Sunday, 14 January 2018

Sutton United 3 Hendon 0

Buildbase FA Trophy Second Round Proper, Saturday 13th January 2017

Goals from Kieron Cadogan, Adam Coombes and Tommy Wright saw hosts Sutton United see off Hendon at Gander Green Lane to progress through to the Last 16 of the Buildbase FA Trophy.

The hosts came into this one as favourites, they were third in the Vanarama National League and were two leagues above Hendon who sat fifth in the Bostick Premier, however Hendon had disposed of higher league opposition in the last round in Vanarama South Bath City, although this was a much tougher assignment.

The first chance of the game arrived in the eighth minute when Hendon’s Ashley Nathaniel-George got down the left and saw his cut back try to find Niko Muir who was running in, but his effort was straight at Owen Evans in the Sutton goal.

Two minutes later the hosts had their first sight of goal as Harry Beautyman struck an effort wide of the post and then in the 14th minute Tom Bolarinwa saw an effort go straight into the arms of visiting keeper Corey Addat.

As the half approached it’s midway point Sutton’s Cadogan tried his luck from range but saw the effort go well wide, and then with the hosts now piling on the pressure Bolarinwa picked out Wright who headed his effort wide.

Hendon gave the hosts a warning that they could cause issues when Nathaniel-George flashed a shot wide of the hosts goal in the 25th minute, but with ten minutes of the half remaining the hosts grabbed the lead when a poor defensive pass out of the Hendon box went straight to Cadogan and he drove into the box and rifled a left footed effort beyond Addat.

The hosts almost doubled that lead two minutes later when Bolarinwa found Beautyman who in turn found Cadogan but the latter could only fire his shot over the bar.  However the hosts did go into the break with a one goal lead.

Half Time Sutton United 1 Hendon 0

The hosts carried on where they had left off in the first half and were back on the front foot quickly and in the 57th minute saw Hendon keeper Addat pull off back to back saves to deny the hosts a second, and then a couple of minutes later another hosts chance saw Beautyman hit a powerful effort at goal but this was also saved by Addat.

Beautyman saw an effort blocked by the Hendon backline in the 66th minute and then five minutes after that Wright burst through after a great run but could only hit is effort wide of the Hendon goal.
Most of the 785 crowd were willing a second goal for the hosts as a one goal lead can be dangerous, especially when missing the chances Sutton were creating, and in the 74th minute they finally found a second when a poor defensive header out by Downer dropped in front of Coombes and he duly volleyed brilliantly first time beyond Addat and the hosts had some breathing space.

You never really felt after this second goal that Hendon could get back into the contest and it really was game over with four minutes left when Wright cut inside and curled a delightful effort in off the post from outside the box and seal his sides passage into the Last 16 of the competition.

Full Time Sutton United 3 Hendon 0

Monday, 8 January 2018

Tring Athletic 5 Hullbridge Sports 1

Buildbase FA Vase Fourth Round Proper, Saturday 6th January 2017

Four second half goals saw Spartan South Midlands side TringAthletic progress through to the Last 16 of the Buildbase FA Vase at the expense of Essex Senior League Hullbridge Sports at the Grassroots Football Stadium.
Both sides were having similar seasons to date so this was expected to be a tough tight affair in difficult conditions in Hertfordshire, but it was the hosts who struck first in farcical circumstances as after Sports keeper Russell Harley had saved, full back Shaun Coe struck a clearance straight at centre half Gus Douglas and the ball went into the net to give the hosts a 12th minute lead.
It was a set back for the visitors however they so nearly levelled in the 26th minute when Michael Salako cracked an brilliant effort against the Tring bar and eight minutes before the break a good ball into the hosts area by Sam Taylor saw the ball fall to Jimmy Cox in a good position, but he could only send his effort way over.
So Tring held a slender least the break although Bridge could consider themselves unlucky to be behind so it was expected that another tight forty five minutes awaited us and the game was in the balance.
Half Time Tring Athletic 1 Hullbridge Sports 0
The next goal was crucial and two minutes into the half Tring doubled their lead when after the visitors gave the ball away on the right wing, a cross found substitute Jack Read who side footed past Harley, and Hullbridge had work to do.
Both teams had a chance minutes later, the hosts seeing Read slice wide, before Perry Hirst saw an effort saved by Tring keeper Jack Hopwood.
However just before the hour mark Tring struck again as after Taylor had slipped over trying to clear a cross from the right, Chris Vardy pounced to knock the ball beyond Harley and celebrate with his fans behind the goal.
But Hullbridge were given a lifeline in the 65th minute when after Rob Hodgson was adjudged to have been hauled down inside the box, Cox stepped up to convert a spot kick and Sports had around twenty five minutes to rescue this one.
With twenty minutes remaining the hosts forced Harley into a decent save but any brief thoughts of a comeback were extinguished a minute later when the hosts restored their three goal cushion as centre half Mark Riddickwaltzed in to nod home a corner in what was another disappointing goal for the visitors to concede.
Soon after the visitors headed a good chance over the hosts bar but Tring were now comfortable and cruising into next round.
And with 90 minutes on the clock Tring added a fifth to cap a good second half for the home side, and it was a good goal too as a nice one touch move ended with Max Hercules finishing into the far corner and sending the majority of the 217 in attendance wild once again.
Bridge saw Luca Frankis almost net a consolation but his effort was blocked, but it had been a poor second half showing from the ESL side as they crash out of the Vase at the Last 32 stage again.
For Tring it’s now a Last 16 berth as their dream of Vase glory continues, and they now travel West to take on Wiltshire side Melksham Town of the Toolstation Western League.
Full Time Tring Athletic 5 Hullbridge Sports 1

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Hullbridge Sports 3 Sawbridgeworth Town 1

Essex Senior League, Saturday 23rd December 2017

Three goals in eight second half minutes helped see Hullbridge Sports to victory over Sawbridgeworth Town at Lower Road in their bottom of the table clash in the Essex Senior League.
Sports sat bottom but knew a win could take them off the foot and only two points behind 16th placed Sawbridgeworth, for who a win could see them put breathing space between themselves and the bottom four.
And seconds from kick off the visitors almost went in front as Keke Orth shrugged off a defender, lofted an effort over hosts keeper Russell Harley, but saw his effort go over the hosts bar, with the Robin‘s claiming he had been fouled, but this fell on deaf ears.
And on six minutes the visitors should of gone in front but saw Harley produce a wonder save to keep Toby Cleaver out, tipping his effort onto the bar brilliantly, whilst Bridge were reduced to a couple of wayward long range efforts in the opening quarter hour, as the Robins had definitely started the better.
The hosts did threaten in the19th minute Good when Michael Salako’s ball across goal just invaded Damian Siemienczuk coming in, but in the 33rd minute Harley had to be alert again in the Bridge goal, turning a Toby Cleaver effort behind, although it was becoming a battle out there now.
The final chance of the half did fall to the hosts though as a Siemienczuk effort was parried by keeper Matt Ponter, before he gathered the loose ball, and it meant the game remained goalless at the break.
Half Time Hullbridge Sports 0 Sawbridgeworth Town 0
Eight minutes into the second period Sawbo should of led, as a cross saw a defender misses the ball, leaving Orth with a sight of goal, but he could only drill his effort across goal and wide. It had been another guilt edged chance missed by the visitors.
And just a minute later the hosts punished them and showed them how it was done when Jimmy Cox tried his luck from distance after noticing Sawbo keeper Ponter was off his line, and he caught him out although Ponter probably should of done better after getting a hand to the effort, but the hosts led.
Soon after Sawbo sent a decent header over the bar as they continued to pass up opportunities, and in the 58th minute were shown how it should be done when Bridge doubled their lead as a terrific move ended with midfielder Joe Pattinson poking home from the edge of the area, and the hosts found themselves two goals up.
And incredibly in the 62nd minute it was three goals in eight minutes for the hosts as poor defending allowed a ball find its way to the back post where Rob Hodgson was waiting to tap home and somehow the hosts led 3-0.
The Robins found a way back into the contest just two minutes later though when they won a rather soft penalty for an apparent foul, and Billy Skinner duly converted the spot kick and the visitors had around twenty five minutes to salvage something.
Sawbo did strike the woodwork twice late on, firstly in the 89th minute when the visitors broke down the right through Skinner, but his effort thumped against the post, and then in stoppage time Danny Wickenden saw his deflected effort flick off the hosts bar, before moments later Harley had to beat away another effort.
However it was the hosts day and they moved off the bottom and now sit just two points behind their opponents in 16th place and in good spirits heading into the Christmas/New Year break.
Full Time Hullbridge Sports 3 Sawbridgeworth Town 1

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Hendon 2 Bath City 1

Buildbase FA Trophy First Round Proper, Saturday 16th December 2017

It was First Round Proper day in the Buildbase FA Trophy, the Final 64, and I was at Silver Jubilee Park in North West London as Bostick Premier Hendon hosted Vanarama South Bath City.
Hendon had seen off Slough Town over two games and a penalty shoot out, whilst Bath City also needed penalties to squeeze past Margate to reach this stage, and with Hendon and Margate 7th and 8th in the Bostick Premier, the 12th placed Vanarama South Roman’s knew another tough test awaited them.
And also Hendon, like Margate, played on 3G, so their were a lot of similarities heading into this one.  And with the recent poor weather, it was probably a good thing!
The opening quarter saw both sides feeling each other out but the first opening didn’t arrive until the 18th minute, and it was the visitors who had it, as a lucky ricochet fell to them, but the resulting effort was rifled across goal.
Moments later the visitors sent a free header straight at the keeper, before Bath went close again as after they had asked for a penalty, a poor Hendon clearance found the visitors, who fired an effort just over the bar.
Eight minutes before the break Hendon had their first real opening as a ball across saw a deflected effort go just to far in front of a fellow teammate and he could only get his studs on it and see it drift harmlessly wide.
But with six minutes of the half remaining Hendon got their noses in front as a nod down from a set piece found centre half Arthur Lee in the six yard box who converted first time past the visitors backline on the goal line, and it meant the Bostick Premier side led at the half.
Half Time Hendon 1 Bath City 0
The players returned to the field with the rain now coming down, and whatever was said in the visitors dressing room at the break worked, as just two minutes into the second period Tom Smith ghosted in to finish from close range and bring the Romans level.
Bath had their tails up now and should of gone when the visitors pounced on a defensive error but saw the keeper make a comfortable save, before down the other end Hendon saw a deflected effort go into the keeper’s hands.
Just past the hour mark the visitors created a great opening as a great turn saw them in on goal but a poor finish meant an easy save for the hosts keeper, before in the 68th minute the hosts attacked and saw a cross shot deflected into the side netting. Some thought it had gone in, and the rain was now pouring down, it was a proper cup tie for sure.
The Romans passed up another decent opportunity when they saw a snap shot go straight at the keeper, before the hosts retook the lead in the 74th minute when substitute Keagan Cole converted a cut back with his first touch and gave Hendon around twenty minutes to hang onto the lead.
But moments later they should of lost that lead when the visitors fizzed two balls across the box, but somehow Hendon survived, and with ten minutes remaining the hosts broke but only a brilliant last ditch tackle thwarted them after cutting back onto right foot.
With three minutes left Hendon sent a dangerous ball into the visitors box which was just about cleared, before Bath attacked themselves in search of an equaliser to possibly force a Tuesday night replay at Twerton Park.
However in the first minute of stoppage time Hendon should of sealed it when another break from a Bath attack saw them bearing down on goal,  but the visiting keeper denied them, meaning Bath had three minutes of stoppage to salvage something.
But Hendon held firm and saw off the Vanarama South outfit to make it through to the Last 32 of the competition.
Full Time Hendon 2 Bath City 1 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Great Wakering Rovers 3 Woodford Town (2017) 0

Essex Senior League, Tuesday 5th December 2017

Stephen Butterworth brace helped Rovers to victory over Woodford Town at Burroughs Park, taking them up to third in the table and only three points behind leaders Redbridge.
The first chances did not arrive till just before the quarter hour mark and saw the hosts create both, firstly when a Billy Johnson free kick was well saved by Nick Wilson, before a cross from the right was just over the head of Jay Nash.
Rovers then flashed one across goal moments later, but no one could get a touch on it, whilst down the other end in the 20th minute only a great block from hosts defender Oliver Woodhouse denied Larry Asare a clear shot at goal.
Then just before the half hour mark Rovers somehow failed to go in front when a long throw from the left was inadvertently flicked on by a defender trying to clear, and it turned out to be a perfect flick on into Johnson’s path but he somehow headed over from a yard out.
But just a minute later the hosts did take the lead when a ball across found Butterworth who took many touches before finally placing the ball into the gaping goal and Rovers had the lead.
Then with nine minutes of the half remaining it was Woodford’s turn to have a ‘What a miss’ moment as after a terrific run from Ola Ogunwamide, his ball into the box found Taku Mashingaidze who from yards out could only hit over. It may have flicked the bar it was that close but it was a warning to the hosts.
Two minutes before half time Rovers saw a Nash effort deflect into the path of Neil Richmond, but the forward just could not stretch far enough to divert the ball in from close range, however Wakering did go into the break a goal ahead.
Half Time Great Wakering Rovers 1 Woodford Town (2017) 0
The next goal, as is always the case, would be crucial, and it came in the 56th minute as the hosts got their second when the ball broke to Butterworth and he duly buried his left footed effort beyond Wilson for his second of the game, a gained some well earned breathing space for his side.
And only two minutes later it was three for the hosts as Nash bundled the ball, keeper Wilson and all over the line, and Rovers now had a comfortable three goal cushion. Wilson was furious and was claiming he was fouled, and was booked for his protests towards referee Stacey Ford to rub salt into those wounds.
Woodford come close to grabbing a goal back but saw Rovers keeper Louis Hawes brilliantly tip a free kick onto the inside of the post, before the ball flew back across goal and away from danger.
Johnson then sent a powerful header just wide of Woodford’s near post with fifteen minutes remaining, although moments before that a worry for the hosts saw Nash limped off injured.
With eight minutes left and after the hosts had fired a free kick straight at Wilson, the visitors had another opening but substitute Ethan Kessel could only fire his effort at Hawes, this after good work from Dion Lewis-Kirwan on the right.
However the hosts saw out the game although were made to work hard by a battling Woodford side, but the home side took the points and keep themselves right in the mix, and their next three games are against Redbridge, FC Romania and Basildon United, wow.
Full Time Great Wakering Rovers 3 Woodford Town (2017) 0