vs Leighton Town (A)
SSML Premier Division
8th December 2018
A windy day on a wet pitch saw Arlesey have to reshuffle the back line because of the injuries at Biggleswade. Arlesey tried to press forward from the start and James Hatch lobbed in a ball toward Lorrell Smith but the ex-Leighton striker was crowded out and it went out for a goal kick. Leighton absorbed Arlesey’s pressure. On Leightons 1st attack they won a FK but this was won and as Alex O’Brien broke out he was cynically brought down from behind by Dave Murphy who saw the 1st yellow card of the afternoon. A break down the right by Tom Bryant saw him hit a good shot that was well saved by Robbie Ponting with his feet.
Leighton were breaking through the Arlesey defence with a regularity; Tom Silford looked O/S but was waived on, he crossed in and the ball wasn’t cleared and there was a bit of a melee before Ponting dropped onto the loose ball. A break by Kyle Faulkner saw a rather weak shot before another break by Lewis McBride saw him outstrip the defence before he went down right on the edge of the area under a tackle from Adam brown and the ref pointed to the penalty spot. With fans and players asking for a red card the ref applied the correct interpretation of the law and showed the yellow card to Brown. Aaron Mckee stepped up for the shot and Ponting made a great save from the initial shot and another from the follow up to push it round for a corner which was cleared.
A cross in from Jason Darvall was easily taken by Charlie Jones in Leightons goal before they broke through again; McBride again broke through with Tom Guiney in his wake, McBride looked to have stumbled just as Guiney caught up with him, the Arlesey skippers arm was raised as the forward went down making an easy decision for the ref as he produced a straight red card for Guiney to cheers from the home supporters. From the FK ex-Arlesey player Matt Hall put his shot just over the bar.
This game was getting very feisty now with heavy tackle flying in from both sides and appeals in all directions; Leighton were appealing everything and getting free kicks, a FK by Hall was headed just past the Arlesey post as they pressed forward to exploit their advantage but a good break out by Derek Newton saw him beat 2 before crossing in but Jones took it well in front of Smith.
A foul by Yusef Seodi saw him fell Jason Darvall heavily but this only resulted in a talking to for the Leighton player and another break by Faulkner saw his shot again well saved by Ponting. A break down the other side saw Derek Newton booked for a foul which didn’t look that bad before Hall again drifted in another good FK that was cleared off the line before a long shot was put well wide. Faulkner was again fed through but his shot was well over the bar as Arlesey hung on to keep it at 0-0 at half time.
Although the wind dropped a bit at HT the 2nd half started in the same vain. A looping shot was well stopped by Pointing under his crossbar; but as Leighton pressed forward he could do little as from a disputed FK the ball came to Hall who drove it across the goal through a crowd of players which looked in but Tom Bryant must have got a touch as it went off the post into the net for 1-0 on 50 mins.
Arlesey replaced Aedan Gaffney with Lewis Sinclair and reorganised a bit. A Free kick for a foul by Ash Fuller that saw him booked saw Darvall head the ball out but it hit McBride; several Arlesey players shouted for “handball” but the ref didn’t react and McBride hit a great shot from the edge of the area into the bottom corner of the net for 2-0 on 57 mins.
Arlesey made a double change as Ryan Lamond replaced Makudzeyi Makuza and Ricky Lawrence returned to replace Derek Newton as Arlesey gambled to try to make an impression on the game. Before this could be implemented and as Arlesey sorted themselves out Tom Silford found some space and ran in and shot from the edge of the box low into the net for 3-0 on 63 mins.
With Leighton making some changes Arlesey took more control and made some impression going forward; Ash Fuller broke through and hit a great low fierce shot but Jones did really well as he saved with his feet pushing it just past the post, and a cross in by Hatch was cleared just in front of Smith. Smith had a weak shot from outside the area that was easy for Jones.
A FK from Fuller being fouled was delivered in by Fuller that found Lawrence right in front of the goal; his diving header was well saved by Jones at almost point blank range and as Lawrence fell over the keeper the ref awarded a FK to Leighton that relieved the pressure.
As the game moved into its final phase Brown was felled on the edge of the Arlesey area but nothing was given letting the forward in but Ponting did well saving at his feet; Arlesey broke quickly, Fuller found Sinclair but things broke down on the edge of the area before at the other end Faulkner had a shot that was collected by Ponting.
Near the end Dentice slid into a tackle into the back of Fuller that looked a really bad one. The ref awarded a FK and that was it, James Hatch appalled by this protested to the ref and was promptly booked for dissent. Right at the end O’Brien had a long shot wide of the target but it finished with a 3-0 defeat.
This was one of those games when nothing went right and the home team got all the breaks but they deserved the win on the day. The consequences of losing more players to discipline maters as we move forward might come back to haunt Arlesey next week but before that they face Luton Town at home in the Beds Senior Cup quarter final on Tuesday night.
Team : Robbie Ponting, Jason Darvall, Derek Newton y (Lawrence 62), Aedan Gaffney (Sinclair 50), Adam Brown y, Tom Guiney R ©, Makudzeyi Makuza (Lamond 62), Alex O’Brien, Lorrell Smith, James Hatch y, Ash Fuller y.
Subs; Lewis Sinclair, Ryan Lamond, Stuart Richardson, Ricky Lawrence, Aarron Browne.