Sat 20th Oct 2018
Abbey Rangers 4-1 TAFC Reserve team
TAFC goals: Ollie Ruttle
C.Garrett. G.Tomlin ( D. Whitehead) M.Stacey, M.Blunsom, W.Mullarkey, T.Paul, C.Blake, L.Cross, S.Henderson, O.Ruttle (M.Steel) A.Holmes (J.Parkins)
On Friday afternoon due to a truly extraordinary number of injuries and absences from both the First team and the Reserves filtering down to affect the Ressies it was very likely we would not be able to fulfil the fixture.
Eventually a squad of 14 was cobbled together but of those an extraordinary 7 were making their debuts so there were plenty of excuses for this result.
Unfortunately this is only partly the truth,exempting Scott Henderson and Connor Blake who were excellent throughout too many of the so called " senior" players failed to perform up to anywhere their usual standard.
Of the debutants 16 year old Alex Holmes showed high promise and 18 year old Lorenzo Cross was steady in midfield.
For 25 mins nothing much had happened . Our opponents had their share of possession but to little or no avail and we created no more than a couple of half chances one of which was blasted over by a lack of composure.
Abbey Rangers then made inroads in our right back position despite our changing to a back 4 to prevent such things happening. Their strike on goal brought a good save from Craig Garrett but while we stood about admiring his efforts they followed in to score.
A number of passes into decent areas came to nothing till Matt Stacey got his head to a corner for Scott Henderson to tap in at the far post only for the linesmans flag to go up for offside.
In the 44 th minute an over hit pass ( one of many) resulted in an equaliser when their keeper dropped the ball and Ollie Ruttle passed it into an empty net.
Based on the first half even with a so called weakened squad there seemed little to be over concerned about.
Within 2 mins that was put to bed when they somehow outnumbered us 2 to 1 on the far post and the lead retaken with a good strike.
Two other reasonable chances which should have been converted were missed and a 3 rd inept piece of defending killed the game off.
Introducing 2 more 16 yr old subs in Dylan Whitehead and Max Green gave them valuable experience but we were unable to change the flow of the game and the game quietly subsided with their 4 th.
To hide behind the expression that "we played with the cards we were dealt with" is not really acceptable and not altogether true.
We have left ourselves an absolute mountain to climb but on our day we are capable of beating any team but cannot afford to have 4 regular starters missing.
Appreciate the effort of all concerned in getting a team together and the lads who as ever showed no lack of commitment.
We start again next week home to Harefield.