Wed 18th Jul 2018
Sarratt 0-2 TAFC First team
It seems unreal that we are enjoying the hottest summer since 1976, Wimbledon has only just finished and cricket is in full swing and yet we are deep into our preparations for the start of the new football season.
Our first competitive game is less than 2 weeks away (Hatfield Town at home in the Herts Charity Shield on 31st July) so Ian Richardson and his team have been toiling away to make sure we are ready for the big kick off.
Friendlies should always be treated with caution but never-the-less it is always interesting to see the remainers (no nothing to do with the EEC!) and the newcomers. On both counts the early prospects look very promising with most of last season's regulars returning (including Chris Mason who feels like a new signing after being out injured for so long) but excludes Ryan Sturges who has unfortunately had to retire on medical grounds and Max Hercules who has signed for Aylesbury United.
The new players on show at Sarratt included Alex Campana, a really skilful forward who was a key player in Berkhamsted promotion last season, Carl Menshah, a member of Welwyn Garden City's title winning side, Roy Byron, formerly of AFC Dunstable and Colney Heath and Kieran Turner making a very welcome return after a spell at Kings Langley.
In addition there were some promising youngsters on display in Scott Henderson, son of a former Athletic player, and lively forward Ehban Nancarrow-Martin. There are evidently some other players lined up including Ashton Campbell who scored 24 goals for Berkhamsted last year so there is a lot of optimism at the club at the moment.
As for the game, we had a big squad of players which enabled us to play a different side in each half with the exception of keeper Marcus Richardson, who was the only one to play the whole 90 minutes. Both goals came in the second half with Jack Read heading home a peach of a cross from Scott Henderson and Alex Campana grabbing the second. We could have added to that tally but a bit of rustiness and some superb saves from the keeper kept the score down.
To be fair Sarratt had some chances as well and they played some nice football at times on a pitch that reflected the drought conditions we are experiencing at the moment. They have moved across from the Herts Senior League to Division 2 of the Spartan South Midlands League and we wish them all the best for the season.
We have 3 more friendlies coming up against Southern League opposition namely Aylesbury United, Aylesbury FC and AFC Dunstable. The first of these friendlies will be on Saturday at the Grass Roots Stadium where Aylesbury United, with a fair sprinkling of former Athletic players in their ranks, will be the visitors.
First Half: Marcus Richardson, James Butler, Chris Mason, Carl Menshah, Sam Joliffe, Luke Dunstan, Mark Riddick, Roy Byron, Elliott Goward, Chris Vardy, Joe Fitzgerald.
Second half: Marcus Richardson, Connor Church, Scott Henderson, Steve Nott-Macaire, Tommy Twelves, Kieran Turner, Ben Johnson, Dan Steadman, Alex Campana, Jack Read, Ehban Nancarrow-Martin, George Carbery.