Sat 30th Jul 2022
Friendly
TAFC First team 2-0 New Salamis
WITH THE PRELIMINARIES OUT OF THE WAY ITS NOW TIME FOR THE REAL ACTION TO BEGIN

Ryan Sturges and his coaching team have worked hard during the summer to recruit some new players to replace those who moved to pastures new and to quickly mould them into a team. On the evidence of the pre-season friendlies they have done a superb job but the real test will start on Tuesday when Ardley United visit the Grass Roots Stadium for the opening League game of the season.

This 6th and final friendly saw us face current Champions New Salamis who will be playing in the Isthmian League (North) this coming season which is one level above us. It was tough way to finish our pre-season arrangements but we were superb particularly in the first half and ended up winning 2-0, although it could have been by more.

It was great to see Leo Farruch back in our colours, the 18-year-old was a key player last season and has bags of talent, and also to see Ollie Butler back because he has the ability to be a star performer for us.

From the start we played some terrific football and we dominated the first half. We took the lead in the 15th minute when Bogdan Marian fired in a testing free kick which our guests failed to clear and Jack Stevens was on hand to slot the ball away. Score 1-0.

The quality of our football was a joy to watch with Frankie Hercules celebrating his 21st birthday by causing all sorts of problems down our right. One piece of fine skill saw him twist and turn the full back inside out before whipping the ball across the area that was crying out for a touch.

We doubled our lead just before the half hour mark when Frankie Hercules super cross from the right picked out Jack Thompson at the far post. The youngster failed to convert the chance but had the vision to lay the ball back to Ethan Goulding who cracked his shot past the keeper. Score 2-0.

Our visitors forced Olie Keil to make a save and there were a few efforts on our goal but their best opportunity in the first half was snuffed out by a superb tackle from Jack Stevens. The first half ended with us in control and deservedly ahead. HT Score 2-0.

The second half saw the visitors make some changes and the game was more evenly balanced with our opponents looking more dangerous in attack. But we defended well with Adam Sawyer, normally a full back, having a fine game at centre back alongside Jack Stevens who produced another trade mark goal saving tackle.

Trialist goalkeeper Mouiz Rana was forced into making a super save but we should have extended our lead, missing a penalty and some gilt-edged opportunities. Our opponents kept going to the end looking for a way back into the game but we held steady in defence and ran out deserved winners. FT Score 2-0.

Our 6 friendlies produced 4 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat and the only set back was against AFC Dunstable who were a class act and will be a top side at a level above us. We are certainly in a much better place than we were at this time last year and there is an optimistic air around the club that our performances so far this summer we see us finish higher than last seasons 13th place.

Our first game will be a tough one against a side that finished just outside the top 6. We knocked them out of the FA Vase on penalties but they beat us twice in the League. But we have the talent, energy and team work to do well and hopefully we can get off to a great start.

Bring it on!!

(No photos on file)

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