Tue 30th Oct 2018
League Challenge Trophy - 2nd Round
Rayners Lane F C 0-2 TAFC First team
TAFC goals: Billie Busari, Jack Read
WE OVERCOME HURDLE TO PROGRESS TO THE NEXT ROUND OF CUP
With an important FA Vase trip to Wellingborough Town looming in 4 days time its fair to say that we could have done without a tricky midweek cup tie away from home. In the end it worked out well as first half goals from young Billie Busari and Jack Read was enough to see us through to the 3rd Round where we have a home tie against Leighton Town who beat Hillingdon Borough 4-1 on the same night.
We took the opportunity to shake things up a little bit with 10 changes from the line up that started on Saturday at London Tigers! The one exception was Connor Sansom who kept his place in goal. We also gave First Team debuts to Chris Crook, who was recently signed from Aylesbury United, 18 year old Gianluca Dimeo, Connor Blake, Will Mullarkey and Scott Henderson, who had made one previous appearance as a sub.
Despite the changes the team still look strong with the inclusion of 4 first teamers returning from injury, namely Sam Joliffe, Mark Riddick, Elliott Goward and Connor Church, who has been out for a long time with a nasty injury and remained on the bench. Unfortunately Sam Joliffe strained his back and my not be fit for Saturday.
The game was played on a 3G pitch which suited us and there is major building work going with an huge clubhouse going up. The stadium will be very impressive when the work is completed which should be around late Spring next year. The welcome and hospitality was first rate as was the delicious post game curry.
We played really well particularly in the first half with Billie Busari giving the left back a torrid time with his pace and dribbling skills. The 17 year old nearly scored after just 7 minutes when he latched onto a terrific pass from Tommy Twelves but sent his shot just wide of the far post. Six minutes later he again showed his marker a clean pair of heels picking up a pass from Sam Joliffe and this time he didn't miss beating the keeper at his near post. Score 0-1.
The home side were playing some nice football with their main threat coming from their right winger Elliott Harris who had his first attempt at goal in the 9th minute with a shot that went well over the bar.
But it was Billie Busari who was the main danger man getting away a minute after scoring but being denied by the legs of Joe Ringer, the first of a number of good saves made by the Lane keeper. In the 17th minute Billie was brought down in the area and a penalty was awarded. Jack Read's effort was superbly saved by Ringer to extend our abysmal record with spots kicks this season, with just 1 success from 5 or 6 penalties.
Midway through the first half Tommy Twelves was unlucky to see his left foot shot smack against the bar and Ringer did well to come out and chest the ball away to safety as Billie Busari again bored down on goal. We extended our lead in the 27th minute with inevitably Billie being the provider. Mark Riddick found him on the right wing and his first time cross picked out Jack Read who did well to control the ball and place it past the keeper. Score 0-2.
Two minutes after the second goal Billie was again carving open the home defence with his cross causing problems with Jack Read's shot being blocked. Our makeshift defence worked well as a team with Chris Crook settling in nicely alongside Sam Joliffe in the middle well supported by full backs Scott Henderson and Gianluca Dimeo, who did well marking the speedy Elliot Harris.
Connor Sansom had to be alert to whip the ball off the toes of Harris after he managed to get to our bye line and later the winger whipped in a great cross but none of his colleagues were on the same wave length. Conor Bevan produced a terrific run and shot but Connor Sansom was ideally placed to catch the ball.
Billie Busari turned provider to send Jack Sunderland through on goal but again Ringer came to his side's rescue with yet another fine save. From the resulting corner Jack Sunderland headed wide when well placed at the far post.
With time nearly up for the end of the first half the home side won a free kick in a dangerous position but the kick was deflected away for a corner. There was just enough time for the corner to be taken with central defender Jordan Payne heading a great opportunity wide.
A super half for us and the only disappointment was that we didn't put more daylight between us and our opponents. HT Score 0-2.
Our hosts made some changes to personnel and played with more intensity in the second half and looked a much better team. There was an early 35 yard shot from Jack Read which forced another good save from the keeper but the home side were doing most of the attacking.
We were relying on quick breaks with Elliott Goward shooting just wide then squaring the ball to an unmarked Jack Read who was just unable to reach it. Again Harris was the main source of danger firing another good cross in without any success then surprisingly he was substituted.
Despite mainly concentrating on defensive duties we were still creating good chances with Jack Read sending Jack Sunderland through but again we spurned the opportunity to make the game safe when Jack shot just wide of the post.
The home side knew a goal would change the game and Conor Bevan had an opportunity in the 72nd minute when he was picked out by a cross in our area, but he shot wildly off target. A minute later it was sub Dan Carter who had an opening but his header also went well wide of the goal. Despite dominating possession the home side hadn't really tested Connor Sansom.
Billie Busari had been quieter in the second half but he did produce a great run and cross which set up Elliott Goward but again Ringer was equal to the task making a point blank save. Ringer then denied Jack Read after he broke through the home defence.
Jordan Payne was pushed up front to add height to the home attacks and he did get his head to a cross but Connor was able to make a comfortable save. New comer Gianluca Dimeo struck a lovely shot from distance that wasn't too far off target.
Time was running out for our opponents and with just a minute left on the clock Payne had one last shooting opportunity but his effort was well off target and the referee blew for time. FT Score 0-2.
This was an excellent win and performance. Our hosts kept going and played well particularly in the second half. They had some chances but we defended well and it was great to keep another clean sheet. We wish them all the best for the rest of the season.
We can now concentrate on our visit to Wellingborough Town on Saturday for an FA Vase tie. Last season we had a terrific run in this prestigious national competition and were just a few games away from a Wembley final. Lest hope we can do better this time.
Finally it appears that Colin Phillips used to strut his stuff some years ago for Rayners Lane. A long standing supporter remembered Colin from those sepia tinged days when he was just a lad. When asked how he recognised Colin after all these years he said it was easy because he had the same hair style!!
RL:1 Joe Ringer 2 Malachi Maxwell 3 Tom Pegrum 4 Johny Wilson 5 Andy Ingham 6 Jordan Payne 7 Elliot Harris (14 Dan Carter 67) 8 Conor Bevan (12 Alex Delasalle 74) 9 Davanty Hastings (15 Hassan Al Murtada HT) 10 Jimmy Talbot 11 Connor Maher. Sub not used: 16 Mitchell Tate
TA:1 Connor Sansom 2 Scott Henderson 3 Gianluca Dimeo 4 Mark Riddick (16 Will Mullarkey 77) 5 Chris Crook 6 Tommy Twelves 7 Billie Busari 8 Sam Joliffe (Capt) (14 Connor Blake HT) 9 Jack Read 10 Jack Sunderland (12 Joe Naylor 67) 11 Elliott Goward. Sub not used: 15 Connor Church.
TA:Billie Busari (13), Jack Read (27)