vs Baldock Town(H)
SSML Premier Division
22nd December 2018
After last week’s arctic conditions it was like spring this week and a nice warm afternoon. With a few more players to choose from this week the line-up had a slightly more familiar feel to it.
This game started cagily as both side felt each other out but you could feel and undercurrent under the surface and it didn’t take that long before it erupted to the surface. After just 8 mins Lewis Barker clashed with Jason Darvall with a heavy tackle, as Darvall got up Barker was” in his face” and instantly other players got involved from all directions. The Ref called over and talked with both of his assistants but they must have felt they hadn’t seen enough to take things further and just awarded the FK which was cleared. A good delivery from Aarron Browne was headed out and delivered back in by Kai Ashley to Alex O’Brien who head over the bar although a corner was given but this was delivered too deep and went out. Another heavy barge into the back of Darvall by Barker saw the Arlesey player hit the deck and indeed require treatment but as he went off the ref awarded the FK to Baldock which was a strange outcome.
A good move by O‘Brien found James Hatch who then found Ashley but his shot was wide. Baldock countered as Kieran Barnes found Robbie Buchanan who was on his debut but he was well stopped by a good tackle from Adam Brown and the danger was cleared out to the overlapping Ryan Lamond who found Ashley who hit a shot that was deflected and taken by the keeper. A FK from Ex Arlesey Dean Gilbert found his also ex Arlesey team mate Kim Forsythe and he turned well to control but his volley was well over the bar.
A good Arlesey move saw a good overlap from Ross Taylor who found Hatch in the box and he drove in a shot that deflected just past the post for a corner. This was half cleared to Aedan Gaffney who put it back across goal for Aarron Browne who found Kai Ashley on the edge of the box; he hit a good shot that bounced past Adam Harpur into the net for his 1st goal of the season and for a deserved 1-0 to Arlesey on 30 mins.
A FK in by Barker was well headed clear by Brown before Ryan Lamond received the 1st yellow card of the afternoon for a foul.at about this point Forsythe and Gaffney clashed over the far side with the result of what appeared to be a bite mark on Gaffney’s nose. Although the ref and assistants all appeared to be unsighted and a lot of yelling and gesturing took place Forsythe seemed to get away with the incident as it wasn’t seen directly but it was defiantly the unsavoury side to football and not one we want to see.
Baldock pressed a little more and Barker hit a good shot that Robbie Ponting saved well, as he gathered it to his body Forsythe went into him again and this time the ref was able to show the forward a deserved yellow card.
From an Arlesey FK Aaron Browne hit a ball in that was well taken by Harpur under pressure and just after Browne hit another shot that was deflected by a defender which enabled the keeper to collect. A foul on Gaffney by Barker was met with another yellow card. As the half moved into added on time Gaffney made a great run beating 2 defenders before putting in a great ball to Browne but his volley went over the bar. There was still time for Charlie joy to hit a low shot that Ponting took well and for Forsythe to go down really easily in the box under a challenge but the ref was having nothing of it and waived away his appeals, so it stayed 1-0 to Arlesey at HT.
Baldock replaced Kim Forsythe with Russell Bull at HT which was probably a good move on their part. Arlesey pushed forward as O’Brien made a good run and found Ashley who hit a shot that was deflected over the bar for a corner. This was only half cleared as Hatch headed back into the area but this time it was cleared properly. Ashley made a good move and found O’Brien but his long range shot was wide of the mark. As Arlesey pushed up Baldock broke back and Barnes broke through into the box but as he rounded Ponting he slipped so that Ponting was able to recover and clear the ball. Suddenly Baldock looked more confident; a cross in found harry Holland in space and he headed onto the bar with the ball dropping into Ponting’s arms. Arlesey replaced Jason Darvall who was nursing a shoulder injury done earlier with Lorrell Smith up front and reshuffled a little.
Baldock were now starting to stretch the game; Russell Bull broke through but he was covered well be Lamond into the corner before he was fouled by Bull. This however was a warning and just a minute later another break by Joy and Bull saw Joy put in a cross which was only parried by Ponting and Kieran Barnes had made the ground in front of the defence to pounce on the loose ball to put it in from close range for 1-1 on 61 mins.
Arlesey now had to push forward; Lorrell Smith picked up a good ball and turned well feeding in Hatch whose shot went just past the post, whilst yet another break from Baldock saw Tom Guiney intercept the cross heading out for a corner which was headed well wide. Baldock were using the long ball again and again now stretching the Arlesey defence but they were just about dealing with it. They replaced Harry Holland with Alfie Barker giving even more pace up front and were looking to push forward more. Another break from Barnes saw him half volley straight at Ponting before yet another break down there right by Bull saw a cross in that Ponting couldn’t stretch to and Dean Gilbert who had stayed up latched onto the ball to head home for 1-2 on 75mins.
Bull was booked for a foul before Arlesey replaced the battered Gaffney with Ricky Lawrence to try to get back into the game.
From a FK the ball was headed out only as far as Brown who crossed back in but it was claimed by Harpur. A great run from Smith saw him beat 2 defenders before finding O’Brien who hit a good shot just past the post and Smith won a corner that was cleared. Another break saw Alfie Barker try to lob Ponting who had come off his line but it went over the bar. An Arlesey corner was cleared which led to another swift break down the right by Buchanan who ran from the half way line before hitting a great strike past Ponting for 1-3 on 88 mins. That was just about it and it finished at 1-3.
Arlesey did look better for about an hour in this one than in recent weeks especially in the first half but they were repeatedly caught out by swift breaks in the second, they must find an answer to this quickly after the Christmas break.
Team : Robbie Ponting, Ryan Lamond Y, Ross Taylor, Jason Darvall (Smith 57), Adam Brown, Tom Guiney ©, Kai Ashley, Aedan Gaffney (Lawrence 82), James Hatch, Alex O’Brien, Aarron Browne
Subs; Lorrell Smith, Stuart Richardson, Ricky Lawrence, Lewis Sinclair, Demi Debola