Tue 30th Apr 2019
TAFC Reserve team 6-1 Fleet Spurs
TAFC goals: Billie Busari (2, 1 pen), Ollie Ruttle, Prince Nimoh, Clem Asante, Alex Holmes
After having travelled 1300 miles,lost 4 of our first 8 games the Ressies have been on a tremendous run of 11 straight wins to get to the situation where a win tonight would make them Division winners.
The game having been postponed on Sat April 13th was ordered to be replayed midweek which meant a long trek for our opponents and as a consequence the kick off was delayed till 8.10. At one stage it looked as if half our young squad would have to leave to get home as it was past their bedtime!!!
Playing down the slope we made the best possible start when from the kick off the ball was played to Will Salmon who fed the ball to Les Barkers-Obua. He in turn slipped a pass down the line to Clem Asante who turned his full back inside out and from his cross Ollie Ruttle followed up the partial clearance to smash the ball home within 30 seconds of kick off.
Understandably we now dominated the next 15 mins and only a combination of poor finishing and some outstanding saves from their keeper prevented us from going 3/4 goals clear.
Fleet Spurs slowly worked their way back in the game through their own efforts but also our midfield were a little too far away from their opponents and for the rest of the half had their fair share of possession but in truth although they worked some decent positions the resultant crosses were confidently dealt with by our back 3 and especially David Saunders in goal.
1-0 up with Fleet Spurs playing down the slope in the second period when we should have been out of sight was not the ideal scenario but the confidence bred from the unbeaten League run going back to Oct. meant that only a gentle reminder of what shape and individuals jobs was needed at the break.
For 10 mins we generally forced Fleet Spurs onto the back foot and dealt with any threat they had which generally came from the accurate long distance kicking of their custodian, before we forced yet another corner. From this the ball bounced around the 6yd box form various attempts before Prince Nimoh prodded home.
We then began to play with more and more freedom, sub Will Foley who was very unfortunate not to start, dropped into the No 10 role and began spraying the ball about encouraging players forward, Billie Busari who had been moved forward alongside Clem Asante was the main beneficiary as he consistently caused problems in their back 4. Our two wide men Joe Naylor, who although he failed to add to his tally helped create 2 goals, and Prince Nimoh were able to attack at will with Connor Blake and Will Salmon playing a holding role allowing them to do so.
Chris Clark, Matt Stacey and Les Barkers-Obua defended when required and Dave Saunders made one excellent save when needed.
We soon extended our lead with a double from Billie Busari the second from the penalty spot which Joe Naylor oddly turned down the opportunity.
Subs Frankie Hercules, Harry Gutsell, Gareth Terblanche and Alex Holmes showed the depth in quality at this level and although scored a deserved goal to make it 4-1 goals from Alex Holmes and Clem Asante saw us through to, a deserved win in front of a good size crowd who turned out to support.
For the longer term we had 6 of our U 18 squad on the pitch at the final whistle and 4 more that were not available through work,injury and choice of squad. My thanks to Cliff for producing players that stepped easily in as required.
Fleet Spurs continued to play right to the final whistle and the game was played in good spirit and despite the long journey facing them they stayed for the Trophy presentation on the pitch. Football how it should be!!!
W.Salmon,C.Blake (H.Gutsell) B. Busari (A.Holmes)
P.Nimoh (F.Hercules), O.Ruttle ( W.Foley) J.Naylor(G.Terblanche) C Asante