7 GOAL THRILLER AS ARLESEY PROGRESS INTO THE NEXT ROUND OF THE F.A CUP
© Danny Loo Photography
Sat 7th August
EMIRATES FA CUP
extra preliminary round
Our 1st competitive home game since the 3rd of November last year.
A very long while ago, since then we have said sad farewells to some friends suffered the pandemic and the slow recovery, seen the clubs long term plans start to see light of day and the refurbishment of the clubhouse start to become a reality.
And so to the start of another season and the start of this seasons FA cup trail with Thetford coming to the New Lamb meadow.
With Thetfords day starting badly being late on arrival and a last minute (literally) teamsheet being submitted Arlesey strove to exploit this disorder. In just the 2nd min a good ball sent Archie Sayer through but the keeper was alert and just beat him to the ball before a late o/s flag.Thetford countered with their big number 9 Ryan Fuller getting into the box but he was well stopped with a great tackle from Sernad Hoxa. Another great ball from Bruno Brito sent Sayer clear again and this time he timed it better drawing the keeper out before sitting him down and going around him to score his 1st ever senior goal and 1st in the FA cup for 1-0 after just 6 mins.
A somewhat harsh FK was awarded to Thetford and taken from at least 6 yards further forwards from the foul caught Arlesey not concentrating and a cross was not dealt with and allowed to bounce through the box to be put in at the far post by a Thetford forward for 1-1 on 9 mins.
Arlesey kept up the forward pressure with Jalen Miller intercepting a ball in the midfield before taking it down the wing and putting in a cross that Lincoln Gilmartin headed just past the post. From a corner a Herculano Carvalaho header Was half cleared to Ruben Alves who whipped in a great cross that Sayer just missed at the far post. Yet another break saw both Sayer and Carvalaho through; Sayer with the ball hit a shot straight at the keeper when maybe the pass might have been better, the rebound was crossed back in just missing Gilmartin before coming to Brito who fired over the bar, another chance gone.
Yet another break saw Miller through ; his shot was saved then he hit the rebound in again only to see it cleared off the line before Carvalaho’s shot was again blocked.
On the half hour Shayan Ghamarinezhad was injured by a hard tackle oover by the corner flag and after treatment and trying to carry on he had to retire from the game being replaced by Jesus Mendoza.
Arlesey kept pressing forward; Ryan Lamond picked up the ball in his own half and made a mazy run forward before cutting in and firing just past the far post. Just before half time Hoxa was chopped down by the big number 9 and I think he was extremely lucky to only receive a lecture from the ref, Hoxa managed to continue to half time and 1-1.
Arlesey again started the 2nd half strongly with maybe the warning from the manager about wasting chances in there heads; a cross in from Gilmartin was blocked before a great ball again from Gilmartin found Sayer and he just hit a thunderbolt of a shot over the keeper off the bar and into the net for his and Arlesey’s 2nd goal and 2-1 on 47 mins.
Thetford again got themselves forward as their sub who looked very lively did really well on the edge of the box to hold off Mendoza and get his shot away that went just past the post. A Thetford corner saw a shot that was pushed straight up by Ryan Hilliard and then not cleared and it dropped to a Thetford player who lashed in a shot that deflected off someone and into the net for 2-2 on 52 mins.
Arlesey didn’t let this effect them and just 2 mins later a great break from Mendoza saw him attack the whole length of the pitch and his well placed low cross was met by Jalen Miller arriving in the centre to put past the keeper for 3-2 on 54 mins.
A Thetford FK saw a good chance but Fuller headed wide from a good position.
Miller intercepted a ball in the centre before attacking into the box and feeding Carvalaho who fed him back before the keeper clattered into the back of him and the ref pointed to the spot. Carvalaho stepped up and easily beat the keeper for 4-2 on 60 mins.
Another break from Mendoza saw him pull the ball back to Sayer in a great space for his hat trick but he shot with the wrong foot and it was blocked Sayer saw himself clear again a few mins later but his shot was wide. Another great ball saw Gilmartin in but the keeper did really well saving at his feet.
Thetford tried to throw everything into getting forward with a good long throw and the big 9 getting very involved which resulted in him being booked.
The game was now getting a little messy as Thetford pushed forward and Arlesey defended well.
Thetford were a threat with their long throws and strong tactics but generally they were running out of time. On 90 mins from a corner a header was crashed off the bar and out. The 9 had picked up an injury and was being ignored by the ref, a break which saw him well o/s initially, but as he was bypassed he then became active and a shot from the 12 was initially saved by Hilliard but it rebounded off of him coming to the 9 who hit a shot past him for 4-3 in what must have been pushing the laws of o/s to the limit. It didn’t matter though as it was just about the last kick of the game.
This sets up another home game in the next round against Bugbrooke St Michael in 2 weeks.
REPORT BY C. STERRY