Sat 18th Aug 2018
TAFC Reserve team 0-1 Ascot United F C
For our first League game of the season we welcomed new visitors to the Grassroots Stadium in Ascot Utd and despite having a number of the relatively older more experienced regulars unavailable we faced them with a strong and just as importantly a very young squad with 12 of the 16 players used under 20 years of age.
To show the nature of Reserve football not one of the 16 players involved this Saturday featured in our first game last season.
Playing down the slope we started confidently and even allowing for a certain amount of bias quite how we weren't 4 or 5 up before our opponents took the lead with their second attempt at goal was down to a combination of excellent keeping( one double save on 20 minutes was outstanding), some bad luck and in truth poor finishing.
Connor Blake who had a very steady game in midfield,was the victim of bad luck when the keeper dropped the ball having been harried by Euan Anderson only for the drop to hit his shin and roll agonisingly wide of a post. Joe Smith and Tommy Twelves,getting valuable minutes to regain match fitness could or should have done better with shots on goal but it will be a long time I see a better save than the two in quick succession their custodian pulled off.
A foul 35 yards out resulted in our visitors scoring from a resultant flicked header but this seemed a temporary blip in our to date serene progress.
Playing up the slope should in theory made it easier to play the brand of football we're capable of but despite no lack of effort it is difficult to remember many clear chances although a number of longer range shots were relatively close whilst Ascot Utd themselves only created one worthwhile chance.
A disappointing start which perhaps showed the relative lack of fitness in some of the players whereas Ascot Utd who were a physically superior team who looked as if they had been together for a while.
On the upside bearing in mind we lacked both of our forwards and had 9 players making their Club debuts at this level we created lots of chances and certainly competed for the entire 90+ mins.