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First team report
Tue 25th Oct 2016
Dudley Latham Memorial (Premier Division) Cup - 2nd Round
London Tigers 0-2 TAFC First team TAFC goals: Ryan Sturges, Sam Jolliffe (pen)
THROUGH TO NEXT ROUND OF LEAGUE CUP
A mid week trip to London Tigers with an under strength side was a potential banana skin but our growing winning mentality saw us through to the Quarter Final of the Premier Division Cup, a trophy we lifted in 2009.
Tigers may be languishing near the bottom of the table but they beat Levy Green 1-0 away and secured a good 1-1 home draw against Hadley and with our less than distinguished record at their ground of just 3 wins from 10 visits it was always going to be a toughie.
Bearing in mind the changes we had to make to our formation due to absentees it was no surprise that it took us a while to settle and Ali Soussi nearly took advantage hitting a weak shot at Jack Hopwood in the first minute after he had been left unmarked in the area and then he nearly latched onto an under hit back pass, fortunately Jack Hopwood read the situation and was out quickly to clear.
But we soon settled and started to dominate the game in terms of possession and opportunities. Paddy Downs, making his second First Team start, was making his presence felt nearly setting up Ryan Sturges who was just pipped to the ball by the keeper and then again finding Ryan who shot just wide.
We were looking dangerous going forward and a nice move involving Chris Vardy and Adam Scotcher lead to the latter shooting agonisingly just wide of the far post. Our 2 forwards linked up again when Vards free kick to the near post was picked up by Adam but the resulting shot was well wide.
We finally broke the ice after a quarter of an hour when a flowing move ended with a Chris Vardy shot that fell to Ryan Sturges to score. They may have been a ricochet involved but Sturge was in there where it hurts and deservedly gets the credit for the goal. Score 0-1.
The home attack had not had much success against our obdurate defence but mid way through the half they reminded us that they were still very much in the game when a cross picked out the tall winger Wilson Chipungane who headed a great chance wide.
This was a reminder that we needed the bit of breathing space another goal would bring and in the lead up to half time we tried our hardest to get one. Ryan Sturges just missed with a header from a terrific corner and Adam Scotcher did likewise with a fine cross from Chris Vardy. A bit of pressure led to us peppering their goal with a number of shots but we couldn't find a way past the keeper.
Then came a couple of moments of controversy. Firstly a lovely move ended with Ryan Sturges chipping a cross into the box but as Chris Vardy attempted to head it a defender caught him with a high boot. Anywhere else on the pitch and a foul would have been awarded but as it was in the area the Referee decided to play on.
Soon afterwards Vardy chased a great pass from Tommy Twelves but he was caught by the keeper. Opinions varied as to whether it was a foul but Chris had to go off injured to be replaced by Jack Sunderland. HT Score 0-1.
We started the second half in the manner that we finished the first, looking for a crucial second goal that would put us in greater control. Just past the hour mark Ryan Sturges was played through into the opposition area but was denied by a terrific save from the keeper.
With a quarter of the match to play we still only had a slim one goal lead which looked a bit tenuous when Ali Soussi cracked a great shot against the post after a superb run. We managed to scramble the ball away but it had clearly given Tigers a shot in the arm.
The home side made three changes and the mood of the match changed as Tigers smelled an opportunity to get back on level terms. The game was evenly balanced although we had a chance to deflate their confidence when Jack Sunderland had a great opportunity from a corner. We were defending well but Thomas Madden volleyed a great shot just wide.
We brought on teenagers Lanre Ladipo and Cameron Brooks, with the former playing a key part in eventually putting the tie beyond our opponents when he was bundled over in the area in the 90th minute. Sam Joliffe dispatched the spot kick for his 7th goal of the season and crucially give us a winning 2 nil lead. FT Score 0-2.
Bearing in mind the number of key players missing, especially in midfield, this was a good performance and result. Our unbeaten run continues (16 games now) and we are developing into a tough outfit that doesn't accept defeat easily. It would be nice for the sake of our supporters finger nails if we could score more goals when we are on top!
In the quarter final we will host Holmer Green who thrashed Edgware Town 6-1 on the same night, date to be sorted out. We return to league action on Saturday with a trip to Crawley Green.
LT: 1 Ben Cann 2 Benoit Ntaylitunda 3 Dheejay Ramphul 4 Adam Prieto (12 Calum Charles 75) 5 Adrian Assinor 6 Ferdinand Agyeman 7 Francisco Cabila 8 Michael O'Donnell (Capt) (14 Emmanuel Akinrinade 75) 9 Ali Soussi 10 Thomas Madden 11 Wilson Chipungane (16 Seb Philogene 54). Subs not used: 15 Daniel Awonsi 17 Liam Wild.
TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Chris Mason 4 Paddy Downes (14 Cameron Brooks 79) 5 Dan Steadman (Capt) 6 James Banfield (15 Lanre Ladipo 66) 7 Ryan Sturges 8 Sam Joliffe 9 Chris Vardy (12 Jack Sunderland 45+5) 10 Adam Scotcher 70) 11 Jack Seaton . Sub not used: 16 Stuart Stedman.