Corinthian Casuals
TAFC goals: Ryan McMahon (pen)
Tring Athletic hosted league Champions and current leaders Corinthian Casuals, who had lost only 2 of their last 35 games.
In a game of this magnitude we set up with a 4-5-1 formation high up the pitch, with 2 defensive wide men to prevent our opponents getting at our full backs. Casuals had far more possession we had to work really hard to prevent them taking the lead. With only the occasional lapse this we did and custodian ,ex-First teamer Matt Evans, retrieved from Chris Juraszek's little black book had relatively little to do apart from punching out one cross and he organised the back 4 and kicked well.
Jack Sunderland ploughed a lone furrow and forced mistakes, but was too often outnumbered. The back 4 of Paolo Bagatti, man mountain Les Barkers-Obua, fellow returnee Ryan McMahon and Gareth Ball worked well as a unit. In midfield Carl Clay and James Shaw tried their best to win the midfield battle and allow George Carberry to feed wide men Joe Naylor and Liam Irons who helped out their defence and attempted to get at our opponents.
After a scrappy 25 mins, during which we saw little of the ball, we began to believe in ourselves and the contest began to even up but with neither side creating any clear chances. Playing up the slope we were happy to get to,the interval at 0-0.
Unfortunaetly within 5 mins of the restart a midfielder dived in and despite some protest for offside, Casuals took the lead. During the next important 10 mins we struggled to repel Casuals but again with no real chances crested.
The game then began to change and using the slope well we now delivered some decent passes in behind the Casuals defence. After a number of well delivered corners and long throws, we were awarded a penalty from a Ryan McMahon strike from the edge of the area which he converted and now the metaphorical boot was on the other foot. With clever use of the substitutes we regained our energy and after a number of half chances we created and missed a great opportunity on the far post which Paolo Bagatti skewed wide, he was bereft after the final whistle. Changing to a 4-4-2 we now looked like grabbing a winner, but also kept a wary eye on the occasional break by Casuals.
After 4 mins of injury time the Referee brought this contest to an end.
Our danger now is that the squad start to believe that this a job done. We shall see next week when we take our first steps in the County Cup!!
M.Evans, P.Bagatti, R.Mcmahon, L.Barkers-Obua, G.Ball, C.Clay (J.Hart), J.Shaw (B.Twelves) G.Carberry ( C.Church) J.Naylor ( T.Shaw), J.Sunderland, L.Irons (O.Ruttle)