Sat 15th Dec 2018
Harpenden Town 2-5 TAFC First team
TAFC goals: Jack Read (3), Ashton Campbell, Kieran Turner
BACK TO WINNING WAYS THANKS TO READIE TREBLE
In appalling conditions of driving rain and strong winds Athletic, who were playing their first league game since the 27th November 2018, got back into winning ways with the help of a 37 minute hat-rick from substitute Jack Read.
Athletic pushed forward from the off and had two really good opportunities to score in the first 7 minutes, but it was the home side who took their first chance just 5 minutes later. A long ball out of defence found Jake Davis out on the left and he cut inside and shot across keeper Patrick Sinfield to score off the far post. Score 1-0.
Athletic didnt take long to find the equaliser. Following a quick break they won a corner. The ball was played into the area and bounced around before a shot came in from Ashton Campbell which fortunately for Athletic ended up in the net off a defender. Score 1-1.
Athletic continued to set up chances and it was no surprise when they scored again. Ashton Campbell robbed a defender just inside the home sides half before playing in the marauding Kieran Turner who ran towards goal and finished clinically. Score 1-2.
Athletic were then forced into making a substitution in the 38th minute with Mark Riddick going off and Jack Read coming on. Within a minute of appearing and with virtually his first touch Jack scored Athletics third. Again Ashton was instrumental in the goal, playing a through ball to George Ironton on the left who ran to the byline before crossing and finding Jack Read who shot into an open goal. Score 1-3.
It was a credit to both sides that they tried to play football in the conditions and they both had opportunities to add to the score before half time.
Half time: Harpenden Town 1 3 TAFC
The second half began with Harpenden on the offensive and Athletics keeper Patrick Sinfield saved well in the 50th minute. Athletic defended stoutly during this period and began to assert themselves again. Conditions inevitably began to to play a part as players were finding it difficult to control the ball which led to chances for both teams.
George Ironton was unlucky in the 59th minute after being played through by Ashton, his shot going agonisingly just past the post. Following another corner Athletic scored their fourth goal. A low cross came in finding Jack Read who had ghosted in to score unopposed. Score 1-4.
Harpenden then had a couple of chances one of which fell to Jake Davis who curved a shot high and wide of the goal. In the 76th minute Athletic scored again. A shot from outside of the area by George Ironton was well saved but went for a corner. The home side did not learn from the last Athletic corner/goal as again Jack Read stealthily moved in to this time head into an open goal to claim his hat-trick and make it 5 goals scored in the last 2 games. Score 1-5.
Harpenden came back and again keeper Patrick Sinfield rescued Athletic by putting a close range header over the bar. With both sides clearly tiring in the heavy conditions it was a case of just playing long balls. From one of these Harpenden scored with Kyle McLeish latching onto the long ball and slotting past the oncoming Patrick Sinfield with 7 minutes to go. Score 2-5.
Play was still end to end until finally the referee blew for time much to everyones relief. FT Score 2-5.
A pleasing win for Athletic keeping them in second place in the league. They now look forward to next Saturday where they are away at local rivals Leverstock Green. Well done to all the players and the officials in such difficult conditions.
HT:1 Carl Tasker 2 Jake Collins (Bartosz Koprowski) 3 George Robinson 4 Jack Baker (Will McClelland (66) 5 Matt Sutton 6 Dwayne Duncan 7 Steve ORielly (Capt) 8 Kyle McLeish 9 Max Ashton (Jay Champkins-Frein) 10 Jake Davis 11 Archie McClelland.
TA:1 Patrick Sinfield 2 Joe Fitzgerald 3 Jack Sunderland 4 Carl Mensah 5 Dave OConnor (Ben Johnson 65) 6 Roy Byron 7 Mark Riddick (Jack Read 38) 8 George Ironton 9 Ashton Campbell 10 Kieran Turner (Capt) 11 Lee Stobbs (Billie Busari 73).
HT:Jake Davis (12), Kyle McLeish (83)
TA:Ashton Campbell (17), Kieran Turner (37), Jack Read (39,63,76)