Sat 9th Mar 2019
TAFC Reserve team 1-3 Met police
TAFC goals: Clem Asante
Suburban League Shield final.
Tring Athletic Res. 1-Met Police Res.3
We hosted last seasons Suburban League Champions and this seasons League leaders, Met Police in the 1/4 Final of the Suburban League Shield and we were dealt two blows when 2 of our midfielders Connor Blake and Will Foley pulled out on the morning of the game.
Despite this we started very brightly playing down the slope on a windy day and within 7 mins Clem Asante failed to lob the keeper when clean through. In midfield Chris Clark and Will Salmon were dominant and Billi Busari kept us playing forwards. Joe Naylor playing his 200th game at the age of 20 failed to add to his seasons total. Ollie Ruttle had to come off AGAIN with a groin strain after 10 mins allowing 17 yr old Alex Holmes to put in a promising performance. Up front Prince Nimoh, Clem Asante and Joe Naylor kept the opposition defence busy.
Our back 3 of Matt Stacey, Joel Nketiah and Gareth Terblanche dealt relatively easily with opponents who although they occasionally showed they were technically better could not really get to grips with a determined Tring outfit and David Saunders in goal was relatively untroubled.
Within 20 mins our domination forced our opponents to change from a back 3 to a back 4 to try to get back in the game.
The game was played at a decent pace and of the two teams, we certainly looked more likely to take the lead till after 25 mins yet another long ball from their custodian was allowed to bounce and the Referee chose to give a penalty from the following play. David Saunders was unfortunate not to save the spot kick.
We recovered from this metaphorical kick in the teeth to once again reassert ourselves and Clem Asante was unfortunate with a near post effort. Then in the 43 rd minute centre half Joel Nketiah held off their centre forward which resulted in some pushing and shoving. There's no point in going into details as we may never know, but the Referee chose to give their miscreant a yellow but send off our central defender who had been outstanding up till then.
1-0 down and a player short, playing up the slope against the top team in the League seemed a prospect to be feared but as ever this squad rolled their sleeves up and set about getting back in the game.
Playing up the slope we stayed with a back 3, 4 in midfield and 1 up front asking at least one midfielder to join in. This worked and once again and we forced Met Police onto the back foot and although we failed to trouble the keeper we held our own .
Unfortunately 15 mins into the half a poor, unnecessary tackle allowed a dangerous free kick to be floated across our 6 yd line and touched in at the far post.
Once again we made a determined effort to get back in the game and introduced fresh legs in the shape of Les Barkers Obus, Linus Kusi and Frankie Hercules. Within minutes Clement Asante swept in a goal and we started to play with renewed belief. Linus Kusi beat his full back and pulled the ball back but unfortunately the opportunity was missed.
On the break Met Police swept to the other end and regained a 2 goal lead with a scruffy finish, David Saunders then made a great save from a free kick and a post was hit after understandable chances were being taken.
The Met Police custodian then made a superb save from a Joe Naylor strike and Frankie Hercules hit fresh air after having made the opportunity with neat inter play.
Despite our best efforts we exited the competition and wish Met Police whose Management were very complimentary with our performance the best of luck !
We now have 7 games left to make a tilt at the Divisional title starting with a home game on Sat.16/03.
D.Saunders. M.Stacey ( F.Hercules),J.Nketia,G.Terblanche.
W.Salmon, C.Clark. B.Busari.
P.Nimoh (L.Barkers -Obua) C.Asante, O.Ruttle (A.Holmes,L.Kusi) J.Naylor