vs Stotfold (A)
SSML Premier Division
10th November 2018
Heavy rain and a poor pitch greeted the teams as they observed a minutes silence at the start of the game for Armistice day.
Stotfold had the 1st chance from an early corner after just 2 mins as Lanre Balogun met the ball virtually unopposed at the far post but he put his header wide of the post.
A Stotfold free kick was cleared without difficulty and Arlesey countered quickly with Lorrell Smith breaking; he hit a shot that brought a smart save from Matt Fallon in goal, but the ball was not cleared and it came to Alex O’Brien who was returning to the side from suspension and was made captain; he controlled the ball and hit a fierce shot that seemed to move in front of Fallon and he could not prevent it from going past him into the net for an early 0-1 lead on just 4 mins.
Arlesey now pressed forward with confidence; a deep cross in by Lewis Sinclair was punched clear by Fallon, and a good ball in from Aarron Browne only just missed James Hatch going out for a goal kick. Another good ball in by Browne was well put out by Burkett in front of Smith for a corner which came out to O’Brien who hit a great volley that was blocked and cleared. Arlesey pressed forward and Fuller who had switched sides cut in from the wing and hit a fierce drive that again Fallon was unable to hang on to for 0-2 on just 9 mins.
Another good ball in found Hatch who headed on only just missing Smith who was in a great position had he connected. Stotfold managed a response as Balogun turned well and hit a long shot that was no problem from Robbie Ponting, the same pair did it again a couple of minutes later as Balogun hit a shot from the edge of the area that this time actually required a save from Ponting.
As the lights came on to lift the gathering gloom Hatch headed wide from a corner and a good move by Browne to Aedan Gaffney to O’Brien saw his shot blocked before Browne pulled back a great ball to Smith who hit a shot that looked in but just scraped around the wrong side of the post possibly taking the paint with it. A Stotfold corner was well headed clear by Adam Randall making his 1st start of the season and who was having a solid game in defence,
A good ball fed in Hatch but his shot was well saved by Fallon’s legs, but from a break by Gaffney saw him cross in, the defender didn’t control the ball and it was quickly snatched by Hatch and he hit a great shot past Fallon for 0-3 on 31 mins.
Browne was fouled by Jerry Lyon on the edge of the area and he received the 1st card of the afternoon. From the FK Fuller picked up the ball and shot just past the post. As Arlesey kept pressing a long ball found Smith but Fallon did really well smothering the ball at his feet before hatch put the loose ball wide of the target. In another break from Smith saw him race clear; he beat the keeper this time but his shot hit the base of the other post before coming out and clear. Another shot from Hatch brought a good save from Fallon and just before half time Fuller hit a shot that reared up wickedly right in front of Fallon and he desperately managed to claw the ball just over the bar for a corner that was cleared just before the half time whistle and a completely dominating half from Arlesey with the only wonder was why it was only 0-3.
The 2nd period started with Smith being fed through, it looked like he was fouled but it wasn’t given as Smith continued into the box but shot just past the post under pressure from 3 defenders and the keeper. Smith fed in Browne who fired off a shot that went just over the bar. Alfie Barker received a yellow card for a foul on Fuller and he was lucky that it wasn’t a red as he made a head movement towards Fuller and then made gestures toward him.
Fuller did well as he beat his man and put in great ball to Smith that just missed him in a great position before it was pulled up for a tight o/s. Stotfold countered with a corner that came out to Barker who hit a good cross/shot that Ponting saved well and just after Barker put in a cross that was pushed out by Ponting before a shot went over the bar.
Arlesey replaced Hatch with Ryan Lamond and reshuffled slightly. Another good ball found Smith who turned well and fired a shot that brought another good save from Fallon but he could do nothing as Aarron Browne broke clear down the wing and outstripping the defence he fired past Fallon for 0-4 on 67 mins.
Smith again beat his man well and hit a shot that Fallon again pulled off a great save pushing around the post for a corner that Aaron Gooch headed just over the bar. Smith fed in Fuller and his good shot again pulled a good save from Fallon.
The 5th goal came from a different source as Lewis Sinclair put in a deep cross; the ball dropped into the far post area, Fallon may have got a fingertip to it but it went over him hit the post and went over the line, a 1st goal for Sinclair.
At 0-5 Arlesey could have been forgiven to thinking the game was over and replaced Aarron Browne with Ross Taylor but they were rocked by a really great shot from deep by Jermaine Francis that just flew past Ponting giving him no chance for 1-5.
A FK from Fuller found O’Brien who turned well and shot just past the post before from a Stotfold FK wasn’t dealt with and the ball bounced on the line before being put over by Zach Decker for 2-5.
Arlesey then sorted themselves out and apart from a few free kicks that were dealt with they saw out the game for an emphatic win with the only real wonder was that they had only scored 5 and that Smith hadn’t managed to get on the scoresheet.
Arlesey must now take this confidence forward as they face 2nd bottom Cockfosters at home next week but with them drawing 5-5 with Crawley Green a wary eye must be kept on them .
Team : Robbie Ponting, Lewis Sinclair, Demi Debola, Aedan Gaffney (Darvall 89), Aaron Gooch, Adam Randall, Aarron Browne (Taylor 76), Alex O’Brien ©, Lorrell Smith, James Hatch (Lamond 63) Ash Fuller.
Subs; Makudzeyi Makuza, Jason Darvall, Derek Newton, Ryan Lamond, Ross Taylor.