vs Wembley (A)
SSML Premier Division
15th December 2018
A really horrible afternoon weather wise with driving rain and a temp of just +2 saw Arlesey line up with 10 players missing. Guiney, Hatch and Brown were all suspended; Randall and Chambers were injured whilst Smith, Fuller, Gaffney, Gooch, Browne, and Richardson had all made themselves unavailable for whatever reason. A catalogue of problems to sort out before a ball was kicked.
To counter this the managers signed themselves on and in came Antony Araba, Charlie Moss who came over from AFC Dunstable on Friday and Vladislav Bursa who has come on loan from Hitchin and whose registration went through on the Saturday morning.
With everybody reshuffling position wise to accommodate the new line up there was a distinct “1st day of the season “feel to the kick off.
Wembley though have a great pitch that actually could be in its more famous neighbour so the game was in no doubt at all.
Arlesey started by feeding Alex O’Brien through but the keeper was out smartly to save well at his feet. Wembley looked a well drilled team on their flat pitch and moved the ball around well. Charlie Weir won the ball on the edge of the Arlesey area and was suddenly in space but he put his low shot wide of the target.
An attack by Vladislav Bursa won a corner but that was well taken by Montel Joseph under pressure. As the home side pushed forward a looping deflected effort was well taken by Robbie Ponting and a FK was well worked out to Ryan Lamond but his cross in drifted behind the goal in the strong wind and heavy rain.
The brake through came on 15 mins as Wembley worked the ball around well to Yassine Femi-Gil who put in a good cross and found Weir at the far post who nudged it over the line from close range for 1-0.
A good shot from a FK from O’Brien was well taken by Joseph before just a couple of mins later the home side worked the ball out to Hani Berachichi who in space just stepped in and hit a good shot into the bottom corner of the net with Ponting rooted to the spot on the other side of the goal for 2-0 on 18 mins.
Arlesey tried to sort themselves out; a good overlap from Lamond saw him cross into Ricky Lawrence who shot narrowly just past the post and a good build up through the middle found Derek Newton who hit a good shot just past the far post. Kai Ashley found Bursa who beat his man but his cross in only found a defender and was cleared. At the other end Weir hit a good cross/shot that Ponting saved well pushing it around the post for a corner that Ponting punched clear well but a foul was given for a foul on the keeper. A good cross in from Makudzeyi Makuza found O’Brien and he hit a good volley that skimmed just past the post.
Bursa received a yellow card as an introduction to English football for an infringement that only the ref seemed to see before just on 45 mins Wembley again worked the ball through well again to Femi-Gil who found himself in space through the middle of the defence and he made no mistake slotting the ball past Ponting for 3-0 for HT.
Arlesey were further weakened as Derek Newton pulled a muscle just after HT and had to be replaced by Phil Payne making his 1st appearance since early October because of injury. This caused another reshuffle.
A break from Femi-Gil saw him shoot which brought a good save from Ponting pushing it wide for a corner which ended in a long range shot that went past the post.
Arlesey replaced Vlad Bursa and introduce Charlie Moss to the artic conditions. A good move from Arlesey saw Lamond find O’Brien who found Lewis Sinclair who hit a good shot that Josephs had to push around the post for a corner which again blew onto the top netting. A break by Wembley saw them hit 2 shots in quick succession but Ponting did well saving both. An Arlesey FK was cleared to Lamond who hit a shot that went wide and a good cross in saw Josephs put it over the bar for a corner that cleared.
Wembley started to make changes as Osbourne came on. From an Arlesey corner Lawrence was fouled right on the edge of the area and O’Brien hit a great shot from the FK which brought a good save from Josephs. Another cross in found Lawrence who pulled it back to O’Brien who hit his shot just past the post as Arlesey were at this stage of the game were getting on top.
Charlie Moss who looked to be finding his feet won a corner that was cleared and Makuzza put in a good looking cross that had to be well stopped by Joseph. A good head on by Lawrence found O’Brien but the keeper came out smartly to clear the ball. As Arlesey pushed forward they were caught by a break down the right by Osbourne who crossed to the unmarked sub Benmansour who had an easy job to put it in at the far post for 4-0 on 80 mins.
Arlesey visibly slumped at this point and a break through the middle and Osbourne was fed through and he rounded Ponting to shoot into the empty net for 5-0 on 84 mins.
Arlesey tried to make the score line look just a little more respectable as O’Brien attacked into the box riding 2 tackles before finding Lawrence who pulled it back to Makuzza but he put his shot over the bar from a good position.
Arlesey were again caught out up field as a break down the right again saw a carbon copy of the 4th goal and again Benmansour came in at the far post for a flattering 6-0 with his 2nd goal. The Ref then took pity on everybody and blew for FT and I don’t think I have ever seen 2 groups of players ever leave the field so fast to shelter from the bitter conditions.
This was a comprehensive defeat for Arlesey but the players that braved the artic conditions did their best with absolutely everything stacked against them and should be praised for that. The seeds of this defeat were sown last week not on this day.
Arlesey now need to regroup and reorganise before next week’s ultra-local derby at home to Baldock Town.
Team : Robbie Ponting, Ryan Lamond, Derek Newton (Payne 48), Ross Taylor, Jason Darvall, Lewis Sinclair, Makudzeyi Makuza, Alex O’Brien ©, Kai Ashley, Ricky Lawrence, Vladislav Bursa y (Moss 54).
Subs; Charlie Moss, Antony Araba, Phil Payne, Graeme Endersby, Matt Endersby.