Tue 2nd Aug 2022
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TAFC First team 2-1 Ardley United
TAFC goals: Charles Miller, Oliver Butler
OLLIES LATE GOAL GETS OUR SEASON OFF TO A WINNING START
Last season it took 8 games to win our first League game when we beat London Colney 1-0 at home on 9th October with a stunning goal from Chris Blunden at the start of the second half. That game also marked the first occasion we wore our lovely new kit which is much admired by the folk at Risboro Rangers!
Fortunately this season we managed that feat at the first attempt thanks to a very late winner from Ollie Butler who has returned to the team after a bit of a gap. With 93 minutes showing on the clock it seemed as if we were heading for a creditable draw against a very tough Ardley United side when we won a corner. The visitors defence had cleared just about every cross and set piece played into their area but this time they faltered and Ollie was on hand to get the vital touch. Not a classic goal by any means but its an indication of how far we have come in a year that we can win a tight game like this.
The starting line showed the welcome return of Charlie Miller who was a key player for us last season and he marked his return with a significant contribution. We started on the front foot with Giuseppe Delgaudio stinging the hands of the visitors young keeper Alfie Talbot and then 10 minutes into the game we went close following a cracking move which lead to Frankie Hercules cross picking out Godlove Oppong whose header back across goal clipped the far post.
We were playing some lovely football and on the half hour mark Giuseppe Delgaudio played in Godlove Oppong who forced the keeper into a good diving save. From the resulting corner the ball fell to Jack Stevens but his shot went well wide. Our guests were organised and they had a few attempts on target but nothing to stretch Ollie Keil in goal. Our approach play was super but lacked a bit of a cutting edge around our opponents box so by half time the game was still scoreless. HT Score 0-0.
We had a great opportunity to score in the 53rd minute when Frankie Hercules played Leo Farruch through on goal but his shot was well saved by the keeper. The game became tighter and the play scrappier as both sides battled for supremacy. In the 72nd minute we finally opened the scoring when Frankie Hercules picked out Charlie Miller who skilfully curled his shot into the far corner giving the keeper no chance. Score 1-0.
Unfortunately for us the score only lasted 3 minutes when our opponents scored what can only be described as a wonder goal. From around 35yards Declan Benjamin spanked a shot that was unstoppable. It was the sort of goal you score once in a life time although a colleague of his afterwards said that he had seen him do it before. Score 1-1.
The rest of the game was scrappy and fractious at times as both sides battled for possession. Then came the last minute winner from Ollie Butler to get us off to a winning start. FT Score 2-1.
A terrific start to the season against a good side who beat us twice last season and who finished just out side the top 6. We played well particularly in the first half and showed great tenacity and belief against a physically imposing side and in the end we probably just about deserved the 3 points. Good performances all round but a special mention should go to Adam Sawyer who, due to some absentees, filled in at right back and has now played right across the back four so far this season.
TA:Ollie Keil, Bogdan Marian, Jack Stevens, George Carbery (Capt), Adam Sawyer, Ethan Goulding, Charlie Miller, Leo Farruch, Godlove Oppong (Tom Brazier 81), Guiseppe Delgaudio, Frankie Hercules (Ollie Butler 73). Subs not used: Davide Pobbe, Jack Thompson, Adiel Mannion.
AU: Alfie Talbot, Jordy Ngathe, Elliott Osborne Ricketts, Lewis Gabbidon (Capt), Mason Courtney, Declan Benjamin, Leam Howard, Darius Brown, Ben Willoughby, Caelan Isaac. Subs Used: James Casbieri, Sam McConnell, Alex Stott, Liam Tallboys. Subs Not Used: Ben Gascoigne.
TA: Charlie Miller (72), Ollie Butler (90+3)
AU: Declan Benjamin (75)