vs Tring Athletic (A)
SSML Premier Division
23rd March 2019
This was always going to be among the toughest fixtures of the season and although they welcomed back Demi Debola and Lorrell Smith from a suspension, things were not helped by James Hatch and Ross Taylor being unavailable, Adam Mead picking up an injury and Lewis Sinclair not feeling well before the game although he did make the start.
Before the kick off a minute silence was observed for Graham Smart the long standing secretary of Leverstock Green who tragically died the previous evening.
This game started at a furious pace; Lorrell Smith was fouled straight away and Alex O’Brien put in a FK but after several headers it was eventually claimed by Pat Sinfield in goal. A Tring FK from ex-Arlesey player George Ironton was headed on putting Ashton Campbell in at the far post, he fired in a shot that crashed off the post before coming back to him and he then put it over the bar from close range. Tring weren’t denied for long though as a minute later Campbell put in a cross that was met by Jon Clements and he volleyed past Robbie Ponting into the net for 1-0 after just 3 mins.
O’Brien hit a long range effort that went over the bar but Tring pressed forward drawing fouls. A FK was headed on by Campbell but eventually cleared as the Arlesey defence was put under pressure and Kieran Turner burst into the box before he went down rather spectacularly but the ref waived away claims and protests from both sides. Good work by James Verney working into the box was stopped by a good tackle from Adam Randall putting the ball out for a corner that was headed over the bar. A good move by O’Brien found Smith on the edge of the box and he was blocked and went down on the edge of the box but nothing was given. Another good move saw smith put the ball across the goal; it was picked up by Aedan Gaffney who pulled it back to Demi Debola he put in a cross that was an easy take for Sinfield. A Tring corner was headed on and met by Campbell but Ryan Lamond was in the right place to clear off the line. A quick Tring break saw Turner fed Campbell into the box but he managed to shoot over from close range as Ponting closed him down. Campbell then fed Verney into the box who hit a shot that was well stopped by Ponting, it came back to Clements whose shot was again well saved by Ponting but it was recycled quickly and when it came in again Clements had a free head to nod it inside the post for 2-0 on 33 mins.
Smith put a long ball harmlessly across the goal and an O’Brien FK found Smith but it was put out for a corner that was easily cleared by the tall Carl Mensah as Tring kept Arlesey out of shooting range. A clash of heads between Jason Darvall and Mensah resulted in a drop ball but as the half time whistle blew it remained 2-0.
Tring pressed forward from the restart; Clements hit a good low shot that produced a good save from Ponting and Campbell worked into the box crossing to Verney who also hit a good shot that pulled a good save out of Ponting. Randall headed clear from a corner and Jack Sunderland crossed to Clements who flicked it back in before it was cleared but the Tring pressure was mounting and Clement broke through and hit a low shot for his hat trick and 3-0 on 53 mins.
Arlesey made a change as Aarron Browne replace Ryan Lamond and they tried to create something. O’Brien crossed to Browne but it went behind the goal and Smith won a ball in the box before he was disposed by a great tackle by Dave O’Conner. Tring won a FK on the edge of the Arlesey area and after Ponting lined up his wall Ironton played a great FK putting the ball over the wall and right into the top corner just out of Ponting’s reach for 4-0 much to his personal delight on 59mins.
With the game firmly won Tring made a double change as Clements was retired for Luke Dunstan and Mark Riddick was replaced by Lee Stobbs. A good move put Verney through but he hit the side net before Arlesey replaced Lewis Sinclair with Phil Payne who clipped a player with almost his 1st touch earning him his 1st yellow card of the season. Verney put the FK just over the bar. Turner then worked into the box before Aarron Gooch got the ball out for a corner that Ponting punched clear. With the Tring pressure growing again they replaced the other full back as Jack Sunderland was replaced by Joe Fitzgerald. Another FK from Ironton was pushed out for a corner but this led to an Arlesey break as O’Brien broke out and he was brought down by Turner that earned him a yellow card. O’Brien got the ball over the Tring wall but it was an easy take for the keeper.
Campbell volleyed wide as Tring applied more pressure and it wasn’t really a surprise as Campbell picked up a long ball and headed onto Ironton who slid the ball low into the far corner for 5-0 on 84 mins.
Arlesey replaced Adam Randall with Fabian Brown-Johnson to try to get forward more and gained a corner that Mensah headed clear without a lot of problems. As the clock hit 90 a FK from O’Brien found Brown-Johnson who crossed into Smith whose shot was blocked, a shout of hand ball went up but was waived away, the ball came back to O’Brien but he put his long range effort over the bar. Another ball in came to Gaffney who hit a good shot from the edge of the area that required a good save from Sinfield pushing the ball over the bar for a corner that was cleared leaving the score at 5-0 at FT.
Arlesey were poor today from top to bottom against a very good and confident Tring side. The score line to be honest could have been worse and the shot tally of just 1 on target and that was on 92 mins was not good enough.
They must now put this all behind them as they entertain Wembley at home next week and all will be looking for a positive reaction
Team : Robbie Ponting, Lewis Sinclair (Payne 64), Demi Debola, Jason Darvall ©, Aaron Gooch, Adam Randall (Brown-Johnson 86), Ryan Lamond (Browne 53), Stuart Richardson, Lorrell Smith, Alex O’Brien, Aedan Gaffney.
Subs; Fabian Brown-Johnson, Ricky Lawrence, Phil Payne Y, Aarron Browne,