Sat 27th Apr 2019
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Sponsored by Carol and Brian Lovell
TAFC First team 1-0 Biggleswade Utd

TAFC goals: Jon Clements

Athletic knew before this final game of the season that they needed to win to guarantee them runners up spot, they deservedly did exactly that. With Athletic sitting second in the table and United in fourth it was always going to be a difficult game. The game was no classic, the conditions were unfriendly with a strong swirling wind.

There was little to choose between the two sides until the 11th minute when Athletic put together a nice move down the left, Jon Clements ball into the box found Kieran Turner, who under pressure, lobbed over the advancing keeper and looked to be dropping into the goal, however, visiting keeper Ollie Leslie recovered to tip the ball over the bar. From the resultant corner the ball was scrambled away for another corner.

Just minutes later United broke quickly, the ball ended up on the right with full back Taz Andrews who put in a terrific ball which went across the face of the goal, and fortunately for Athletic it avoided everyone before it was cleared. Athletic were forced into making their first substitution with James Verney coming on for the injured George Ironton in the 24th minute.

Athletic nearly opened the scoring when Kieran Turners excellent free kick from just outside of the area slammed against the bar. Although United were dangerous on the break Athletic probably just shaded the first half with chances.

Half time: TAFC 0 0 Biggleswade United

Athletic kicking up the slope in the second half started on the front foot, within 2 minutes of the resumption of play they had a free kick just outside of the area, but the shot was easily saved by the keeper.

Minutes later a through ball by Jon Clements found James Verney but again keeper Ollie Leslie was alert and easily gathered the shot. United came straight back, when striker Dave Parkinson collected the ball just inside of Athletics half before running and beating defenders, his dangerous cross went right across the face of the goal and was somehow missed by a United player coming in at the back post, a fortunate escape for the home side.

Following United's first corner of the game in the 57th minute a quick break by Athletics James Verney saw his cross to the far post just elude Jon Clements. United pushed forward culminating in Joe Hankins trying his luck from outside of the penalty area but his shot just cleared the crossbar.

In the 75th minute Athletic then scored the only goal of the game. A long ball was played out towards the left corner flag, skipper Kieran Turner won the chase to the ball before turning back and running towards the area,he then played a short pass to Jon Clements, who with his back to goal cleverly turned two defenders before drawing the keeper and with amazing composure curled a shot that went in off the far post. Score 1-0.

Athletic rightly kept the pressure up, winning a corner from good play down the left and then Jon Clements was cleverly played through by Kieran Turner, one on one with the keeper, but again the keeper anticipated which way the shot went with an excellent save.

With only two minutes left of normal time Athletic conceded a free kick about 30 yards out. The kick was played to the right of the goal but Athletic defended well giving a corner away. The subsequent corner was well defended by Athletic.Athletic didnt sit back in the 5 minutes of added time winning a couple of free kicks following quick breaks, however United, following a free kick, pushed everyone up, including the keeper, Athletic again conceded a corner from the kick but again defended well, the ball ending up with Jon Clements who ran towards the corner flag before winning a corner.

Full time.TAFC 1 0 Biggleswade United

A fantastic result for Athletic who must have felt under extreme pressure to finish runners up with the possibility of promotion.

Athletic fully deserved to finish where they have as they have probably been in the top four for a large part of the season. Well done and congratulations to all the players that have taken part and manager Ian Richardson and his coaching staff for all their hard work during the season.

TAFC. Connor Samson,Joe Fitzgerald(Brima Johnson 82),Jack Sunderland,Carl Mensah,Mark Riddick,George Ironton(James Verney 24),Luke Dunstan,Jon Clements,Kieran Turner(c),Lee Stobbs(Billie Busari 82),Roy Byron.

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