Tue 11th Dec 2018
Herts Charity Shield - 2nd Round
Letchworth Garden City Eagles F C 1-4 TAFC First team

TAFC goals: Jack Read (2), Ashton Campbell (2)
ASH AND READIE DO A DOUBLE ACT

Our first ever visit to and game against Letchworth Garden City Eagles ended with a morale boosting win after a disappointing run of results over the previous 6 games. This win takes us into the semi-final of Herts Charity Shield, a competition we have won 3 times, where we will play either London Colney or Berkhamsted away.

Ashton Campbell and Jack Read did the damage with the dynamic duo getting 2 goals a piece after we had to play for well over an hour following Sam Joliffe's red card. It seemed a bit harsh but Sam did foul the home player as he was about to run through on goal so on the basis that he was the last defender the decision was probably technically correct.

The Eagles play at Pixmore Pitches, which is quite near the Herts FA County ground where we have appeared many times in county cup finals. They play in the Premier Division of the Herts County Senior League but have evidently applied to join our league which shouldn't be a problem as they have good facilities which includes a very modern clubhouse.

The Eagles are having a very impressive season with 12 wins, 1 draw and just 1 defeat from 14 games. They are 3rd in the League just 3 points off leaders Bushey Sports Club but have 2 games in hand so they will go top if they continue they current form. They also have a commendable scoring and defensive record having found the net 48 times in those 14 games whilst conceding just 11 goals.

The Eagles disposed of 2 South Midlands Division 1 sides in the earlier rounds namely Codicote 3-1 away and then they thrashed Broxbourne Boro (who are 5th in the table) 8-0 at home. They have also beat Chipperfield Corinthians twice in the league and once in a cup and of course Chipperfield recently knocked us out of the St Marys Cup.

So a hard game was in prospect bearing in mind their outstanding form and the recent
dip in our results. We put out a reasonably strong side with 6 players from Saturday's starting line up plus we gave a debut to Dave Saunders in goal, who only turned 16 the day before. Our young keeper is a local lad from Pitstone and was previously playing for MK Dons U18s. He played with remarkable confidence for one so young and was literally just seconds away from keeping a clean sheet.

The first quarter of the match was a nightmare for defensive coaches as both sides missed a host of scoring chances. The home centre forward Scott Piggott has been banging the goals in this season with 16 from 12 games but he will have sleepless nights wondering how he missed 2 absolute sitters. But he was not alone as we were just as culpable and in the end I got fed up of writing down all the chances that were spurned by both teams.

Then in the 24th minute Sam got his marching orders and the game changed. We had to reshuffle the side around with Jack Read playing as the lone forward with Ashton Campbell moving out to the left wing where he caused mayhem and gave the right side of the home defence a roasting particularly in the second half. From then on we started to play much better and dominate the game.

After all the missed opportunities it was a relief to open the scoring in the 36th minute when a defensive mistake allowed Jack Read to run through on goal where he coolly slotted the ball home, and we took that slim 1-0 lead into the break. HT Score 0-1.

A second goal 3 minutes after the restart put us in control and what a cracker it was. Kieran Turner's super pass down the left sent Ashton away and from a tight angle he smashed a shot into the far corner of the net. Score 0-2.

Goal number 3 arrived 10 minutes later when Kieran Turner's shot was deflected to Jack Read who clipped the ball past the keeper for his 8th goal for the First Team to add to the 10 he has bagged for the Reserves. There is no doubt Readie knows where the goal is although later he had the chance to claim a hat trick when the keeper spilled a shot from Kieran Turner and he will wonder how he put the ball over from 6 yards. Score 0-3.

We added goal number 4 in the 78th minute and again it was another cracker from Ash. From fully 25 yards out he fired an unstoppable shot past the keeper for his 19th goal of the season. Score 0-4.

Our hosts to their credit kept playing some nice football and enjoyed a lot of possession but we were much tighter at the back now and they were unable to create the sorts of chances they did during the opening 25 minutes. Sub Liam Huckle lobbed a shot just wide and Joe Tyler was just off target with a header from a corner but right on time the latter stuck away a fine finish which gave Dave Saunders no chance. Straight away the Ref blew for time. FT Score 1-4.

Perhaps a bit of a harsh score line on the Eagles who created some great openings and missed some very good chances during the opening stages but once we got ourselves organised after going down to 10 players we looked a better side.

We wish the Eagles all the best for the rest of the season and look forward to them joining us in the South Midlands next season.

Finally there was an interesting moment in the second half when we brought on 2 subs and a League Rep standing nearby said "I see you are bringing on 2 youngsters". One was 19 year old Teddy Paul the other one was Roy Byron who is 33! Roy must have found the elixir for youth!

Teams:

LGCE:1 Luke Mole 2 James Farrar 3 Dami Fajobi 4 Michael Payne (Capt) 5 Sam Nicholls 6 Carl Williams 7 Ray Antcliff (15 Craig Cawcutt 62) 8 Joe Tyler 9 Scott Piggott 10 River Amis-Robinson (12 James Endacott HT) 11 Milo Keane (14 Liam Huckle 62). sub not used: 16 Angus Vasey.

TA:1 Dave Saunders 2 Joe Fitzgerald 3 Connor Church (12 Scott Henerson 53) 4 Tommy Twelves 5 Chris Crook 6 George Ironton (15 Roy Byron 67) 7 Lee Stobbs (14 Teddy Paul 67) 8 Sam Joliffe (Capt) 9 Ashton Campbell 10 Kieran Turner 11 Jack Read.

Scorers:

LGCE:Joe Tyler (90)

TA:Jack Read (36, 58), Ashton Campbell (48, 78)

Crowd:40

(No photos on file)

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