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First team report
Tue 3rd Oct 2017
Dudley Latham Memorial (Premier Division) Cup
Sponsored by Debbie & Will Dunstan TAFC First team 2-2 (4-2 pens) Biggleswade United TAFC goals: Chris Blunden, Luke Dunstan
Uniteds visit to The Grassroots Roots Stadium was the third this season with Athletic winning the first on penalties and United winning the league game. Athletic were the victors this time and yet again on penalties following two excellent saves by keeper Jack Hopwood.
There was very little goalmouth action for the first 20 minutes of the game but then United began to put pressure on Athletics defence by winning a couple of corners and free kicks. The first meaningful chance fell to United when a move down the left saw Jay Taylor's shot blocked by keeper Jack Hopwood. Athletic then began to show more urgency in their game with Ryan Sturges heading over the bar in the 34th minute and then Chris Blunden's shot being diverted wide of the goal for a corner. With half time approaching Athletic then took the lead. A long ball from Ben Johnson found Chris Blunden in the area, who controlled the ball before shooting into the far corner of the goal to add to his impressive goal tally in recent matches.
Half Time -TAFC 1 0 Biggleswade United
Athletic began the second half the better of the two sides and should have increased their lead. Luke Dunstan lobbing over the keeper but then unable to force the ball home following some desperate defending. Both sides created a number of chances as the game went on, twice United fired low crosses into the goalmouth but fortunately for Athletic no attackers could find that touch to steer the ball into the goal.
In the 59th minute Chris Vardy's excellent pass found Mark Riddick but his shot flew over the bar. United came right back when unmarked defender Jordan Wright should have scored with his header following a free kick. Chris Vardy was unlucky when his powerful shot hit the corner of the post and crossbar following good work by Chris Blunden and Ryan Sturges. Athletic then had a 3 on 1 situation but somehow the final pass eluded everyone.
United were pushing forward as the game entered the final 10 minutes. Athletic conceded a free kick just outside of the area which was cleared for a corner and from the corner United equalised with Charlie Black getting the final touch. In the 90th minute Athletic took the lead again when Luke Dunstan shot from 30 yards low into the corner of the goal. The referee indicated to one of his assistants that there would be 5 minutes of stoppage time and with just 1 minute left again United equalised following a controversial penalty. A United player with his back to goal and backing into a defender was adjudged to have been fouled resulting in a penalty. Claudio Ofusu scored from the penalty spot. Virtually from the restart the referee then blew his whistle for full time which meant the result would be down to a penalty shootout.
United took the first penalty which Jack Hopwood saved, he also stopped their 4th penalty with an excellent save. Athletics Dan Steadman, Sam Joliffe, Chris Blunden and Mark Riddick all kept their composure to find the net with their penalties.
A hard fought result for Athletic with Colm Parrott having an excellent game at full back in his first game for the first team.
Unfortunately he had to be carried off near the end of game with an injury. Athletic were already without two players, Ryan Reeves and Elliott Goward who were both injured in last Saturdays game.