Tue 7th Aug 2018
Sponsored by Ralph Griffiths
TAFC First team 1-1 Leverstock Green
TAFC goals: Ashton Campbell
MOMENT OF MADNESS COSTS US TWO POINTS
As we entered the 95th minute with a one goal lead under our belt we looked destined to pick up a hard earned victory over Levy Green until we decided to shoot ourselves in the foot by giving away a ludicrous penalty. Our opponents gratefully accepted the gift to share the honours.
The visitors will maintain, with some justification, that they deserved a draw but from our point of view it seemed like two points lost rather than one earned. It had been a frenetic encounter with few scoring chances with the keepers forced into making just a couple of serious saves between them.
We were missing Kieran Turner, Tommy Twelves and Dave O'Connor along with Chris Mason who is still injured so Ian Richardson made 4 changes to the starting line up which included bringing in youngsters Ben Johnson and Billie Busari who both played well.
After their surprising opening day defeat at London Colney the visitors were clearly up for a challenge and from the start the game was highly competitive. Green made a better start but the first real moment of danger came from us in the 7th minute when Elliott Goward's superb cross just evaded Ashton Campbell's lunge.
Clear cut chances were at a premium with both defences looking solid and organised with Captain Shane Wood, a former Athletic favourite, rallying his colleagues to great effect for Green with centre backs Carl Mensah and Sam Joliffe ably assisted by Ben Johnson and Connor Church doing the same for us.
Green came the closest to scoring just past the half hour mark when a tremendous strike from Alex Witham struck our post and bounced to safety. But there was little to choose between the two sides and the first half unsurprisingly ended scoreless. HT Score 0-0.
Teenager Billie Busari caused some problems with his dribbling and when he was fouled just outside our opponents area 4 minutes after the restart it presented us with an opportunity for a strike at goal. The free kick was blocked but the ball fell to Elliott Goward who forced a very good save from the Green goalie who did well to tip the ball over from close range. From the resulting corner Billie headed the ball wide of the far post.
Carl Mensah sliced a cross from Witham wide of our goal but as with the first half both defences were looking impregnable. Jonathan Lacey made a quick break down the right but his fine cross was missed by another Athletic old boy Chris Blunden. Later Lacey headed a searching cross wide.
Following a bout of head tennis sub Sam Nair struck a sweet volley which forced a great save from Mark Richardson. It was looking like one goal would win the game and when Luke Dunstan was fouled in the area with about 10 minutes left to play the odds swung in our favour. But Ashton Campbell crashed his penalty against the underside of the bar and a follow up shot was deflected wide.
From the corner there was the mother of all goal mouth scrambles but Ashton made up for his earlier miss by slotting the ball home from close quarters to give us a crucial lead. Score 1-0.
Ashton went close to doubling his tally a few minutes later firing in a shot that the keeper did well to save with his feet. Ashton then collected a superb cross field pass from Chris Vardy but his powerful shot hit the side netting. With two minutes of normal time left we thought we had been awarded another penalty when the Green goalie came out and appeared catch Jack Read. It seem a certain pen and the linesman thought so too as he raised his flag immediately, but the Referee disagreed.
Our guests piled forward and with just seconds left on the clock we gave away a silly penalty when Mark Richardson reacted to being jostled by elbowing his opponent. A red card and a penalty followed which Jonathan Lacey converted past Jack Read who took over in goal. FT Score 1-1.
Despite the disappointing end result we can take some comfort from our opening three games in which our new signings are settling in nicely and the squad is looking strong, with players on the bench who can make a difference.
Next up is another tough local derby this time against Berkhamsted in the FA Cup on Saturday. Our guests won promotion last season and now play in the Southern League and with a number of former Berko players in our ranks it is sure to be another tough and interesting game.
TA:1 Mark Richardson 2 Ben Johnson 3 Connor Church 4 Mark Riddick 5 Carl Mensah 6 Luke Dunstan 7 Alex Campana 8 Sam Joliffe (Capt) 9 Ashton Campbell (14 Roy Byron 87) 10 Billie Busari (12 Chris Vardy 74) 11 Elliot Goward (15 Jack Read 80). Sub not used: 16 Joe Fitzgerald.
LG:1 Arvydas Kacinkevicius 2 Brima Johnson 3 Elliott Dobbs 4 Shane Wood (Capt) 5 Jude Bell 6 Jonny Miller 7 Mark Smith (15 Renaldo Carbon 87) 8 Alex Witham 9 Chris Blunden 10 Jonathan Lacey 11 Tom Silford (14 Sam Nair 73). Subs not used: 12 Luke Nugent 16 Scott Burge 17 Lee Clarke.
TA:Ashton Campbell (81)
LG;Jonathan Lacey Pen (90+7)
COPIED FROM LEVERSTOCK GREEN'S WEBSITE
Tue 7th Aug7:45 pmSSML Premier Division2018/19
1 VS 1
Leverstock Green got off the mark for the new season as Jonathan Lacey netted a penalty deep into stoppage time to rescue a point in a dramatic finish to Tuesday nights game at Tring Athletic. A point was the least that the Green side deserved from an evenly-contested match in which both sides had numerous chances.
The first half was a somewhat scrappy affair, not helped by the Tring pitch being in desperate need of some rain. The home side went close in the 7th minute when Elliott Goward put the ball right across the face of the Green goal, but nobody got on the end of it. In the 14th minute a corner from Jonathan Lacey was met with a glancing header from Mark Smith that didnt quite have enough on it to divert the ball inside the far post. The best effort of the half came in the 33rd minute when Lacey played a through ball to Alex Witham, who hit a ferocious shot but was unlucky to see it come back off the post.
The second half saw both sides raise their game. In the 56th minute Leverstock were almost gifted a goal when Carl Mensah cleared a cross from Witham and only just missed putting it into his own net. The resulting corner found Shane Wood at the far post, but his shot was blocked. Four minutes later a goal kick from Arvydas Kacinkevicius found Lacey down the right wing, running on to deliver a cross which Chris Blunden just failed to connect with. On 68 minutes Lacey headed just wide from a Tom Silford cross.
Sam Nair came off the bench in the 73rd minute, and came close to making the breakthrough within three minutes. A corner was cleared to the edge of the box where Nair met it with the sweetest of hooked volleys, but Tring keeper Marcus Richardson pulled off a brilliant flying save to turn it over the bar.
Tring then had a golden opportunity to take the lead with ten minutes remaining. Luke Dunstan ran with the ball from the halfway line and wasnt challenged until he got into the box, where Shane Wood dived in with a rash tackle that gave the referee the easiest of penalty decisions. Ashton Campbell stepped up to take the kick, but slammed it against the underside of the bar, and the ball bounced down and away to safety.
However, a minute later Tring had a corner, and despite three efforts being cleared off the line in the resulting goalmouth scramble, eventually it was Campbell who made up for his penalty miss by forcing the ball home at the fourth attempt to put Tring into a 1-0 lead.
With a couple of minutes left, it looked as though Tring might have another penalty as Kacinkevicius clashed with a Tring forward in what looked like a 50-50 challenge just inside the box, but after consulting his assistant, the referee awarded a free kick to Leverstock. The game was then held up for five minutes while Shane Wood received treatment after a challenge in the Tring box. It was five minutes into stoppage time when Leverstock won a corner, and as the ball came over, Richardson clearly threw an elbow into the face of Elliott Dobbs. The referee spotted it and blew for a penalty. By the time the referee had dealt with sending the keeper off, and Tring had selected an outfield player to take his place in goal, it was seven minutes into stoppage time when Lacey finally stepped up to confidently net the penalty and level the scores at 1-1.
There were a further three minutes of stoppage time played in which both sides were trying to win the game rather than hang onto their point, but the game finished with a 1-1 scoreline. After defeat in their opening game it was a relief for Leverstock to get their first point and goal on the board, and they now turn their attention to the Emirates FA Cup, where they travel to the ground of Ashford Town (Middx) to face Southall in the Extra Preliminary Round. This game takes place on Sunday at 3pm, due to Ashford having a home game on the Saturday.
Tring Athletic(0)1Campbell 81
Team: 1. Marcus Richardson, 2. Ben Johnson, 3. Connor Church, 4. Mark Riddick, 5. Carl Mensah, 6. Luke Dunstan, 7. Alex Campana (14. Roy Byron 87 mins), 8. Sam Joliffe, 9. Ashton Campbell, 10. Billie Busari (12. Chris Vardy 74 mins), 11. Elliott Goward (15. Jack Read 80 mins). Sub not used: 16. Joe Fitzgerald.
Leverstock Green(0)1Lacey 90+7 pen
Team: 1. Arvydas Kacinkevicius, 2. Brima Johnson, 3. Elliott Dobbs, 4. Shane Wood, 5. Jude Bell, 6. Jonny Miller, 7. Mark Smith (15. Reynaldo Carbon 86 mins), 8. Alex Witham, 9. Chris Blunden, 10. Jonathan Lacey, 11. Tom Silford (14. Sam Nair 73 mins). Subs not used: 12. Luke Nugent, 16. Scott Burge, 17. Lee Clarke,