Sat 3rd Oct 2020
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Biggleswade United 2-1 TAFC First team

TAFC goals: Paolo Bagatti
The weekend didnt get off to the best start, especially for manager Chris Jurasek who fell in the canal on Friday night, waterlogging his phone and losing his glasses in the process! With heavy rain all night and into Saturday morning there was some doubt as to whether the match was to go ahead, but driving the ground, the rain eased and we arrived to a playing surface in great condition. The sun even poked its way out from behind the clouds during the warm up.

The match started fairly evenly before Tring got into their stride. On 20 minutes a free kick from the right was glanced wide by Will Salmons stretching header, 10 yards out. A few minutes afterwards Will Foley swung a free kick in from the left but Harrison Cornicks header from 18 yards looped just wide.

Tring continued to press. Callum Shortt combined with Foley down the left, with Will crossing just over Joe Naylors head but a defender could only put the ball back into Naylors path but he couldnt keep his volley down.

On the half hour mark, Will Foley played a great through ball down the left channel for Naylor to run onto, his first attempt was saved by the Biggleswade keeper and Joe then hit the near post on the follow up from a very tight angle.

If you dont take your chances at this level you get punished and so it proved. After 35 minutes United broke down the Tring right as Dave Parkinson escaped Gareth Terblanches pocket for the first time in the afternoon and crossed for Charlie Clayton who took one touch before hitting his shot in off the far post, almost their first effort on target. Athletic were a goal down but continued on the front foot asserting pressure on the United goal although the scorer Clayton shot over the bar as we went into added time.

Will Foley, who had just recovered from an elbow to the nose (causing much of the injury time after some running repairs and a clean shirt) launched a free kick high into the box. Haddow in the United goal came to claim but could only palm the ball onto the head of a surprised Paulo Bagatti who adjusted his stance and nodded into an empty net from 6 yards out.

Just on the break Gareth Terblanche played a ball down the right for Prince to latch onto. His cross was dummied by Joe Naylor and the onrushing Harrison Cornick drove a shot just inches wide as the referee blew for half time.

An early chance in the second half fell to Will Salmon. A deep free kick found Will at the far post but he couldnt get a clean strike on his volley which the home keeper gathered easily.

After an hour, a great sweeping ball from left back Jordan Jarold evaded everybody apart from Dave Parkinson, whose first touch was only matched by his second, as he blasted the ball into the top corner.

On 66 minutes we won the ball in midfield and Prince slid in Joe Naylor but he couldnt keep his shot down. Ten minutes later it was Naylor again but his header from 15 yards was just wide.

With five minutes of normal time left Clayton looked to wrap it up for the home side but Jonny Pitts got down well and got a firm palm on his low drive. Tring broke and Naylor once again had no luck on his side as his goal bound shot clipped a defenders heel and went a foot wide. This proved to be the last real chance of the match as the home side looked to run down the clock and our hopeful balls into the box came to nothing.

After such a strong first half and given the number of chances created, Tring were disappointed not to have picked up at least a point if not all three. Biggleswade were allowed to play more in the second period but we restricted them to few clear chances whilst continuing to create opportunities of our own. A combination of wayward finishing and not getting a shot away when well positioned cost us this afternoon but we would be more concerned if these opportunities were not being created in the first place.

We have two opportunities to put that right this week as we travel to Potton on Tuesday evening and then Edgware on Friday in the FA Vase.

Team: Jonny Pitts, Paolo Bagatti, Gareth Terblanche, Kevin McManus (Stephen Eboine) James Butler (Adam Murphy) Prince Nimoh, Harrison Cornick, Will Foley (Joe Chott) Will Salmon, Callum Shortt Joe Naylor.

Subs not used: Connor Goodliffe, Keith Eldridge
Following report taken by Biggleswade United's website:-

Home | 03 October 2020
Two wonderfully crafted goals were the difference on Saturday as United secured their first home points of the season in a tight contest with Tring Athletic.

Charlie Clayton put the hosts in front against the run of play but Athletic levelled on the stroke of halftime through Paolo Bagatti before the provider of the first goal got on the scoresheet himself as Dave Parkinson netted the winner.

The visitors arrived at Second Meadow with four consecutive defeats to start the league campaign but the last three had been by a narrow margin and that was reflected in a competitive opening 20 minutes.

It was well-contested but largely uneventful until Athletic began to emerge as a creative force midway through the half - Will Salmon glancing wide off a cross from the right.

Joe Naylor had the best chance to steer the away side in front as he saw his initial shot saved by Taylor Haddow and it fell back to the striker, who struck the near post at the second attempt.

Slicing through a lethargic United defence, Athletic boss Chris Juraszek wouldve been acutely aware that his team needed to capitalise on this dominance.

Yet one superbly constructed move saw them trailing in the 35th minute when Jordan Jarrold switched the ball to his centre-back partner Jordan Wright, who strode forward and angled a pass in behind for Parkinson.

Uniteds top scorer pulled it back for Clayton - making his first start this year - to come on to it at the near post and finish off the inside of the woodwork.

The trajectory of the match was unaffected by that goal as Athletic remained the more coherent side and a bad moment for Haddow presented them with the equaliser in stoppage-time.

The talented goalkeeper tried a claim a high ball into the box but could only palm it on to the head of Bagatti, who had the simple task of nodding it into an empty net.

Wright temporarily injured himself in an attempt to clear the goalbound effort leaving United with ten men for the closing seconds and they were almost punished by Naylor, who placed his shot just wide.

There was a slight improvement by the home side at the start of the second period but there was a notable shift in Uniteds work on the ball 12 minutes in when Gareth Hunt and Charlie Black were introduced in place of Maurice Alhassan and Alix Girdlestone.

However, they cant take the credit for the winning goal that came on the hour mark as Jarrold arrowed a cross-field pass to the back post where Parkinson was waiting to control the ball expertly and finish confidently past the goalkeeper.

The hosts were slicker in possession yet couldnt always contain Athletics attacking threat as Prince Nimoh won the ball high up the pitch and slid in Naylor, who skied his shot over the bar.

Naylor had a copious amount of chances on the day and he squandered another one with a header wide of the far post after meeting a cross from the right.

He was inevitably involved in a manic minute of action towards the end when Claytons low drive was saved, while the visitors counter-attack culminated in Naylors shot deflecting just wide.

Some sterling time-wasting work by the right-hand corner flag helped United see the victory out as they banished the memories of the embarrassing defeat midweek.

A draw was probably a fair result but United were dogged in their pursuit of the three points and Cristian Colas will hope for a similar outcome when he takes his team to Arlesey Town on Tuesday night, 7.30pm.
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