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First team report  

Sat 17th Sep 2016
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Sponsored by Marion Griffiths
TAFC First team 1-1 Biggleswade United

TAFC goals: George Brinkman

We looked like we were heading towards an undeserved defeat until George Brinkman popped up to score his first goal for the club 5 minutes from time to level the scores. On our second half performance we should have claimed all 3 points but we will be relieved to have got something from the game against a Biggleswade United side who defended doggedly and who were good enough to dump Aylesbury United out of the FA Cup 4 weeks ago.

With Chris Stapleton picking up an unfortunate knee injury in midweek, we brought in new signing Adam Scotcher to form a promising partnership with Chris Vardy up front. Jack Seaton again switched over from right to left back in the continued absence of Chris Mason, another one with a knee problem. We were also without Lessa Boka and Lanrewajh Lapido so we included 2 new signings, James Banfield and Jamie Warne on the bench.

From the start both sides produced some great football, building from defence and trying to play the ball to feet. The visitors had several early attempts at goal, with a volley from Sergio Urbano and headers from two set pieces from Carles Balboa and centre half Lee Bilcock but none hit the target. There was also a good piece of defensive work by David O'Connor who intercepted a cunning cross from Matt Cooper. Our only attempt during the early stages was a good effort from Adam Scotcher who cut inside and fired in a shot on target, but it was an easy save for keeper Tom Wyatt.

Midway through the half we won 3 corners on the bounce as United struggled to clear their lines with a defender heading one just over his own bar then the keeper in attempting to punch the ball clear succeeded in sending it backwards just over his own goal, but nothing came from these opportunities. Soon afterwards United won a corner which was cleared to Antonio Mitri whose well struck shot went wide.

The visitors were linking up play well and looking sharp going forward and when we needlessly gave the ball away in midfield in the 25th minute they quickly took advantage, with centre forward David Iwediuno producing a slide rule pass to pick out the clever run of Sergio Urbano who calmly slid the ball past Jack Hopwood to put his side ahead. It was Urbano's 3rd goal of the season and takes him to the top of United's scorers list. Score 0-1.

We were getting into good positions but failing to find the right final pass and the nearest we came to an equaliser was a thumping long range shot from Sam Joliffe that wasn't too far off target. A Dave O'Connor free kick did pick out Luke Dunstan unmarked in the right hand side of the opposition's box but from a promising position Luke over hit his cross.

The match was open and being played in a good spirit but during the last few moments of the half it became a touch tetchy after the Referee decided that keeper Tom Wyatt had picked up a back pass. A number of players from both sides were booked (4 in total I believe) but fortunately common sense prevailed and the rest of the game went relatively untroubled. Unfortunately for us we were unable to capitalise on the free kick.

The visitors shaded the first 45 minutes and were good value for their one goal lead. HT Score 0-1.

After the break we came out a different side, playing with a high level of intensity and commitment to dominate the second half. Following a good move in the 55th minute Adam Scotcher's shot took a big deflection but despite going the wrong way Keeper Tom Wyatt managed to stick out a hand a make a brilliant save. A few minutes later the impressive Luke Dunstan produce some great skill to get past the defender on the wing and his cross picked out Chris Vardy whose header forced Wyatt into another superb save. The ball was then scrambled clear but Sam Joliffe picked it up just outside the box and his pile driver smacked against the advertising board near the goal.

With the visitors being pushed back by the ferocity of our attacks they were unable to mount any meaningfully breaks from their own half and Jack Hopwood was virtually a spectator. United's manager responded by replacing Kane Farrell with James Cooper and later Lusungo Ndovi for Charlie Joy but it made little impact on the balance of play with Ryan Sturges, George Brinkman, Luke Dunstan and Sam Joliffe working like terriers in midfield to stifle the opposition.

George Brinkman has been a brilliant signing and his super cross caused chaos in the visitor's defence who managed to scramble the ball away as Luke Dunstan tried to dispatch a shot. Ryan Sturges neatly flicked on Jack Seaton's cross to Chris Vardy who probably had time to control the ball before shooting but tried a spectacular volley which flew well wide of the goal.

We brought on Jamie Warne to make his debut for Jack Seaton and later Jack Sunderland for Ryan Sturges and we went very close to equalising in the 68th minute. George Brinkman lofted a delightful pass out to the left to pick out Luke Dunstan who got to the bye line and whipped in a cross that was so hard it struck Sam Joliffe in the six yard box and somehow bounced wide of the goal.

With less than an quarter of an hour left Luke Dunstan's barn storming run was stopped right on the edge of the area when Carles Balboa chopped him down, earning a second yellow followed by a red card. United immediately made their last change sacrificing Jamie O'Neill for experienced defender Martin Rusell.

With time running out and our supporters wondering if it wasn't going to be our day George Brinkman chose a terrific time to open his account when he timed his run into the box with perfection to skillfully convert a flicked on long throw in the 85th minute. Score 1-1.

With time up United Captain Lee Bilcock produced a game saving tackle to deny Adam Scotcher as he raced through on goal but it was the visitors who nearly snatched a late dramatic winner when Iwediuno fired in a fierce shot. This was the visitors only genuine effort on goal in the second half and would have been an unfair and cruel blow, but fortunately for us it went just wide of the far post. there was still time for one more scare when a free kick came off Dan Steadman's head and looked destined to land safely in Jack Hopwood's arms until he slipped and had to push the ball away whilst on his knees. But that was the last of the action and honours were shared. FT Score 1-1.

This was an enthralling and high quality game between two good sides and both will have their disappointments, United for being unable to hold onto their lead for another five minutes and us for being unable to take advantage of our second half domination and convert the numerous chances we carved out.

Interestingly in the 11 competitive games we have played so far this season this was the 9th time we have failed to score in the first half producing just 3 goals, whilst we have managed to score 12 in the second periods. Hopefully this is something we can rectify in future games.

This was a thoroughly good all round team performance against a very good footballing side. The introduction of a few new players to replace those that left in the summer has strengthen the squad and prospects look promising for the future. This draw extended our unbeaten run to 7 games and maintained our 9th place in the table, although if we win our games in hand we could move up to possibly 4th.

Our next encounter will be a trip to Division 1 outfit Winslow United for an FA Vase game on Saturday. We haven't played the Bucks side for many years but they beat Rushden & Higham United 6-4 in the previous round so they will fancy their chances and we can expect a tough encounter.


TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Jack Seaton (16 Jamie Warne 66) 4 George Brinkman 5 David O'Connor 6 Dan Steadman (Capt) 7 Ryan Sturges (14 Jack Sunderland 83) 8 Sam Joliffe 9 Chris Vardy 10 Adam Scotcher 11 Luke Dunstan . Subs not used: 12 James Banfield 15 Stuart Stedman.

BU: 1 Tom Wyatt 2 Matt Cooper 3 Carles Balboa 4 Kane Farrell (12 James Cooper 58) 5 Lee Bilcock (Capt) 6 Gareth Hunt 7 Jamie O'Neill (17 Martin Russell 80) 8 Antonio Mitri 9 David Iwediuno 10 Sergio Urbano 11 Charlie Joy (15 Lusungo Ndovi 76). Subs not used: 14 Paul Donald GK Dan Boughton.


TA: George Brinkman (85)

BU: Sergio Urbano (25)

Crowd: 102


The following report has been taken from Biggleswade United website

Report: Tring Athletic 1-1 Biggleswade United

They say football is a very simple game but on occasion it can be extremely perplexing! Last Wednesday night at Welwyn, United Head Coach, Cristian Colás, described his team’s performance as “the best yet” and his Welwyn counterpart acclaimed United as “the best side they had played”. But at 4pm on Saturday the accolades ceased and United were put firmly under the cosh by a new look Tring Athletic side who bombarded the United goal for almost 45 minutes and were unlucky not to take all three points – especially when United were reduced to ten men after Carles Balboa’s dismissal for two yellows.

That said, United opened the game in style and were displaying all of the attributes that had heralded the compliments just three days before. Several early attempts saw a volley from Sergio Urbano and two headed attempts by centre halves Balboa and Lee Bilcock just miss the target. A dangerous cross from Matt Cooper was cleared from danger by Ath’s Dave O’Connor before it could reach Charlie Joy and Antonio Mitri tried his luck from 20 yards out but the host’s stopper, Jack Hopwood, managed to get a hand to the ball.

United’s pressure eventually paid off in the 25th minute when a sublime pass from striker David Iwediuno slipped through the Ath back line to Urbano who coolly tucked the ball under the advancing Hopwood to gift the former Barca B player his third goal of the campaign.

Tring responded immediately but a string of corners failed to find a way past the organised United back line and when they did find that chink in the armour, ‘keeper Tom Wyant was on hand to make some fines saves first from Tring’s Sam Joliffe and then Luke Dunstan. The half finished with players from both sides receiving yellow cards after a skirmish following the referee having deemed a deflection from a Tring player’s boot was instead a back pass from Bilcock.

The second period saw a tactical change by the home side’s management team and having now packed the midfield United struggled to resume the fluency of the first half. Kicking down the infamous Roots Hall slope, Tring went for broke and rifled in shots from all angles in an attempt to get back in to the game.

Wyant was required to make three unbelievable stops to deny the terrier like, George Brinkman and Dunstan and striker Chris Vardy were all unlucky not to level the scores. A lunging tackle by, Balboa saw the Spaniard receive his second yellow and United were left to see out the final fifteen minutes with ten men.

Tring had to wait until the 85th minute to finally salvage a point when a volley from Brinkman found its way through a crowded penalty area to make it one apiece. A final flurry by United could have seen them snatch all three points when new signing , Lusungo Ndovi ,weaved his way in to the Tring area but Hopwood was quick off his line to block the strike.