Tue 13th Oct 2020
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Leighton Town 3-1 TAFC First team
TAFC goals: Oliver Butler
The search for a Club Anthem has ended. In 1965 The Four Tops released a song called "Its the same old song" . Once again we gained many more plaudits than points.
There were other unique incidents which I'll come to in due course.
Against high flying potential League favourites we set up to be defensively stronger and moved Ollie Butler into the problematic centre forward role asking him to hold the ball up and getting Will Foley up in support or set wide men Frankie Hercules and Joe Chott free.
Generally it worked quite well and although Leighton had more of the ball we dealt relatively easily with their play,blocking off passes into their dangerous forwards and dealing well with any longer balls they played by the back 4 of returned David Saunders, Paolo Bagatti, Kev McManus, Scott Bonner and Jack Sunderland who played a well organised back line.
In front of the Will Salmon and Harrison Cornick worked diligently to support the back 4 and Will Foley in the advanced midfield role.
In fact the clearest chance came when Will Foley and Frankie Hercules set Ollie Butler free . He unfortunately skewed his shot from 8 yds wide.
Some 5 mins later an excellent touch by Frankie Hercules was followed by a shot which was blocked only for Ollie Butler to finish on 40 mins.
Could we get through to half time? It appeared so but on 45 mins there was not enough pressure on the ball to stop a cross which resulted in a deft header to equalise.
The second half saw the second of the unique events ie Gareth Terblanche a half time replacement for Jack Sunderlands strained hammy went 45 mins without a booking.
For 15 mins Leighton pushed forward but we seemed to gave ridden out the storm. Then the 3rd unique event...on 60 mins we introduced new signing from Berko forward Stephen Dodd. I had literally spent 4 hours ( together with Sec Bob Winter and Reg Sec Trevor Langley) ensuring the transfer went through in time.
On 60 mins and 20 secs Stephen Dodd was sent off. The versions vary but it left us with 29 mins and 50 secs of trying to hold out with 10 players.
We rejigged our shape trying to play with a false 9 and getting in behind the ball. We even managed a couple of sorties but as Leighton introduced fresh legs despite our best efforts we occasionally dropped deeper. On 85 after some neat interplay our opponents put a nail in our coffin. We reacted by playing 2 up and this nearly worked when Ollie Butler and Joe Naylor broke away but only forced a simple save .
Leighton were the ones killing the game and why not .On 91 mins prolific goalscorer Connor Calcutt scored a 3rd.
Obviously no one will ever know but until the sending off there was no reason to think we would not get at least a point. Leighton in their role as League favourites were under pressure for the 3 points after losing at home on Saturday and we had responded well to our performance on Friday.
On to Harpenden on Saturday.
David Saunders, Paolo Bagatti, Kevin Mcmanus, Scott Bonner, Jack Sunderland (Gareth Terblanche) Frankie Hercules (Joe Naylor) Will Salmon (Stephen Dodd) Harrison Cornick, Joe Chott, Will Foley, Olly Butler.
Subs not used Callum Shortt, Lewis Dwight