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First team report  

Sat 14th Jan 2017
Challenge Trophy - 1st Round Replay
Aston Clinton 1-4 TAFC First team

TAFC goals: Christopher Stapleton (2), Kieran Turner, Sam Jolliffe (pen)
WE GO THROUGH AT SECOND TIME OF ASKING

When we met our near neighbours back in November last year we won a close game 2-1, but it was declared void due to a player registration issue and so it was replayed on this wet Saturday when we prevailed again to go through to the second round of the Challenge Trophy.

The margin of victory was more emphatic this time but on a quagmire of a pitch, which didn't help either team, Aston can feel that the score line didn't reflect the flow of the match in which they competed on equal terms for much of the game, apart from finishing off their chances.

We scored two early goals and didn't look like we would relinquish our control adding further goals, late in the first half then again in the second to put us in a commanding position. Aston, who play two divisions below us, grabbed a late consolation goal which was a deserved reward for the considerable effort they put in.

We made a number of changes to the line up with Tommy Twelves, Luke Dunstan, Chris Vardy and Captain Dan Steadman all rested and we gave a full debut to promising 17 year old Ben Johnson at right back who did well against a tricky winger. Later we brought on two more youngsters, Callum Gregory (19) and Cameron Brooks (17).

The first chance of the match fell within the opening two minutes to Aston winger Liam McEllhinney who found himself in a good position following a throw but he pulled his shot wide of the post. That miss was to prove costly as a minute later Kieran Turner beat the keeper to a through ball then kept his cool to find Chris Stapleton with a precise cross and the former Aston Clinton player headed home from close range. Score 0-1.

Four minutes later we doubled our lead when a superb flick from Chris Stapleton sent Kieran Turner away and our playmaker ran on and coolly placed his shot past keeper Liam Smith. Score 0-2.

Undeterred the home side refused to give up and created some good chances with Liam McEllhinney forcing a great save out of Jack Hopwood then Lewis Workman shot across goal. Chris Stapleton sent George Carbery through down the right and he drew a fine stop from home keeper Liam Smith.

Into time added on at the end of the first half keeper Liam Smith came out to collect a cross catching Kieran Turner with his raised foot. The Referee deemed it to be dangerous play and awarded a penalty. We missed two spot kicks in the first game but Sam Joliffe made no mistake this time despite Smith getting his hand to the ball. HT score 0-3.

The home side started the second half on the front foot whist we seemed to get bogged down in the conditions which got stickier as the match progressed. Lewis Workman forced a good save from Jack Hopwood and David Brown shot wide as Aston pressed hard for an opening.

Both sides made changes and as the conditions got worse the game deteriorated in quality although Workman shot just over in the 73rd minute. In the 81st minute we added a fourth goal when Chris Stapleton scored direct from a free kick. Score 0-4.

Aston pulled a goal back six minutes from time when sub Jay Hayton converted a cross from the evergreen Neil Roberts to deservedly salvage some pride from a strong second half performance. FT Score 1-4.

Despite the final score Aston Clinton played well in difficult conditions and made life tough for us. They can now concentrate on challenging for the Division 2 title and we wish them all the best for the rest of the season.

We will be pleased to have got this game out of the way as our success so far this season has seen the fixtures pile up but we will have little time to ponder on this victory as we play the next round on Tuesday when we visit Edgware Town one of the few teams to have beaten us this season. Then on Wednesday we face Bovingdon at home in the St Marys Cup. On Saturday we return to league action when we entertain Colney Heath. So a quiet week coming up!

Teams:

AC: 1 Liam Smith 2 Callum Jenkins 3 Sam Austin (12 James Baxton 34) 4 Teague Gallagher (15 Jay Hayton 63) 5 Alex McGowan (Capt) 6 Alec Bell 7 Alex Smith (14 Neil Roberts 70) 8 Luke Russell 9 Lewis Workman 10 David Brown 11 Liam McEllhinney.

TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Ben Johnson 3 Jamie Warne 4 George Brinkman 5 David O'Connor 6 Ben Seaton (12 Chris Mason 60) 7 Lee Stobbs 8 Sam Joliffe (Capt) 9 Chris Stapleton 10 Kieran Turner (15 Cameroon Brooks 71) 11 George Carbery (14 Callum Gregory 67). Subs not used: 16 James Banfield.

Scorers:

AC: Jay Hayton (84)

TA: Chris Stapleton (3, 81), Kieran Turner (7), Sam Joliffe Pen (45+4)

Crowd: 55

AC WEB: http://www.astonclintonfc.co.uk/

(No photos on file)