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First team report  

Tue 1st Nov 2016
Herts Senior Challenge Cup - 1st Round
Sponsored by Will Dunstan
TAFC First team 2-1 Oxhey Jets

TAFC goals: George Carbery, Ryan Sturges

It was great news to hear that we had won the Premier Division Team of the Month award for October (having won 6, drawn 1 and lost none) which was a fitting acknowledgment of the superb efforts put in by the players. But for the pessimistic amongst us there was the fear that this would be the Kiss of Death especially as we were missing a raft of key players and were facing Oxhey Jets who have been a bit of bogey side for us over the years and who have a decent record in Tring of 8 wins and 5 draws from 18 visits.

When we found ourselves falling behind around the hour mark there was a feeling that the doom merchants had got it right but once again the players confounded us with two late goals from George Carbery and Ryan Sturges to extend our terrific unbeaten run to 18 games.

We were forced to make a number of changes which included Sam Joliffe, for the 2nd game running, dropping back into central defence and donning the Captain's arm band in the absence of Dan Steadman. There was also the sight of Stuart Stedman swapping his Management/Coach tracksuit for the number 3 shirt as both Chris Mason and Jamie Warne were not available. It was also good to see George Brinkman back in the starting line up after a one month gap and promising youngster Callum Gregory also started.

With a bit of a patched up line up it was no surprise that it took us a while to settle which allowed Jets to dominate the first 25 minutes. The visitors played some lovely football, keeping possession nicely and finding each other with ease. Sim Armstrong tried his luck with a shot that didn't test Jack Hopwood and he equally dealt with a miss hit shot from Leigh Stevens that he seemed to scoop up in the air following a good cross into our area from their right wing.

Luke Wells had a goal disallowed for offside which was a prelude to a number of similar incidents throughout the game. Afterwards the opposition felt they had been treated unfairly by the Linesman but talking to spectators who were near these offside incidents they were of the view that the official had got his decisions right. Seems opinions will be divided along partisan grounds.

In the 24th minute Wells finally avoided the offside flag as he sped through the inside left channel but Jack Hopwood came out quickly to block his shot at the expense of a corner. We were starting to get into the game and we produced one of the game's best moves which released George Carbery down the right but his super ball across the Jets area was crying out for a touch.

A neatly worked free kick saw Sam Joliffe pick out in the area Adam Scotcher who turned his marker but shot over. After a slow start these were encouraging moments as we finished the half looking the better side. We had a three on two break which we could have done better with as it resulted in a shot being deflected wide. Then the Jets keeper completely missed a corner but we failed to take advantage of this opportunity.

With 5 minutes remaining Jets reminded us that they were still a threat when following a great move Adam Lowton failed to find the target from a promising position. After difficult start we did much better in the final 20 minutes and the game was finely balanced. HT Score 0-0.

Defensively we had done well to restrict our opponents to few chances to test Jack Hopwood but just before the hour came up Nathan Pooley picked out Sim Armstrong's run and the tall midfielder squeezed his shot through Jack's legs to put the visitors ahead. Score 0-1.

We started to push forward in search of an equaliser and Jets were happy to sit back and try and catch us on the break which led to the game becoming more open. We brought on new signing from Berko Aaron Nash-Barker and also Lessa Boka which allowed us to move Sam Joliffe into his more usual midfield role.

Midway through the half Luke Dunstan released George Carbery into the area and his powerful angled shot drew a superb save from keeper Allan Buck who used a strong hand to tip the shot round the post. Our opponents were dangerous on the break and Warren Gladdy shot just wide after a good build up.

Both Luke Dunstan and Ryan Sturges produced good runs and shots but neither stretched the keeper. Later we went close with a Sam Joliffe header and George Carbery shot but time was running out. With only 9 minutes remaining Aaron Nash-Barker whipped in a lovely cross which George Carbery converted with a deft finish. Carbs has certainly found his scoring boots, with 5 goals from 8 games a terrific return for a midfield player. He is still only 19 and has been a major success since joining us from Berko. Score 1-1.

Sim Armstrong nearly regained the lead for jets with a fine header which forced Jack Hopwood into a brilliant one handed save, with Lessa Boka clearing the danger. Jack has been at his superb best in recent games and at the tender age of only 20 there will hopefully be lots more to follow.

Luke Dunstan headed an Aaron Nash-Barker cross over the bar as the game seemed destined for penalties. There was a lot of time added on ironically for time wasting by the Jets keeper who would later regret that. In the 5th minute of added time George Carbery picked out Sam Joliffe just outside the area and his volley was parried by the keeper. Ryan Sturges was alert to the situation and he fired the loose ball home for a very late and dramatic winner. It was Ryan 's 4th of the season and capped a fine performance for a player in his 4th season at the club with 155 First Team games to his name. There was virtually no time left for Jets to respond and we ran out 2-1 winners. FT Score 2-1.

A good game and a fine performance from the lads, who again showed an indefatigable spirit to never give up and to keep going to the end. In the next round we visit Kings Langley who won 2-1 at Hertford Town on the same night. KL play in the Southern League Premier Division which is 2 levels above us so it will be a tough match. Date yet to be agreed,


TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Stuart Stedman 4 Luke Dunstan 5 Sam Joliffe (Capt) 6 Jack Seaton 7 Ryan Sturges 8 George Brinkman (16 Lessa Boka 68) 9 Adam Scotcher 10 George Carbery 11 Cameron Gregory (15 Aaron Nash-Barker 65). Subs not used: 12 Max Hercules 14 Lanre Ladipo.

OJ: 1 Allan Buck 2 Daniel Taylor (14 Mark Lambert 88) 3 Nathan Pooley 4 Warren Gladdy 5 Jude Bell 6 Bradley Thompson 7 Leigh Stevens 8 Sim Armstrong 9 Luke Wells 10 Adam Lowton (12 Oliver Cole 77) 11 Daniel Bourne (15 Luis Mateus 82).


TA: George Carbery (81), Ryan Sturges (90+5)

OJ: Sim Armstrong (59)

Crowd: 56