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First team report
Tue 17th Jan 2017
Challenge Trophy - 2nd Round
Edgware Town 4-1 TAFC First team TAFC goals: Kieran Turner
WE CRASH OUT OF CHALLENGE TROPHY
Perhaps justice prevailed in the end after we were given a reprieve for unknowingly playing an ineligible player against Aston Clinton in the previous round. Beating Aston Clinton 4-1 on Saturday gave us a second bite of the cherry but three days later Edgware crushed any hopes we had of progressing further in the competition by beating us by the same score.
The last time we played at Silver Jubilee Park was probably against London Tigers some year ago, but since then the ground has gone through a major transformation and looks very impressive.
The 3G pitch made sure the game went ahead, despite the recent inclement weather. Some of us thought the surface would suit our playing style and certainly we started off well enough looking the better side for the first quarter of the match.
We had a great chance to take the lead after only 7 minutes when following some pressure Tommy Twelves and George Carbery had shots cleared off the line and blocked. Edgware replied with good crosses from Adem Ali and Alfie Hill but fortunately for us there was no one there to take advantage.
Kieran Turner fine pass found Chris Vardy in a good position but his powerful shot was beaten away by keeper Cain Davies. Vards then turned provider to send Lee Stobbs away and his fine cross was crying out for a touch but not for the first time there was no one there to take advantage.
With 25 minutes played we had looked the better side but a slide rule pass from Bilal Butt set up the speedy Adem Ali to score his 8th goal of the season. Score 1-0. This gave the home side a huge confidence boost and they would have doubled their lead two minutes later had Jack Hopwood not made a great save from Jay Molloy.
Edgware were now looking a different proposition and looked dangerous every time they ventured forward with Ali, Molloy and Butt causing problems. Full back Alfie Hill also got in the act forcing Jack Hopwood to save his shot at the near post.
Just past the half hour mark we broke quickly through Sam Joliffe, Chris Vardy and Kieran Turner with the latter's shot being pushed onto the post and then Kieran fired wide of the far post. We were creating some very good scoring opportunities and Chris Vardy got a touch to Lee Stobbs terrific cross but couldn't direct it on target. Sam Joliffe then sent Lee Stobbs through and his chip was superbly tipped over by Cain Davies.
With a minute of normal time to play we were punished for our wasteful finishing when Adem Ali cut inside and struck a fine shot which Jack Hopwood saved but the alert Jay Molloy was on hand to fire home the loose ball to give his side a commanding two goal lead. Score 2-0.
We should have reduced this deficit before half time when Lee Stobbs smashed the ball against the underside of the bar, Chris Vardy's follow up shot was blocked and Kieran Turner's powerful drive was brilliantly tipped onto bar and over by Cain Davies. It was quite evident from this incident that it wasn't going to be our day.
Despite creating a host of chances we went in two nil down and with a lot to do to get back into this tie. HT Score 2-0
An early Lee Stobbs cross was put over his own bar by a defender with Chris Vardy lying in wait whilst at the other end a cross to our far post was just too long for Ali. Our hosts were determined to protect their lead and we were finding harder to get into our stride.
Our main outlet was Lee Stobbs who had the beating of his marker and he put over a succession of crosses throughout the game that we failed to take advantage of them. One such cross in the 67th minute picked out Chris Vardy at the far post but the resultant shot forced a good save from the keeper.
Two minutes later Kieran Turner played Lee Stobbs in on goal but he was again denied by keeper Davies. We found a beacon of hope in the 70th minute when a corner was played out to Kieran Turner who from 25 yards smacked a shot that eventually beat Cain Davies. Score 2-1.
Any hopes of a comeback where deflated a minute later when some sloppy play allowed Butt to run though to the edge of our area where he slipped a pass to the unmarked Molloy who put the tie beyond our reach. Score 3-1.
It was a big blow but we still pushed forward in hope more than expectation but we went close when Kieran Turner beat the keeper to a back pass but was unable to squeeze the ball into the net from a tight angle. Cameron Brown, who came on for George Carbery, tested the keeper with a good shot and Sam Joliffe headed a fine cross from Lee Stobbs over from close range.
Three minutes into added time came the coup de grace when the impressive Butt added a fourth goal to inflict our heaviest defeat of the season. FT Score 4-1.
It goes without saying that this was disappointing result and we were certainly given a lesson in the art of scoring by Edgware. But full marks to our hosts who took their chances when they came and we wish them all the best in the next round when they visit Hadley.
ET: 1 Cain Davies 2 Olu Quadri (12 Mikkel James 80) 3 Alfie Hill 4 Fergus Moore 5 Nick Turner 6 Paul Marks (Capt) 7 Adem Ali (14 Luke Durnin 90+4) 8 George McCluskey 9 Jay Molloy 10 Bilal Butt 11 Ethan Mooney (15 Laselle Simon 72) Subs not used: 16 Fabio Valenti 17 Jack Smith.
TA: 1 Jack Hopwood 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Chris Mason 4 Ben Seaton 5 Dan Steadman (Capt) 6 David O'Connor 7 Lee Stobbs 8 Sam Joliffe 9 Chris Vardy 10 Kieran Turner 11 George Carbery (15 Cameron Brooks 72). Subs not used: 12 Stuart Stedman
ET: Adem Ali (25), Jay Molloy (42, 71), Bilal Butt (90+3)