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First team report
Sat 8th Oct 2016
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Hoddesdon Town 1-3 TAFC First team TAFC goals: Luke Dunstan, George Carbery, Sam Jolliffe
WE ARE BECOMING A TOUGH SIDE TO BEAT
We had to endure periods of pressure during the opening 45 minutes of this away fixture at Hoddesdon Town but we refused to buckle and showed great character to raise our game in the second half and run out convincing 3-1 winners.
On a surprisingly dry and bumpy pitch we made a lightening start scoring after only 35 seconds when Ryan Sturges played a lovely ball through to Luke Dunstan who calmly slotted the ball through the keepers legs for his first goal of the season. Score 0-1.
Undeterred by this early set back Hoddesdon came back strongly with Dan Odamo heading a corner wide and then Dominique Njoya made a lovely run before firing a shot/cross just beyond the far post. Later leading scorer Connor Scully fired a fierce effort just off target.
The home side were dominating play but we are not easily ruffled and we put up a spirited defence. Eventually just past the half hour mark the pressure told and Dan Odamo, who was making his debut, scored from close range. Score 1-1. Almost immediately Hoddesdon broke down the left and Jason Brown tried to extend his side's lead with a firm shot but it went wide of the goal.
But as the first half drew to a close we roused ourselves again with Chris Vardy hitting the side netting from a tight angle after latching onto a lovely through ball from Sam Joliffe and going round the keeper. Then Sam Joliffe and Ryan Sturges linked up well with Sam fizzing in a terrific shot that was superbly saved by keeper Luke Peirce at the foot of the post.
After a half in which Hoddesdon had in the main been in the ascendency we went in for our break on level terms with the knowledge that we generally perform much better in the second half of games. HT Score 1-1.
We were called into action soon after the restart blocking a shot from the dangerous Jordan Watson with Connor Scully sending the loose ball wide although it took a slight deflection to earn our hosts a corner which we cleared.
We were dealt a blow in the 57th minute when keeper Mark Richardson got injured bravely diving at the feet of the blameless Watson. With no spare keeper on the bench defender James Butler took his place between the sticks, something he has been called upon to do previously.
Jack Sunderland came off the bench and some re-jigging took place which included moving Jack Seaton back into his more familiar defensive role. But any concerns we may have had that Hoddesdon would try and take some advantage of this situation were quickly dispelled as we retook the lead just two minutes later. The instigator was Sam Joliffe who sent George Carbery through on the right to score at the second attempt for the second game running.
We were looking the more dangerous side now as our opponents challenge started to fade. We extended our lead further in the 68th minute with a goal of some quality. Luke Dunstan sent Chris Vardy away down the right and Vards did well to hold the ball up and lay it back to Sam Joliffe who from the edge of the area smashed the ball off the underside of the bar. It was a fitting reward for Sam who had a super game. Score 1-3.
We were now in control and whilst the opposition tried to get back into the game it was telling that they failed to test James in goal and we saw out the game without any trouble. FT Score 1-3.
A fine away victory which demonstrated that we are not an easy side to beat even when we are not performing at our best. It also once again showed that for whatever reason we always seem to play much better after the interval, perhaps its the tea that does the trick! It also highlighted our strength in depth as we had a number of key players missing. A good team performance all round but special mention for Jack Seaton who started in midfield having played full back and wing back this season and was then asked to move into central defence which he did with his usual aplomb.
The win extended our unbeaten run but still kept us in 7th place in the table, but if we win our games in hand we can move up a few places. On Tuesday we entertain St Margaretsbury then on Saturday we travel to Oxhey Jets, both are league games.
HT: 1 Luke Peirce 2 Ross Clemo 3 Dominique Njoya 4 Jason Brown 5 Dan Odamo 6 Louis Rose 7 Joss Lillis (12 Kardam Campbell 61) 8 Charlie Edwards 9 Jordan Watson 10 Connor Scully (14 Reece Hackney 82) 11 Fraser John (15 Tom Cowell 69). Sub not used: 16 Bradley Fraser.
TA: 1 Mark Richardson (12 Jack Sunderland 57) 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Jamie Warne 4 Luke Dunstan 5 Dan Steadman (Capt) 6 James Butler 7 Ryan Sturges (15 James Banfield 85) 8 Sam Joliffe 9 Chris Vardy 10 George Carbery 11 Jack Seaton. Subs not used: 14 Callum Gregory 16 Stuart Stedman.
HT: Dan Odamo (31)
TA: Luke Dunstan (1), George Carbery (59), Sam Joliffe (68)