Tue 24th Jul 2018
Aylesbury FC 0-1 TAFC First team
PROMISING SIGNS AS SEASON DRAWS EVER CLOSER
Our preparations for the new season took another step forward with this impressive performance at Aylesbury FC who play in the Southern League. It would be silly to read too much into any results in pre-season, its more about giving players a run out, but Ian Richardson will take some satisfaction at coming away with a win and clean sheet against a side at the next level above us in the Football Pyramid.
We were again able to assemble a big squad for this Tuesday night game and Ian sensibly gave all 22 players an opportunity to press their claims for the new season. This included giving two teenagers Ehban Nancarrow-Martin and Billie Busari a run out in the second half and they looked very lively with the latter setting up Kieran Turner for the winning goal.
Its been a while since we last played at Haywood Way but like all clubs the Moles have experienced problems with the weather but despite the hard, dry pitch both sets of players produced some decent football.
We started well with Sam Joliffe heading a good opportunity over from a corner and then Luke Dunstan released Chris Vardy down the right and his super cross just evaded Ashton Campbell. Shortly afterwards an alert Alex Campana played a short corner to Chris Vardy whose shot from about 30 yards whistled just wide of the far post. It was a terrific effort by Vards.
We had done well to contain the opposition forwards but midway through the half Carl Tappin skilfully worked his way into some space then struck a good shot that Marcus Richardson did well to get down quickly and save. Marcus then recovered quickly to block the follow up shot from Aaron King.
The home side were lively going forward with centre forward Aaron King, who was a handful, going close with a header from a corner. The home side finished the half strongly but half time arrived with the game still scoreless. HT Score 0-0.
The Moles started the second half on the front foot and Marcus Richardson foiled King with a good save. We made a number of changes, as did our hosts, but despite the disruption the game still flowed nicely.
Luke Dunstan slipped a nice pass to release Kieran Turner who shot across the keeper but unfortunately just wide of the far post. Soon afterwards Luke decided to have a go himself superbly winning the ball in midfield and then firing a 25 yard shot just wide of the post.
The Moles produced a lovely move to set up King but his shot was tipped round post by Marcus. The game was crying out for a goal and one was served up in the 70th minute. Elliott Goward did well to hold up the ball and play Billie Busari away down the right and the youngster did well to pick out Kieran Turner who slipped the ball home at the near post. Score 0-1.
The Moles pressed for an equaliser and they did have some possible openings but were generally let down by their final pass or shot and we were able to hold on for a narrow win. FT score 0-1.
A good run out for both teams and we wish the Moles all the best for the season ahead. Some good performances all round which should present Ian with some selection headaches. He has one more friendly before we open our season when we play another Southern League side this time AFC Dunstable at The Grass Roots Stadium on Saturday.
Team: Marcus Richardson, Joe Fitzgerald (Ben Johnson), Chris Mason (Connor Church) (Steve Nott-Macaire), Carl Menshah (James Butler), Sam Joliffe (Dave O'Connor), Roy Byron (Mark Riddick), Luke Dunstan (Jack Read), Kieran Turner (Tommy Twelves), Alex Campana (Billie Busari), Ashton Campbell (Elliott Goward), Chris Vardy (Ehban Nancarrow-Martin)