Sat 19th Dec 2020
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Newport Pagnell Town 8-2 TAFC First team
There are times when the old adage about "Players win games,Managers lose them " is stretched.
We were missing goalscorer Ollie Butler,together with the better Butler at centre half and Prince Nimoh who was in isolation. Having watched Newport Pagnell on last Tue at Colney Heath we went with a more attack minded method asking centre forward Mesach Hendrickson to run channels and in behind and energetic wide men Ronan Hutchins and Joe Chott to get at their full backs and either get a cross in or cut in and get a shot off.
In the very first minute Mesach was brought down heavily which led to his substitution on 30 mins later and with decent service both the wide men created some problems for our opposition.
The players were also informed that the dangerous Jim Burnside had to be monitored very carefully. Within 10 mins he got one on one onto a long ball and finished efficiently. Undaunted we managed to earn a penalty within 4 mins when Ronan Hutchins was tripped. His spot kick beat the keeper but bounced back off an upright and this was undoubtedly a pivotal moment in the first half.
Mesach screwed a decent chance narrowly wide of the near post and both Will Foley and Kevin McManus had attempts at goal.
There was then a penalty claim turned down and in a challenge by their defender on sub Joe Naylor.
On 32 mins our hosts arguably against the run of play scored another cracker from 20 yards .
At half time within the confines of the scoreline we were relatively happy.
The players were asked to play out wider as the pitch was very boggy and quicker and if needs be longer.
I don't want to vent my spleen but as the scoreline suggests this didn't have the necessary effect. Amazingly an ineffective kick left our defence under immediate pressure and was indirectly responsible forth taking the wind out of our sails by conceding a 3rd.
We then had a decent effort from a free kick and then Will Foley hit the bar before we conceded the 4 th. Team and individual errors now saw the situation deteriorate rapidly and the dangerous Burnside finished with 4 goals . There's no point in calling out the individuals concerned they hopefully know who they are.
A long range range strike from Callum Shortt who had a point to prove was undone by a harsh penalty decision against Ronan Hutchings ,when the officials managed to give a corner,throw in and eventually a pen. Callum then repeated his previous effort with another long range shot to finish off with a highlight to what was otherwise a miserable second half.
It will be Dec 30 th before we know what's happening going forward.
Hope you all stay safe and manage to make the best of the festive season.
J.Pitts. S.Bullock, S.Bonner( T.Shaw) K.Mcmanus G.Terblanche (T.Shaw)
W.Salmon,H.Cornick. R.Hutchins,W.Foley,J.Chott. M.Hendrickson (J.Naylor)
Scorer C.Shott 2