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First team report
Sat 17th Dec 2016
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Biggleswade United 3-1 TAFC First team TAFC goals: Christopher Vardy
WE WERE NOT AT THE RACES
Our terrific run of results this season has been built on being solid, organised and competitive but we let these standards slip against Biggleswade United who played well and fully deserved their 3-1 victory.
We went into the game with a decent record at United, with just one defeat from 19 visits, but we were uncharacteristically open in defence and shipped two goals within the opening 20 minutes. We did manage to pull a goal back but we struggled to find an equaliser and a third goal from United 15 minutes from time knocked any hopes we had of a comeback on the head.
We started well with Kieran Turner just failing to get on the end of a corner to the far post in the 2nd minute. Ironically we then went mighty close to opening the scoring a minute later when some great play from Chris Stapleton set up Kieran Turner who went round a defender but was then denied a goal by the outstretched foot of keeper Tom Wyatt.
It was a terrific save from the United keeper and proved vital as a minute later it was his team that took the lead. The ball was played out to David Iwediuno who was in acres of space on our right. He skillfully cut inside one challenge then fired a shot past Jack Hopwood. It was a well taken goal but wonders why he was given so much time and room. Score 1-0.
We then had to withstand some pressure as our hosts were clearly buoyed by the goal and in the 21st minute we conceded a second when their captain Martin Russell headed home a corner. Score 2-0.
We now had a mountain to climb but we should have reduced the deficit two minutes later when Lee Stobbs latched onto a through pass from Chris Stapleton, rounded the keeper then pulled the ball back to Chris Vardy whose shot was blocked on the line by a defender who managed to get back quickly and cover his keeper.
It was a great opportunity missed, but we made up for it on the half hour to bring ourselves right back into contention. Again it was Chris Stapleton who set up the opportunity with a cross that Chris Vardy touched past the keeper. It was good to see Vards score for the second league game running and hopefully there will be many more to follow. Score 2-1.
We started to probe the home defence particularly down their right through Lee Stobbs who made some good runs but we failed to get on the end of his crosses and the score remained the same until the half time whistle. HT Score 2-1.
The next goal was going to be crucial and we started the second half intent on claiming it. We applied lots of pressure but despite dominated the early possession we failed to crack open the home defence and test their keeper. Gradually the home side started to get back into the game and were a threat going forward.
We were pushing forward and were caught out in the 75th minute when a ball played down our left flank sent leading scorer Nick Elliot away and he fired a shot past Jack Hopwood from an acute angle to grab an important and game winning third goal. FT Score 3-1.
This was a disappointing result and performance and collectively we were well below our best. But to put it into some perspective this was only our second away defeat in the league and we still remain eighth in the table with games in hand that could see us move up a couple more places.
Hopefully this result was just a blip as we have some key fixtures coming up starting with a home game against Holmer Green on Tuesday in the League Cup followed by a local derby at Berkhamsted after Xmas then our much anticipated FA Vase game in the New Year.
Another disappointment was to see Dave O'Connor and Kieran Turner come off with knocks but hopefully they are not too serious as we already have Jack Seaton and Ryan Sturges on the injury list. The good piece of news is that Luke Dunstan will be available for selection after serving his one match suspension as he was sorely missed in this game.
BU: 1 Tom Wyant 2 Kane Farrell 3 Matt Cooper 4 Jordan Wright 5 Martin Russell (Capt) 6 Nick Elliot 7 Daryl Ngwala 8 Paul Donald (16 Kevin Owusu 53) 9 David Iwediuno (15 Jaiden Irish 81) 10 Lusunga Ndovi (14 Antonio Mitri 72) 11 Gareth Hunt. Subs not used: 12 Lee Bilcock GK Reece Voller.
TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Chris Mason 4 George Brinkman (12 Jamie Warne 80) 5 Dan Steadman (Capt) 6 David O'Connor (15 Lessa Boka 65) 7 Lee Stobbs 8 Sam Joliffe 9 Chris Vardy 10 Kieran Turner (14 George Carbery 70) 11 Chris Stapleton.
BU: David Iwediuno (4), Martin Russell (21), Nick Elliot (75)