Sat 10th Mar 2018
Spartan South Midland Premier Division
Biggleswade Utd 2-0 TAFC First team
INJURIES BEGINNING TO TAKE THEIR TOLL
We sent a patched up side to Biggleswade United on Saturday more in hope than expectation but a goal in each half from the home side meant that we left Second Meadow pointless something that had only happened twice before in 20 years.
With our cup exploits now seeming a distant memory we are struggling to get the victories we desperately need to move away from the relegation zone, having collected a mere 6 points from our last 7 league games. Injuries are clearly hampering us as we try to make up ground on our fellow strugglers having fallen behind with our league fixtures because of our extended cup run.
We faced a tough trip to 8th placed Biggleswade United who had lost only one of their last 8 home games. The home side dominated possession but we defended well, restricting our hosts to few moments when they could test our teenage keeper Lewis Todd.
Unfortunately a lapse in concentration cost us dear in the 17th minute when we failed to deal with a long ball and United's leading scorer Abraham Eze had the simple task of scoring. After that early set back we knew it would be tough to get back on level terms as we have found scoring hard this season, finding the net just 39 times in 25 league matches with only 3 teams having a worse record than us. Score 1-0.
We made little progress against the home defence with Chris Vardy's shot early in the game which forced the keeper into a low save our best effort in the first half. Our best scoring opportunities came early in the second period when Max Hercules forced a good save from Ryan Haggerty and from the resulting corner James Butler was unlucky to see his header saved on the line by the keeper who did really well to recover quickly to scramble the loose ball away.
We did come more into the game after that but we rarely threatened to find an equaliser although Joe Fitzgerald made a tremendous run through the home defence but he couldn't hit the target with his shot.
United looked the more likely scorers and with a minute to go they wrapped up the game when sub Alhaki Kabba converted to secure his side a 2-0 win and their first ever double over us. FT Score 2-0.
Fortunately for us none of the teams below us picked up any points so we still remain in 16th place, 6 points ahead of bottom of the table Stotfold. We still have 15 league games to play, more than any of our fellow strugglers and with the season just 7 weeks away from finishing this will put added pressure on our slim resources so we need to pray that some of our walking wounded recover soon.
The main topic of conversation at games has been around the players missing through injury and unavailability for various reasons with the problem being exacerbated further by clubs poaching our players whilst we seem to be unable to attract replacements. All clubs face similar issues but an indication of how badly we have been affected could be highlighted by an alternative team we could have put out from those missing players.
Jack Hopwood, Tommy Twelves, Chris Mason, Dan Steadman, Jack Seaton, Luke Dunstan, Ben Seaton, Ryan Sturges, Elliott Goward, Chris Blunden, Jack Sunderland. Sub Steve Nott-Macaire
Not a bad line up!
But we need to turn our minds to league action this coming week with Wembley the visitors on Tuesday then on Saturday we travel to Hoddesdon Town. In between we entertain Chipperfield in the St Marys Cup on Wednesday.
BU:1 Ryan Haggerty 2 Kane Farrell 3 James Cooper 4 Lee Bilcock (Capt) 5 Jordan Wright 6 Matt Cooper 7 Gareth Hunt 8 Jay Taylor (15 Carlos Correia-Dias 87) 9 Abraham Eze (12 Aihaji Kabba 61) 10 Jaiden Irish (14 Ricky Christie 90) 11 Gerard Martinez. Sub not used: GK Robbie Ponting
TA:1 Lewis Todd 2 Ben Johnson 3 Colm Parrott (14 Connor Church 73) 4 Mark Riddick 5 James Butler 6 Dave O'Connor 7 Max Hercules 8 Sam Joliffe (Capt) 9 Chris Vardy 10 Jack Read (12 George Carbery 61) 11 Joe Fitzgerald.
BU;Abraham Eze (17), Carlos Correia-Dias (89)