Tue 15th Mar 2022
Premier Division Cup
Sponsored by R.O> Allum & Sons
TAFC First team 2-1 Leverstock Green
TAFC goals: Ronan Hutchins, Oliver Butler
WE MAKE PROGRESS IN THE CUP
After the disappointing defeat on Saturday, we managed to bounce back quickly with a hard earned, narrow win over our friends from Leverstock Green in the Premier Division Cup. Most of our attention has in recent months been focused on our league fixtures and apart from our great run in the FA Vase, where we reached the 3rd Round Proper, we have not given much thought about any Cup action. However, now we look safe from relegation it would be nice to look forward to some cup games and hopefully end the season on a high. But first we face another big obstacle in the next round with a trip to Aylesbury Vale Dynamos which will be another tough local derby game.
Ryan Sturges and his team decided to rest some players for this tie and made 4 changes from Saturdays starting line-up, but this didnt seem to disrupt the team as they burst into action from the off with Ollie Butler forcing a flying save from keeper Tautis Poniskaitis with only 37 seconds on the clock. Ronan Hutchins was a threat down our left wing and he opened the scoring in the 10th minute when he spanked home a terrific shot from just outside the area. Score 1-0.
Our visitors response was commendable, working their way back into the game and probably enjoying more of the possession and territory. They won a number of free kicks and corners from which they were a threat, with leading scorer Rawn Seale and Jack Allen having shots which were off target. We had a lucky escape in the 26th minute when following a corner we managed to block a shot on goal and then a follow up effort was deflected over. Then just before the half hour mark Green had a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of our area but the resulting shot from Dan Pett went straight at Jake Alley who was able to save easily.
But you sensed an equaliser was coming and it duly arrived in the 33rd minute and it was a corker. When the ball fell to Ryan Carruthers it seemed too far out to shoot, but the Greens midfielder had other ideas as he smashed a shot past Jake Alley. HT Score 1-1.
On resumption after the interval we again started strongly and 6 minutes in we took the lead again with a classic route one goal, although this is not our usual style these days. A long ball down the middle was not dealt with by the two centre backs and Ollie Butler was able to evade a challenge and despatch the ball past the keeper with cool efficiency for his 8th goal of the season. Score 2-1.
To their credit Green kept pushing for a 2nd equaliser but didnt get much joy from our defence. Ryan Searle produced our opponents best effort with a spectacular over head kick that hit the top of the bar. As the clock ticked down to the final few minutes Green threw everything at us and may have got the break through had it not been for a superb saving challenge from Ronan Hutchins inside the box, but we held out for the win.
This was not a vintage performance from us but we were solid, worked hard and provided a strong protective shield around Jake Alley. It was a good victory over a strong Green side that is 10 places above us in the table. We will now have another cup game to look forward to but first we have another toughie coming up with a trip to Harpenden on Saturday where we will hopefully continue our sound league form and pick up some valuable points in our quest to finish in mid table.
Finally a word about 18 year old Matt Ellis who was making only his 2nd start in the First Team (and 4th game overall). He and did a very good job of containing a very tricky winger so well done Matt.
TA:Jack Alley, Tommy Twelves, Matt Ellis, Harry Seabrook, George Carbery (Capt), Lennie Armstrong (Charlie Miller 68), Frankie Hercules (Godlove Oppong 72), Ronan Hutchins, Leo Farruch, Jack Stevens, Ollie Butler. Subs not used: Adam Sawyer, Harrison Cornick.
LG:Tautis Poniskaitis, Brad Robinson, Rio Beach, Dan Weeks (Capt), Jack Allen (Scott McGleish 81), Rian Wilkes, Ryan Carruthers (Ollie Cox 65), Dan Pett, Rawn Seale, Tomasz Siemienczuk, Nagheeb Ibrahim. Subs Not Used: Paul Marks, Lewis Nicholls, Fergus Moore.
TA:Ronan Hutchins (10), Ollie Butler (51)
LG:Ryan Carruthers (33)