SSML Premier Division Cup
4th September 2018
The game last night for both teams was a chance away from the League to get the whole squad involved and get everybody valuable game time and from when we played Hadley just a few weeks ago both sides made major changes with Arlesey playing just 3 who started on Saturday at Harpenden and Hadley doing similarly.
Although Arlesey looked comfortable at the start it was Hadley who scored with a shock early goal that can really only go into the “freak goal” category. From a Hadley corner Adam Brown headed clear positively and fairly well but it can to the wide man Yemi Buraimoh who attacked and cut in. Now I don’t think even he would claim this as a shot but his “cross” flew with power from what looked an imposable angle into the top nearside gap between post/bar and keeper; I don’t think anybody thought that was possible but it went in and Arlesey were 0-1 down after just 4 mins
A strong run from the back by Demi Debola looked to had broken through the Hadley defence but the play was pulled back by the Ref for an earlier foul which somewhat annoyed everybody especially as the free kick delivered in by Ryan Lamond was cleared.
Arlesey were generally on top; another run by Debola was stopped with a foul but again Lamond’s free kick was cleared. A good ball in by Debola was headed on by Ricky Lawrence to Jason Darvall but his shot was wide of the target.
A good move through the centre found Carl Chambers but his shot went over the bar and a free kick was too close to the keeper who claimed the ball. A good ball in from Brown found Chambers but his header was wide of the target.
A foul on Ross Taylor earned Rhys Shirley-Clarke a yellow card that could have gone further as he “debated” the matter with the Ref, from the free kick Lawrence got in a fairly weak header that was cleared.
Arlesey kept working; another free kick was headed on by Lawrence to Chambers who shot wide and the same player shot over the bar
Another powerful run by Debola through the middle saw him beat two defenders before hitting a good shot on target but it was also straight at the keeper who safely gathered in the ball.
The half finished at 0-1 to Hadley.
The second period started slowly with neither side making much impression before Arlesey replaced Stuart Richardson with Kai Ashley. Neither side were really making any impression and Arlesey brought on their more experienced forwards in Lorrell Smith and Ash Fuller to try to shake things up a bit.
From a free kick by Ponting in his own half led to a corner that was met by Jason Darvall but his effort was like last week cleared off the line. Arlesey were creating more half chances but not really making the keeper make any saves but as the game drifted into the final phase the best chance of the game by far came from a great ball in by Ash Fuller that dropping just right toward Ricky Lawrence with the keeper stranded by his post; it looked a certain goal but somehow Lawrence managed to miss the target with his header, it was one of those things that if he did exactly the same thing 100 times he would score but the effort didn’t even go over the bye line and it was cleared leaving Lawrence frustrated on the floor.
Lawrence had another header toward the end which again went frustratingly wide. As the game went into the added on time that Hadley had created with a lot of wasted time, Arlesey pushed Adam Brown up front as well but even with this added fire power they were unable to make a break through and the game finished in a frustrating 0-1 defeat.
With so many changes from both sides it was perhaps understandable that this wasn’t the most fluent game ever, but it was very frustrating that with looking very comfortable in defence and fairly much dominating the game without being that creative up front both sides really failed in front of goal and for the average supporter it was on the whole a “poor game”.
The opportunity to put this right comes quickly though as old rivals Leighton Town come to us on Saturday and with several player s coming from last year’s Leighton side that should have a point to prove.
Team : Robbie Ponting, Ryan Lamond, Demi Debola, Phil Payne, Adam Brown ©, Aaron Gooch, Stuart Richardson (Ashley 50), Jason Darvall, Carl Chambers (Smith 67), Ricky Lawrence, Ross Taylor (Fuller 69 yellow).
Subs; Brodie Couzins, Lorrell Smith, Ash Fuller, Tom Guiney, Kai Ashley.