vs Crawley Green(H)
SSML Premier Division
20th April 2019
A very hot sunny bank holiday saw Arlesey again counting missing players. With Hatch, Payne and Smith all missing from last week’s win and Brown, Lawrence, Ashley, and Chambers all still missing long term Arlesey were yet again forced to reshuffle.
Arlesey started pushing forward from the start; Charlie Moss was quickly brought down about 20 yards out and Adam mead took the FK that he curved around the wall, the keeper didn’t quite control the ball and it came back to mead who hit a good shot that was cleared going forward to Oluwanimilo Ajigbolamu but some good defending from Ross Taylor saw the danger cleared. An Aedan Gaffney cross won a corner that came out to Alex O’Brien and his good angled shot went just past the post. Arlesey had a very good chance on 10 mins as Moss raced onto an O’Brien head on, The keeper came to the very edge of his area but didn’t get the ball and Moss went around he before a defender slid in taking Moss and the ball, with shouts going up for either a hand ball from the keeper or a penalty neither was given other than the play being stopped for an injury to O’Brien from the header.
Crawley had an equally good chance just 2 mins later as Ajigbolamu burst through after some good approach play but the big forward put his shot past the post from an angled shot. Arlesey were pushing forward; O’Brien won a corner that was cleared and good work by O’Brien and Moss fed O’Brien in before he was stopped by a tight o/s. A good cross in from Gaffney found Moss but he was tackled well by the defender in a good position. A good clearance from Ponting found Jason Darvall who quickly found O’Brien and in turn Ryan Lamond on the other side he worked into the box and shot pulling a good save out of Daniel Gould. On the counter Ajigbolamu was adjudged to have been fouled by Adam Randall on the edge of the area which earned a yellow card that looked a bit harsh, from the FK Phil Draycott put the ball past the post.
O’Brien had a low shot that was taken by Gould and Darvall had a long range shot that went over the bar before Crawley Greens skipper Danny Watson went down with a muscle injury and he had to be replaced by Sam Pemberton. A looping cross from O’Brien found Gaffney but his volley was wide and a good move from Moss, O’Brien and Lamond found mead and he hit a shot just past the post from the angle. A good attack from Crawley saw them feed the ball across the edge of Arlesey’s area but Arlesey defended well to close it down before the ball came back to Mark Bunker who put his long shot wide. Just before the break O’Brien tried to find Lamond at the far post but it just evaded him leaving the score at 0-0 at HT.
Arlesey were forced into a change at the turn around as Stuart Richardson replaced Lewis Sinclair. Crawley started the half on the front foot pushing forward although at the start Arlesey were absorbing the threat well but it came as a bit of a shock when Aaron Morgan hit a ball from well over 30 yards near the touchline and it looped over everybody and dropped just behind Ponting just under the bar for 0-1 on 51 mins, if he meant it then it was a wonderful shot but I think it had more than a touch of luck in it.
Moss won a corner that O’Brien drove a shot that was deflected for another corner that was cleared but Crawley were in the right mood now and were clearly quicker and countered and fed in Ajigbolamu and he hit a good shot that Ponting saved but the ball wasn’t cleared and Tyler Ingram fed the ball back into Ajigbolamu and he hit a fine volley past Ponting for 0-2 on 55 mins leaving Arlesey shocked.
Arlesey tried to get back into the game, O’Brien won a corner that came to Randall who hit a good volley just past the post and Lamond combined with Richardson to pull a ball back to Mead but his shot went well over the bar. At the other end Ajigbolamu hit a shot that was taken by Ponting and Phil Draycott hit a shot that was wide. A great angled pass from deep found O’Brien free with the Crawley defence static looking for a flag that didn’t come and O’Brien took his time to shoot accurately past Gould and his near post to make it 1-2 on 69mins.
Moss attacked and got a knock that needed treatment before a long ball into the box saw O’Brien in again with the keeper but this time he just cleared the ball. A good ball in from Richardson found O’Brien who hit a shot on the turn that went for a corner that was cleared.
Arlesey replaced Moss who was still suffering his earlier knock with Fabien Brown-Johnson and Crawley changed Tyler Ingram with Connor Waite. The turning point came a minute later as Ajigbolamu pulled a ball back to Phil Draycott who was tackled right on the line of the area, he went down easily and the ref pointed to the spot for a penalty. Mead protested that this was outside of the box so received a yellow card and Draycott slotted home the penalty for 1-3 on 84 mins.
Just after the restart Pemberton flew into O’Brien with a tackle that looked off the floor and he should consider himself lucky to see only a yellow card. With time almost up Crawley replaced Morgan with Jack Keating and Arlesey replaced Adam Mead with Anthony Araba. Arlesey attacked to the end as Araba won a corner but this was cleared as the whistle went for another loss.
Arlesey have been hit hard with players missing for whatever reason in the 2nd half of the season although they have been competitive for most games. In this game the same applied and for the last match of the season it is hoped that more may be available. This comes with the visit of the newly crowned League champions Biggleswade FC next Saturday
Team : Robbie Ponting, Lewis Sinclair (Richardson 46), Ross Taylor, Adam Mead Y (Araba 90+2), Aaron Gooch, Adam Randall Y, Ryan Lamond, Jason Darvall ©, Charlie Moss (Brown-Johnson 77), Alex O’Brien, Aedan Gaffney,
Subs; Fabian Brown-Johnson, Stuart Richardson, Anthony Araba, Demi Debola.