Sat 30th Apr 2022
Premier Division Cup (Semi Final)
Hadley 1-1 (3-4 pens) TAFC First team

TAFC goals: Godlove Oppong
CHARLIE KEEPS HIS COOL TO SECURES OUR PLACE IN FINAL

Well what an end to the season which saw us lose just 2 of our last 10 games, end up well away from the relegation zone, play a key role in deciding where the League title would go and then to cap it all reach a cup final for the first time in god knows how many years (well 2017 to be precise when we won the St Marys Cup!).

The bookies would have made this a home banker based on the fact that our hosts finished 3rd in the table and collected 40 points more than us. Furthermore we were missing 6 key players and only had 3 Youth Team players on the bench. But we defied the odds to produce a superb performance to take the tie to penalties where Charlie Miller was as cool as the proverbial cucumber to slot home the winning spot kick. Whilst Charlie will rightly get the glory we should also mention our young keeper Ollie Keil who made 2 great saves whilst receiving a lot of abuse from the home supporters behind his goal.

The game was a tough, tense affair with Hadley including in their side Jordan Edwards and Solomon Ofori who had scored 61 goals between them. The fact that we stopped them scoring is testament to how well the team played with Harry Seabrook, who was captain in the absence of George Carbery, leading the way with a monumental performance ably assisted by Tommy Twelves who slotted into central defence as if he had played there all season.

We were organised and solid with the whole team working their socks off to deny our opponents time and space anywhere near our goal. We were however thankful that Solomon Ofori lost his scoring touch in the 26th minute when he missed a sitter. Apart from that we kept things tight at the back to deny the opposition clear scoring chances. We didnt threaten their goal much in the first half although Leo Farruch produced a stunning run that went from one end of the pitch to the other but all we got from it was a corner. Regrettably Leo didnt appear for the second half due to an injury and was replaced by 17 year old Jimmy Doherty who did well considering its a big step up from Youth Football to the First Team.

After a goalless first half we were unfortunate to concede an own goal 9 minutes after the restart when a shot struck one of our players to deflect it wide of Ollie Keil. We could have dropped our heads after going behind but full marks to our youngsters who showed tremendous character to come back and equalise 5 minutes later. Frankie Hercules was the instigator, releasing Godlove Oppong with a fine pass. The 18 year still had a lot to do but he kept his cool to equalise.

Our hosts stepped up the pressure but we didnt buckle and the game ended all square and went to penalties where we converted 4 to our opponents 3 to secure our place in the Premier Division Cup final where we will meet Flackwell Heath, who beat Ardley United 2-1 away. The Final will be held on 12 May at Leverstock Greens ground.

So a memorable day for the Club and a sign that things are hopefully getting better with a cup final to look forward to and a brighter future ahead.

Finally we wish Hadley all the best for next season when they will be playing at Step 4 for the first time after Risborough Rangers failed to meet the ground grading standards.


Teams:

H: Luke Ward, Billy Baird, Tom Milton, Bradley Marriott, Moses Carvalho, Solomon Ofori, Cameron Ferguson (Capt), Jordan Edwards, Billy Hayes, Ed Davis, Excellence Muhemba. Subs Used: Nnamdi Harold-Egole, Herbie Townsend, Zack Uribarri. Subs Not Used: Davis Boateng (GK), Stephen OHara, Anthony Awosika, ,

TA:Ollie Keil, Tommy Twelves, Harry Seabrook (Capt), Eli Hearn, Adam Sawyer, Charlie Miller, Godlove Oppong, Leo Farruch (Jimmy Doherty HT), Luke Peerless, Adiel Mannion, Frankie Hercules. Subs not used: Riely Churcill, Lewis Whicker.

Scorers:
H:Own Goal (54)

TA:Godlove Oppong (59)

Crowd:171

(No photos on file)

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