vs Harpenden Town
SSML Premier Division
1st September 2018
On another late summer and hot day an away trip to Harpenden and another new ground for me. Arlesey made one change as new signing Ross Taylor came in for the injured Derek Newton.
Harpenden started quite strongly with a home corner that George Robinson shot past the post. Arlesey countered with Aarron Browne who found Ash Fuller but his shot was blocked and a good cross that just evaded Makudza Makudzeyi.
Harpenden who had lost heavily a week ago were obviously concerned in keeping it very tight at the back and with Arlesey absorbing the few attacks that came their way the game settled into a midfield tussle.
James Yates got in a shot that brought a good save from Robbie Ponting before the Ref issued his 1st yellow card to Ross Taylor from a somewhat innocuous challenge. This free kick led to a corner that Tom Guiney headed out for a throw that in turn led to another corner that was a routine catch for Ponting.
From a Browne throw James Hatch went down in the box under a challenge but the appeal was waived away. Hatch found Fuller whose cross went for a corner that was taken by the keeper Carl Tusker. The ref then ordered the corner to be taken again (not sure why) but again it was cleared.
Arlesey were slowly getting on top; Dwayne Duncan was booked for a foul and Adam Mead hit a good shot from the free kick that pulled a good save out of Tusker. Hatch had a header and Fuller hit a shot that was taken by the keeper as Arlesey put on a bit of pressure before from a Harpenden corner Kyle McLeish worked a header wide when he really should have scored.
Arlesey were defending quite well with both Tom Guiney and Aaron Gooch prominent with headers and tackles but it was 0-0 at half time.
Harpenden again started quite strongly in the 2nd period with a few corners that were well defended. As in the 1st half Arlesey gradually forced the home side back into the midfield area as they tightened up their back line. Fuller flashed a shot across the goal and again Hatch turned his marker well in the box and went down under the challenge but nothing was given despite some vigorous appeals.
Arlesey replaced Makudzeyi who had a knock with Phil Payne and Mead with Jason Darvall in an effort to find a way through.
Fuller cut in and had a good low shot that was well saved at the foot of the post but Arlesey were generally being kept shackled. At the other end Sam James blazed well over the bar and Dan Weeks did well to get in a cross but it was well dealt with by Aaron Gooch.
The best chance came on 82 mins as Aarron Browne who hadn’t stopped running all afternoon beat his man and crossed in; the ball bounced over Lorrell Smith to Jason Darvall and although it was an awkward ball as it got to him he got a connect 5 yards out but Tusker made a great save on the line to stop the ball but he really should have scored from there. Hatch headed over the bar from a free kick and Smith made a good break but his shot was blocked before on 90 mins Yates hit a shot at the other end that brought a good save out of Ponting.
Arlesey finished the afternoon still trying to press forward but as the whistle blew it proved a frustrating afternoon for the forwards.
Although this was a blank afternoon from the offensive side of the team the defence looked tight and wasn’t really in any trouble all afternoon with Aaron Gooch in particular being dominant and any point away from home is a good point is a worthy quote from a better orator than me.
With this Arlesey move into double figures on points and 3rd in the table.
Team : Robbie Ponting, Lewis Sinclair, Ross Taylor, Adam Mead (Darvall74), Aaron Gooch, Tom Guiney ©, Makuza Makudzeyi (Payne70), James Hatch, Lorrell Smith, Ash Fuller, Aarron Browne.
Subs; Ryan Lamond Phil Payne Demi Debola, Jason Darvall, Adam Brown.