Sat 27th Oct 2018
London Tigers 0-4 TAFC First team

TAFC goals: Kieran Turner (3), Kyle Johnson

After our brilliant winning run of 10 games came to an end on Tuesday night, following our narrow 1-0 defeat to Hadley, we faced a potentially difficult away trip to unpredictable London Tigers on Saturday. Any fears we would suffer a hangover as a result of our first league defeat of the season was dispelled by an authoritative performance and a 4 goal blitz.

Its always a bit of a lottery playing Tigers especially away as they can be brilliant at times and always have skilful players. They did take a point off us following their 3-3 draw in Tring back in August and they beat Leverstock Green 3-1 at Pancake Lane last Saturday with 10 of that team on the sheet to play against us including the 3 goal scorers.

So some supporters may have had some concerns but they were allayed in a 5 minute spell either side of half time when we banged in 3 goals with the 4th coming late in the game. Kieran Turner showed his predatory instincts by scoring a hat-trick with the crucial opening goal coming from Kyle Johnson making his debut following his move from Aylesbury FC.

We were helped by the return of two key players, defender Dave O'Connor and midfielder and Captain Luke Dunstan and with a few more players returning from injury we will hopefully have almost a full squad for the important FA Vase game at Wellingborough Town on Saturday.

The game was played at Northwood FC, who play in the Southern League, and with a big pitch and decent playing surface we were able to play the ball around nicely. Dave O'Connor struck a nice left foot shot from distance but the keeper had it well covered and Alex Campana produced another one of his high quality crosses which went unclaimed.

The home side didn't seem overly adventurous and appeared to be content to keep things tight at the back and try and hit us on the break. They won a few free kicks but they came to nothing and Connor Sansom could have relaxed with a nice cup of tea. Tigers leading scorer Paulo Alves, who scored 2 at Pendley and was well contained by the ever improving Ben Johnson, did try his luck with his side's first shot on target in the 26th minute but Connor took it effortlessly.

Following a good move Kieran Turner flashed a shot just wide and as half time approached Tigers started to get a bit more animated and nearly benefitted from a couple of our errors. The first fell to Alves but he was denied by a brilliant tackle from Dave O'Connor and from the second Nathaniel Mensah dragged his shot horribly wide.

So despite controlling most of the first half we hadn't created too much but we put that right 3 minutes into added time when a superb cross from Alex Campana was deftly headed in by new boy Kyle Johnson. It was a great time to score just before the break and a great way for Kyle to start his career with us and hopefully it will be the first of many more goals. HT Score 0-1.

An explosive start to the second half saw us score 2 goals within 4 minutes to take an unassailable three goal lead. Two minutes into the half Ashton Campbell was involved in a move that led to a header from Kieran Turner being apparently cleared off the line but the Assistant Referee flagged that the ball had crossed the line and the goal was given. Score 0-2.

Two minutes later Ashton Campbell and Kieran Turner were involved again following a corner, that had been tenaciously won by Luke Dunstan, with a header from Ash headed clear to Kieran who athletically volleyed the ball home. Score 0-3.

Tigers made three substitutions bringing on some talented attacking players and threw caution to the wind. They were transformed and for 30 minutes they played some terrific football forcing us into some serious defensive duties for the first time in the match.

Paulo Alves, Mohammed Al-Ansare and William Able all had a pop at goal which Connor Sansom dealt with safely but later Connor had to produce a flying save to beat away a terrific shot from Able. Tigers were building up a head of steam and they went might close to pulling a goal back in the 75th minute, with Connor doing brilliantly to keep the ball out then Joe Fitzgerald did an equally fine job to clear the follow up shot off the line.

After that lucky escape we started to take control again and young Billie Busari went close with a fine run and shot that just went wide of the far post. With 6 minutes left on the clock Kieran Turner and Jack Read combined cleverly to put the final nail into Tigers coffin with a well worked goal.

Kieran picked out Jack who returned the favour with a perfectly weighted through pass to send him through on goal. Kieran rarely spurns such opportunities, especially when its for a hat-trick. and he didn't disappoint slotting the ball easily past the keeper. That took his tally to 12 goals from 17 games this season with an overall club record of 60 goals from 131 games. A very impressive record for a midfield player. FT Score 0-4.

This was a potential banana skin so this was a very impressive performance from the lads and just what the doctor ordered after our recent defeat robbed us of going to the top of the table. We still remain in second place hot on the heels of Biggleswade FC who are just 2 points ahead having played the same number of games.

We have a tricky visit to Rayners Lane on Tuesday night for a League Challenge Trophy game. Our opponents are 15th in Division 1 but we will want to avoid any injuries or mishaps that would in any way upset our plans for the trip to Wellingborough Town on Saturday.


LT;1 Jefferson Trazzi 2 Mohammed Al-Ansare 3 Gabriel Dos Santos 4 Adam Smith 5 Kladis Ramas 6 Hernany Mercado 7 Abhushan Pant 8 Cristiano Neto (Capt) 9 Nathaniel Mensah 10 Dayaan Salifou 11 Paulo Alves. Subs used: 14 Ibrahim Diawara (HT) 15 Ibrahim Lukalay (HT) 12 William Able (59) Subs not used: 16 Edon Mejzini 17 Joseph Moore

TA:1 Connor Sansom 2 Ben Johnson (12 Joe Fitzgerald 72) 3 Chris Mason 4 Roy Byron 5 Dave O'Connor 6 Carl Mensah 7 Alex Campana 8 Kieran Turner 9 Ashton Campbell (15 Jack Read 72) 10 Kyle Johnson (14 Billie Busari 68) 11 Luke Dunstan (Capt). Subs not used: 16 Sam Joliffe.



TA:Kieran Turner (47, 49, 84), Kyle Johnson (45+3)


(No photos on file)

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