vs Biggleswade (A)
SSML Premier Division
24th November 2018
Derby day at 2nd in the league Biggleswade was always going to be a big game, Arlesey went unchanged for the 1st time this season with the team the beat Leverstock 2-0 in the week.
Biggleswade as was expected started strongly applying the early pressure. Arlesey absorbed the pressure keeping them at distance and on what was their 1st real attack the ball came to Lorrell Smith on the half way line, he beat his man then just outpaced the home defence and calmly slotted the ball past the out coming Ross Tomkins for 0-1 after just 8 mins to shock the home crowd.
Just a min later Ash Fuller was fouled and he lined up the FK but drove it at the wall and it was cleared, the game then settled into a bit of a midfield battle; a cross in was flicked on by Tom Cookman but was easily taken by Robbie Ponting before at the other end Alex O’Brien fired a long shot wide of the target. Biggleswade slowly started to apply more pressure forcing Arlesey to defend; A shot from Adam Hunt was blocked by Ross Taylor and a cross in from Michael Simpson was put out for a corner by Adam Randall. This proved to be a well-rehearsed move and a shot was put in that went out for another corner, this time the defence moved well catching the forwards o/s as the ball came in. Another good block from Taylor stopped Lee Northfield before Aedan Gaffney slid into a tackle on Alex Marsh, the ref looked to have reacted to the Biggleswade player looking as if “his leg had been cut off” and showed Gaffney the 1st card of the afternoon, Marsh job done very quickly recovered. Again the home side applied pressure but again Arlesey defended well with the central pairing of Tom Guiney and Adam Randall working well together; Hunt fed in Cookman who hit a good shot but Ponting was equal to it pulling off a good save.
Arlesey won a corner which Tomkins pushed over the bar, the 2nd corner he couldn’t hold but he was helped out by his defender who cleared it off the line. A FK taken by Ponting was headed on by James Hatch was taken by Tompkins.
As Biggleswade pressed forward again they were quickly closed down but Northfield had a shot that went just past the post and another cross in was well taken by Ponting.
On the stroke of half time perhaps the defining moment of the game happened, Adam Randall tackled Ryan Inskip near the half way line, again the player looked like he “had lost a leg” with Randall getting up quickly to see a yellow card for the tackle, Inskip got up as the physio arrived and Randall was holding his knee a bit showing a little blood but the ref blew for HT before things developed further.
The 2nd period started with Arlesey being forced to make changes from the whistle; Randall who had to have stitches in a nasty looking gash had to be replaced by Adam Brown and also Ross Taylor who had pulled something had to be replaced by Kai Ashley. Losing 2 out of 4 defenders at half time boded trouble for Arlesey. It didn’t take long for this to be proved as Biggleswade pushed forward with purpose from the start, a good move found Northfield who brought a good save out of Ponting but he could do nothing as another good move saw the ball pulled back to Northfield who hit a great shot from the edge of the area firing into the top of the net to equalise at 1-1.
Just 2 mins later in another good passing move that sliced through the Arlesey defence a low cross found Alex Marsh close in and he made no mistake firing into the roof of the net for 2-1.
Arlesey tried to organise themselves and produce a counter, from a FK Ash Fuller found Adam Brown who headed onto Smith but the flag went up for a tight o/s.
Just after the hour a FK on the edge of the area was hit by Lawrie Marsh; Ponting stopped it but couldn’t hold on and it looked as if Alex Marsh prodded it home but he was stopped in his celebration by the linesman’s raised flag.
Biggleswade replaced Tom Cookman with Justin Leavers. On a break Northfield broke through and tried to chip the out coming Ponting but was wide of the target. From a FK Lawrie Marsh hit the wall getting a corner which was cleared but as they kept the pressure on he also hit a cross/shot that went just past the post. A break by Leavers saw him pull back to Northfield; his shot was blocked but it came to Inskip who hit a good shot that Ponting saved well before the ball was cleared, another run through from Alex Marsh saw him weave around the Arlesey defenders before hitting a shot that again Ponting pushed wide for a corner that was cleared. Another break down the right saw Inskip beat Ashley and accelerate through before hitting a shot that Ponting could do nothing with and it flew into the net for 3-1.
Again they kept pressing and Leavers cut in from the right and hit a shot that Ponting again saved well. Arlesey managed a counter that fed in Ash Fuller but hit fierce drive from the edge of the area went into the side netting.
Into time added on Lorrell Smith looked to have been pushed over in the Biggleswade box but the ref was having none of it and waived play on.
With 4 mins played into added on time a ball over the top saw Alex Marsh break clear again Ponting was quick off of his mark and beat him to the ball heading the ball clear but it came to Leavers on the half way line and he hit it from long range into the now empty net for 4-1 which proved to be the last kick of the game.
Arlesey’s game plan was working well for the 1st 45 mins but rapidly fell apart as the defence was shredded at half time and without the time to reorganise properly a classy looking Biggleswade side exploited that in the 2nd half with the Marsh brothers being prominent but praise for Robbie Ponting in goal who kept the score line reasonable. Arlesey must now moving on and get back to winning ways with another away game at Oxhey jets next Saturday.
Team : Robbie Ponting, Lewis Sinclair, Ross Taylor (Ashley 46), Aedan Gaffney y, Tom Guiney ©, Adam Randall y (Brown 46), Ryan Lamond, Alex O’Brien, Lorrell Smith, James Hatch, Ash Fuller.
Subs; Makudzeyi Makuza, Jason Darvall, Adam Brown, Derek Newton, Kai Ashley.