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First team report  

Fri 17th Mar 2017
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
London Tigers 0-5 TAFC First team

TAFC goals: George Carbery (2), Christopher Stapleton (2), Lee Stobbs
(Played in Tring)

After picking up victories the previous Saturday and Tuesday we capped a fine week with another 3 points. After a poor first half we prevailed in the second to run out emphatic 5-0 winners over London Tigers. This was technically Tigers home match but due to their ground being out of action it was switched to our Stadium and moved to a Friday night.

At the game Tigers were awarded the Team of the Month award for their fine run of results in January which included a 3-1 win over us here in Tring. Since then they have faltered and failed to win any of the following 5 games and were languishing near the foot of the table.

However, we were severely handicapped for this game, missing key players like Chris Vardy, Sam Joliffe, Luke Dunstan and Jack Read and were forced to plug one of the the gaps by moving centre half Dave O'Connor up into the forward line, a move that was to pay handsome dividends as he produced some Harry Kane like skills to have a hand in four of the goals.

With a blustery wind, the rather unusual circumstances of the game and one if not both sides fielding weakened line ups it was perhaps not surprising that the game was disjointed and lacking fluency throughout most of the first half.

We had to wait until the19th minute for the first meaningful action when a good move by Tigers ended with their forward Joel Ramos cutting inside and looking menacing but he sent his shot well over the bar. Soon afterwards a good move involving Seb Smith, Chris Stapleton and Dave O'Connor gave Ryan Sturges a shooting chance and although he struck it well it didn't test the keeper.

Perked up by this we started to play better and a Lee Stobbs free kick found Dan Steadman free in the area but he appeared to be caught by the keeper, but no action was taken by the Referee. Ryan Sturges produced a great run and pass to George Carbery who astutely pulled the ball back from the bye line to Tommy Twelves. But Dave O'Connor forgot he wasn't playing in defence and blocked Tommy's shot!

Things improved five minutes before half time when we opened the scoring. Dave O'Connor's clever dummy (or did he miss the ball!) to a Chris Stapleton pass completely flummoxed the opposition defence leaving George Carbery completely unmarked and with time to pick his spot. Score 1-0.

We nearly doubled our lead in added time when Lee Stobbs smashed a tremendous shot from distance that was matched by a quality save from the keeper who did well to tip it over the bar. It had taken a while for us to get into our stride but we were able to go in at the break with our noses in front. HT Score 1-0.

Tigers started the second half with a good spell of possession but again there was no end product with tricky winger Mohamadu Seidi wafting his shot over the bar. Despite this promising start Tigers were punished six minutes after the restart when their goalkeeper made an error allowing Dave O'Connor to supply Chris Stapleton to coolly drill the ball into the net. Score 2-0.

Ryan Sturges shot into the side netting and George Carbery fired a good chance over after good work by Stapes and DOC who himself tried a long range effort. The opposition had some gifted individual players and played some nice football but they got little change out our defence who were given great protection by Ben Alcock who won numerous challenges allowing his team mates to play their game.

Just before the hour we increased our lead when Dan Steadman and Jack Seaton set up George Carbery who nicely volleyed home his second of the match. It has been a good few days for Carbs who scored the winner in midweek and has now scored 11 goals this season which is a great return for a midfield player. Score 3-0.

We brought on Chris Mason, just retuning from injury, for Jack Seaton who took a bang to his knee. Later we made some further changes that involved both ends of the age spectrum with young Max Hercules (who was only 4 days past his 17 birthday) coming on for his 5th First Team appearance and there was an appearance off the bench for the evergreen Stuart Stedman who we can safely say had his 30th birthday some years ago!

We were now in control and it was no surprise when we added a 4th goal midway through the half, Dave O'Connor again very much involved setting up Chris Stapleton following another goalkeeping error. It was Stapleton second of the game and 11th for the season so far, a fitting reward for a tireless player who never gives anything less than 100%. Score 4-0.

We created further opportunities but had to wait until a minute from time for our 5th and final goal. Seb Smith started the move with a pinpoint pass to Dave O'Connor who neatly headed the ball down to Lee Stobbs to skillfully guide the ball past the keeper and end the game with a quality goal. FT Score 5-0.

After a slow start we hit our stride after the break and we can feel delighted that over the past week we have picked up 9 points and kept 3 clean sheets. Having played a day before our competitors it meant we moved up to 4th in the table.

We have 2 tough games coming up, with a Herts Charity Shield Cup Final on Tuesday against our local rivals Berkhamsted. The game kicks off at 7.45pm and will be played at Hemel Hempstead's ground.

Then on Saturday we return to league action with a visit to Edgware who have already beaten us twice this season and they will undoubtedly be tough opponents.

LT; 1 Ini Amaebgt 2 Adrian Assinor (12 Andrew Rowe 62) 3 Dheejam Ramphul 4 Dwyane Cole-Parkes 5 Julian Smith (Capt) 6 Michael O'Donnell 7 Dee Williams (17 Jordan Williams 54) 8 Harris Paul (15 Doris Likcani 66) 9 Remario Francis 10 Joel Ramos 11 Mohamadu Seidi. Subs not used: 14 Naser Khaled 16 Rui Dos Santos.

TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Jack Seaton (12 Chris Mason 61) 3 Tommy Twelves (15 Stuart Stedman 80) 4 Ben Alcock 5 Seb Smith 6 Dan Steadman (Capt) 7 Ryan Sturges 8 Lee Stobbs 9 Dave O'Connor 10 George Carbery (14 Max Hercules 75) 11 Chris Stapleton.


LT; -

TA: George Carbery (40, 59), Chris Stapleton (51, 68), Lee Stobbs (89)

Crowd: 43

(No photos on file)