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First team report
Sat 25th Mar 2017
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Edgware Town 0-3 TAFC First team TAFC goals: Christopher Vardy, Christopher Stapleton, Jack Read
WE SOON GET OVER MIDWEEK CUP FINAL BLUES
We showed our durability following our dramatic and unfortunate last minute defeat in the Herts Charity Shield Cup Final on Tuesday by bouncing back immediately with a hard fought win at Edgware Town. The home side are hovering just above the drop zone but have twice beaten us this season and appeared to have signed on two new forwards in Stuart Blackburne and Andre Da Costa so we knew we would be in for a tough contest.
Dave O'Connor was injured and with Sam Joliffe and Seb Smith unavailable we were light in central defence so Jack Seaton stepped in alongside Dan Steadman and both were outstanding. Jack has showed his versatility by playing right across the back line and in midfield and always puts in a good performance. We were also without Lee Stobbs who has joined Kieran Turner at Kings Langley.
Two late goals appeared to have made it look easy in the end but we had to fend off a strong second half performance from the London outfit to extend our recent good run of league form to 4 straight wins with 12 goals scored and none conceded. As a result we moved up one place in the table to 5th, a point behind Wembley but with 2 games in hand.
There was an initial flurry of chances at both ends with home centre forward Stuart Blackburne getting an early sight of goal but hitting a weak shot at Jack Hopwood then later his colleagues Dan Pett and Andre Da Costa had half chances, the former having his shot blocked following a good break down the wing and the latter blasted his shot over the bar after latching onto a long clearance.
We responded with Jack Seaton hitting the top of the bar with a header from a corner and George Carbery had a good shot saved by the keeper following some fine play by Tommy Twelves and Chris Stapleton. We were playing some nice football with Ryan Sturges linking up well with Chris Mason who made some useful forays down the left.
However, after that promising start the game went into a bit of a stalemate and although we enjoyed more possession neither side were getting on top with undoubtedly the strong blustery wind not helping with our players also having the added problem of getting use to the 3G surface.
In the 36th minute following a good bit of play by Chris Vardy we were awarded a penalty when Luke Dunstan was tripped in the area but for the second consecutive match we missed the spot kick with this time George Carbery being the culprit, although full marks must go to keeper Cain Davies for making a fine save.
However, we smelt an opportunity as half time loomed and two minutes into time added on Chris Vardy nicely swept home a pass (or shot!) from Ryan Sturges for his 18th goal to match his total from last season. It was the last action of the half and we went in just about deserving to be ahead based on the amount of possession we had and the missed penalty, but there was little in it and the game was far from over. HT Score 0-1.
At the start of the second half Edgware brought on their leading scorer Adem Ali for full back Alex Lafluer, making it clear what their intentions were. It was surprising that Ali was not in the starting eleven as in our previous encounter he scored and was their most threatening player.
He soon showed what a useful player he is by getting to the bye line and supplying a cross that could have been dangerous had Jack Seaton not made a good interception at the near post. Moments later Ali cut inside and struck a superb shot that Jack Hopwood did well to tip against the post. Edgware were now posing a real threat and we had to work hard to keep them at bay. A good ball from the left ran right across our area with Blackburne just failing to get a touch as did centre back Nick Turner at the far post from a later corner.
With the home side pushing forward they were leaving themselves vulnerable to quick breaks. Tommy Twelves made some good inroads down the right picking out Chris Stapleton who shot just wide. It was then Stapes turn to be the provider with this time Chris Vardy going close. Vards then got away down the left with the keeper saving his effort with the loose ball hacked clear.
We looked dangerous every time we broke forward and it was no surprise when we added a second goal in the 74th minute. Luke Dunstan was the provider with a superb run and cross which Chris Stapleton took in his stride then smashed high into the net. It was a superbly finish and his 5th goal in his last 3 games. Score 0-2.
Ali nearly pulled a goal back with another well struck shot but Hoppy pulled off another great save to push the ball away. George Carbery was inches away from tucking home a cross and on another day Vards would have greatly added to his tally after he got away on a number occasions down the left but failed to find a way past Cain Davies who always seems to play out of skin against us.
Edgware kept going and Turner flashed a shot just wide of the far post but right on normal time we finally put the game to bed when the keeper made a good save from a well struck Max Hercules shot and Jack Read was on hand to get the final touch. FT Score 0-3.
This was a good performance in difficult conditions against a team who have added some new players in their fight against relegation. With our nearest rivals Wembley and Biggleswade United dropping points we are in pole position to take over 4th spot in the table.
Next week we travel to Stotfold on Tuesday then entertain Colney Heath on Saturday.
ET: 1 Cain Davies 2 Dan Pett 3 Alex Lafleur (15 Adem Ali HT) 4 Fergus Moore 5 Nick Turner 6 Paul Marks (Capt) 7 Laselle Simon 8 Olu Quadri 9 Stuart Blackburne (16 Nyv Bogaire 72) 10 Luke Durnin (17 Ethan Mooney 86) 11 Andre Da Costa. Subs not used: 12 Femi Ogunsola 14 Bruno Manuel.
TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Chris Mason (15 Stuart Stedman 86) 4 Ben Alcock 5 Dan Steadman (Capt) 6 Jack Seaton 7 Ryan Sturges (12 Jack Read 80) 8 Luke Dunstan 9 Chris Vardy 10 Chris Stapleton (14 Max Hercules 80) 11 George Carbery.
TA: Chris Vardy (45+2), Chris Stapleton (74), Jack Read (90)