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First team report
Sat 11th Mar 2017
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Sponsored by Mason McAndrew TAFC First team 3-0 F C Broxbourne Borough TAFC goals: Luke Dunstan, Jack Read, David O'Connor
WE GET BACK ON TRACK AGAIN
After a recent run of indifferent form it was good to get back on the winning trail again with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Broxbourne Boro. The visitors rightly received national recognition for the stirring exploits of their Under 18's side who reached the 5th Round of the FA Youth Cup, eventually losing to Aston Villa at Villa Park. This was a magnificent achievement for a club at this level and whilst the First Team are struggling at the bottom of the Premier Division and look certain to be relegated their long terms prospects look highly promising.
We made a couple of changes with Captain Dan Steadman returning from injury and the versatile Jack Seaton moving over to left back to cover for the injured Chris Mason where he made some great marauding runs down the wing.
Jack Read sent an early chance wide after a corner reached him beyond the far post but we soon opened the scoring in the ninth minute. Picking up a poor clearance from the keeper just outside the area, Luke Dunstan drifted past two defenders then from a tight angle fired a low left shot past the keeper and inside the far post. It was a terrific piece of play and finishing from the influential midfielder who turned only 20 in January and has already clocked up 120 First Team games scoring 13 goals. Score 1-0.
Boro would have grabbed an equaliser ten minutes later but for a super save from Jack Hopwood to deny Charlie Jones who found himself through on goal. Ryan Sturges produced a mazy dribble from deep that earned a corner and Lee Stobbs latched onto another poor clearance from the Boro keeper who redeemed himself by catching his lob.
The game was scrappy and both sides were guilty of spoiling promising moves with poor passing. The visitor's centre forward George Jumbo had a shot on target which failed to trouble Hoppy but generally we looked comfortable.
In the 33rd minute we extended our lead and again Luke Dunstan was involved, winning the ball in midfield then sending Jack Read away with a lovely pass. Ready went round the keeper and some defenders before slotting home his sixth goal in the nine games he has played since joining the club from Welwyn Garden City. Score 2-0.
Six minutes later Lee Stobbs passed to Chris Vardy who cleverly back heeled the ball to Jack Read but from a good position he shot wide of the post. Shortly afterwards a quickly taken free kick to Chris Vardy caught the visitor's defence napping but from a difficult angle he was unable to hit the target.
Most of Boro's chances fell to their midfielder Charlie Jones and he again had a good opportunity to bring his side back into the game just before half time but was denied by another great save from Jack Hopwood. From the resulting corner Jones headed wide. This threat was self inflected and came from a sloppy pass something we have been guilty of on a number occasions in recent weeks.
A poor and rather stodgy first half ended with us holding the main cards with a two goal lead. HT Score 2-0.
The second half started with Jack Read sending an early chance wide and Dave O'Connor hit the bar from Lee Stobbs superb cross. The goal wouldn't have counted as DOC was offside and he was frustrated again when his goal bound header from a Jack Seaton cross was headed off the line. But DOC was clearly determined to get on the score sheet and he achieved his aim in the 65th minute climbing above the defender at the far post to head home a fine cross from Lee Stobbs. Score 3-0.
We had another scare when that man Jones put a chance wide but gradually the threat from Boro fizzled out and Jack Hopwood became a spectator for most of the second half. It was a question of whether we could add to our tally. Chris Stapleton shot wide and a defence splitting pass from George Carbery gave Chris Vardy the opportunity to add to his tally but Vards failed to beat the keeper.
Tommy Twelves was making some good runs and appeared to be tripped in the area but the Referee who generally had a good game waved away our penalty appeals. Later Tommy played a nice one two with George Carbery with the resulting shot being blocked, then he produced a fine cross to pick out Chris Stapleton who produced a nice header but it lacked the power to beat the keeper.
Despite dominating most of the second half we failed to add to our score in the last 30 minutes. FT Score 3-0.
This was certainly no classic and with no disrespect to our opponents was not a very challenging game. Boro look certain to go down being 13 points away from safety but to their credit they kept going to the end and in young midfielder Charlie Ruff, brother of Hertford Town's Sam Ruff, they had a very promising player. They did create a few good scoring opportunities mainly it has to be said from our mistakes, but failed to take them.
Despite the low key nature of the game it was never-the-less pleasing to get back to winning ways and keep a clean sheet. This will hopefully boost our confidence for some tough games coming up starting with the with the visit of Oxhey Jets on Tuesday. Jets had a superb 1-0 win over high flying Wembley on Saturday and are always tough opponents so this will be a difficult fixture.
We then have an unusual Friday night game in Tring against London Tigers. It is technically Tiger's home match but with their ground out of action the match has been switch to The Grass Roots Stadium.
TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Jack Seaton 4 Ben Alcock 5 Dan Steadman (Capt) (15 Seb Smith 73) 6 Dave O'Connor 7 Ryan Sturges (14 George Carbery 63) 8 Luke Dunstan 9 Chris Vardy 10 Lee Stobbs 11 Jack Read (12 Chris Stapleton 56).
BB: 1 Liam Nugent 2 Chris Leon (17 Daniel Barosa 53) 3 Taylor Wild 4 Charlie Jones (14 Rabbit Kimpioka 78) 5 Damien Thomas (Capt) 6 Kane Greene 7 Mark Omotobora (15 Peter Crouch 72) 8 Gabriel Olarewaju 9 George Jumbo 10 Charlie Ruff 11 Antonio Fusco. Subs not used: 12 James Crouch 16 Richard Elazoua
TA: Luke Dunstan (9), Jack Read (33), Dave O'Connor (65)