Sat 16th Apr 2022
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Leverstock Green 1-0 TAFC First team
ROUTE ONE GOAL SETTLES LOCAL DERBY
The 73 previous local derbies between us and Green have in the main been close affairs and with about 15 minutes remaining it looked like this game was heading for the 9th scoreless draw between us. But then we switched off as a long ball was launched down the pitch and Greens leading scorer took full advantage of our indecision to score what would turn out to be the winning goal.
A disappointing and perhaps a harsh result on our young team but the players will have learnt a valuable lesson that at this level you cannot afford to drop your concentration even for a moment.
For the first 15 minutes of this game our hosts were the better side and we were unable to get our game together. But then we clicked into gear and for the rest of the first half we played some mesmerising football with Leo Farruch and Ronan Hutchins in particular linking up superbly to slice through the right-hand side of the home defence seemingly at will. Unfortunately we didnt take full advantage of some great opportunities to get on the score sheet.
Ronan Hutchins came the closest to opening the score, bending a shot that just drifted wide of the far post and then from an almost identical position he saw his shot tipped wide by keeper Bonfield.
Our failure to capitalise on our opportunities nearly proved costly just before half time after a shot from Rawn Seale was pushed away by our new keeper Olie Keil and from the resulting corner Seales header hit the bar and was eventually cleared with some difficulty.
After the break we didnt quite match the standards we set in the first half and our opponents were causing us problems with their quick breakaways. Eli Hearn did well to block a shot from Ethan Mooney and then Ollie Keil made 2 smart saves from Mooney and Seale, the 17 year old producing an A Star performance on his debut.
We had opportunities as well with Harrison Cornick forcing a terrific flying save from Bonfield and then Charlie Miller thundered a fierce shot against the post with Bonfield this time a spectator. George Carbery smashed a shot into the side netting but it was not going to be our day and so we fell to a narrow 1 nil defeat.
We have two league games left both at home with Risboro Rangers due to visit us on Tuesday and then Crawley Green will be our guests on Saturday. These will not be dead fixtures as far as our opponents are concerned with Risboro chasing the title whilst Crawley Green will be looking for points get out of the relegation zone, so the games will be competitive.
A more important fixture will be our Premier Division Cup semi-final against Hadley on 30 April, a competition we won in 2009 beating St Margaretsbury 2-0 in the Final with goals from Graham Hall and Mark Burfoot. The other Semi-Final will be between either Dunstable Town or Ardley United (they meet on 21 April) with the winner playing Flackwell Heath. So there is still plenty to play for.
LG:Alfie Bonfield, Ollie Cox, Rio Beach, Dan Weeks (Capt), Paul Marks, Kian Wilkes, Ethan Mooney, Dan Pett, Rawn Seale, Ryan Carruthers, Nagheeb Ibrahim. Subs Used: Jack Allen, Brad Robinson, Sean Walsh Subs Not Used: Jamie Calvin, Ethan Holt.
TA:Ollie Keil, Harrison Cornick, Adam Sawyer, Eli Hearn, George Carbery (Capt), Jack Stevens, Leo Farruch, Charlie Miller, Godlove Oppong, Adiel Mannion (Lenny Armstrong 68), Ronan Hutchins. Subs not used; Ali Mohinddin, Jimmy Doherty.
LG:Rawn Seale (75)