ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
ALRESFORD COLNE RANGERS FC: 2 HATFIELD PEVEREL FC: 1
Date: Saturday 21st October 2017. Venue: Ford Lane, Alresford
It was third placed Hatfield Peverel FC who travelled to, fourth placed Alresford Colne Rangers FC on Saturday for an ESBFL Premier Division league match, played at Ford Lane, Alresford where the pitch looked in very good condition, at least from the sidelines. As usual I was afforded a warm welcome from club stalwart and secretary, Trevor Hunt and it was good to see a Village Hall function utilising the bar, to give much needed funds for the football club.
The match officials were Nathan Oakes., who on the day was being assessed and he was supported by young George Payne and the ever youthful Keith Succamore, who definitely enjoyed the after match refreshments!
The home team kicked off with a strong breeze blowing, at first, across the pitch but this would soon change to down the pitch as the first half progressed making it difficult for the Hatfield goalkeeper to clear the ball with any distance. Hatfield had the first attack, Mouser playing the ball left to right to find Hunt who crossed with Martin sweeping up to clear to Hammerton down the left side, in turn he found Boxall who ran down the right side, cutting in to curl a left footed cross-cum-shot well wide of the far post. The start was open but physical as both teams tried to dominate, Tuckwell received a head injury and had to leave the field of play but return several minutes later and Simioni played in Hale whose low shot was comfortably held low to his right hand side by keeper, Spencer. Boxall scuffed a half-chance wide and the home team almost capitalised when central defenders Turner and Wilkinson both left a loose ball to each other which allowed Lewis to force a save out of Hirst who had read the danger to save at the feet of the number nine. Hammerton put Tuckwell away leading to a throw-in off Turner, taken by Boxall to Walters who over-hit his cross to keeper, Hirst. Simioni, a young player for the visitors looked full of running and trickery helping out his defence and getting forward whenever possible.
With fifteen minutes gone both teams had adopted an attacking approach but strong defences and mistakes when in possession led to moves breaking down, Hale and Martin were having a real tussle with the defender committing a foul when play was brought back to the half-way line, taken by Turner to Hale who was just eased off the ball by Martin whoa toned for his earlier foul. Hale showed a clean pair of heals to Cross but from his cross Spencer clutched the ball out of the air and launch the ball long towards Hirst at the other end. A poor goal-kick from Hirst should have led to a goal as when the ball fell invitingly to Lewis his first time shot was caught by Hirst and the keeper got out of jail, so as to speak. O’Brien fouled Hale wide on the left side, Hill drilled the ball goalwards with Spencer punching clear with Martin making sure the ball was sent out of danger. Despite the lack of quality play the game had been end-to-end, a long throw-in from Cross bounced once before falling at the feet of Lewis at the far post but his weak shot smacked against the right hand upright to be cleared and in reality the home team should be two goals to the good! Hale robbed O’Brien but just when Simioni was about to shoot, Martin stepped across to block and get fouled in the process, and the home team again looked for a long ball outlet whilst switching play to either side of the pitch, however Hatfield were adopting the same approach.
Another positive run by Boxall was stopped by Leeder, then Hammerton, made a wide run down the left side, before crossing with Hill conceding the corner, taken by Walters towards O’Brien whose header just cleared the cross-bar and half an hour had gone by. Hill fouled Lewis, Walters took the free-kick, a driven effort that Wilkinson headed away to Simioni whose positive run forward led to Hale taking the ball further up-field before Cross intercepted to concede a corner, taken by Hill with Hammerton heading clear. On thirty four minutes a poor challenge by Cross on Irvine led to the first caution of the match, Alresford defended well with Walters clearing to Preston who fouled Irvine in a central position twenty yards from goal. Irvine took the free-kick himself but the ball hit the five man defensive wall to be cleared by Walters to Preston and despite a late push by both teams, a corner from Walters eluded everyone inside the six-yard box, a throw-in from Knight to Hill whose shot lacked direction and power and the half finished with some people asking me what I actually had to write about, don’t worry I said, I’ll make it up, jokingly of course!
HALF-TIME: 0 – 0
Hatfield restarted this almost uneventful game, leading to a free-kick when O’Brien fouled Hale just as he intercepted a pass from Simioni with Knight forcing Spencer into a full-stretch save to concede a corner. A long ball from Knight was then headed goalwards by Hale with Spencer again in the right position to catch on the six-yard line, and from his throw out Hammerton scampered away down the left side to get a throw-in off Knight. Knight intercepted the throw-in and set Simioni away, good pace and control until he over-ran the ball inside the Alresford half, allowing Preston to come away with the ball or so he thought as Simioni chased back to regain possession and find Hale who turned but passed the ball just the wrong side of the upright. On fifty minutes Alresford took the lead, Walters picked up the loose ball wide on the left side, passed to Preston whose cross fell to the unmarked KYE LEAROYD-TUCKWELL who stroked the ball home from close range and with no defenders in sight as they reacted slowly to the danger! Knight had to track back against Boxall winning the ball and finding Hill with a long ball forward, however his control let him down and he ran the ball out for a goal-kick. A strong run down the left side by Hammerton led to a cross which Wilkinson cleared from the six-yard box whilst at the other end Martin was adjudged to have blocked a shot with his hand, two yards outside the penalty area, again Knight forced Spencer to scramble across his goal as the ball just passed the left hand upright.
On sixty minutes Alresford replaced Silliker with Daly who almost immediately injected some pace and urgency into his clubs play, keeper Spencer had to run out of his penalty area to clear as Hill chased down a forward ball from Irvine. Daly and Hammerton linked up to find Boxall whose volley was accurate but Wilkinson headed away, On sixty-three minutes Hatfield replaced Hill with Roll but Alresford pushed forward through Walters who intercepted a pass to find Tuckwell whose snap-shot hit the upright despite the flag being raised for an offside decision. Mouser fed Hunt who found Hale in space but as he turned he slipped over, then an error by Wilkinson, who had time to clear, led to Lewis finding Tuckwell, in space, but keeper Hirst made the first of several fine saves and really Alresford should have been home and hosed! Hirst again made a great save to deny Tuckwell from an astute pass from Lewis despite looking marginally offside and with his defenders out of sorts the keeper’s intervention kept the score down to just the one goal. A poor challenge by Leeder on Preston led to a verbal warning from the efficient referee and Hatfield replaced Simioni with Harrington.
Mouser fouled Daly to earn a just caution but the poor free-kick from Boxall cannoned off the defensive wall and when play reverted Hirst had to run twenty five yards from his goal-line to tackle Tuckwell who had run through the advancing defensive line. With fifteen minutes remaining Daly used his pace to embark on a mazy run finding Tuckwell running wide on the right side and with keeper Hirst trying to narrow the angle the cross towards Daly had to be retrieved however Turner, covering for his keeper headed strongly off the goal-line. The home team were now on top but needed that second goal to calm some nerves as Hale was fouled by Martin mid-way inside the half, Mouser took the free-kick with Turner and Hale challenging for the same aerial ball at the far post leading to a goal-kick. A great ball forward from Walters found Lewis unmarked but keeper Hirst reacted to get his foot onto the ball and clear just as the forward was about to shoot.
Tuckwell was guilty of another glaring miss having been set up by Daly, then when Lewis set Tuckwell away down the right side, Turner came across to make an intentional foul on Tuckwell to earn a caution with five minutes remaining. From the free-kick taken by Walters, DANIEL BOXALL headed home when running through a static defence with Hirst given no chance to save, but almost straight from the kick-off O’Brien failed to deal with a loose ball leading Martin upending LAURENCE HALL who stepped up to drive home the penalty kick and tee up a frantic period of both normal and stoppage time. A long free-kick from Mouser found Hunt whose control let him down but Hatfield gained a corner off O’Brien when Hunt and Hale combined, Knight took the corner and Hale rose to send a looping header back across the goal but over the cross-bar, a close call. With Hatfield continuing to push forward they had defender Turner, now playing as an extra forward, but when he went to ground close to the keeper he was adjudged to have simulated contact and received a second yellow card and ultimate dismissal, must admit he didn’t argue with the decision!
FULL TIME: 2 – 1.
Not the best of games, two evenly matched teams and with no score at half-time I thought perhaps we would have more of the same in the second half, things did improve and eventually Alresford ran out winners by a narrow single goal margin, it should have been more comfortable but for some poor finishing and a stubborn keeper. With this victory Alresford go above Hatfield in the Premier Division table but the season is a marathon not a sprint so I expect further changes above and below these teams in the table.
Now, for my Man-of-the-Match selection, this was going to be difficult, for Alresford, Martin was solid in defence, Boxall looked like he was getting back to fitness, Lewis, Tuckwell and Preston looked useful but midfielder Walters, to me was their best player, industrious, good in the tackle with excellent distribution especially from free-kicks and corners. For Hatfield, Hale tried his best up front but found Martin an immovable object, Simioni, for a young player tried his best and looks a promising asset but their best player was the over-exposed keeper, Hirst, who despite being beaten twice made several excellent saves to keep his team in the match. Anyway James Walters just gets the nod.
ALRESFORD COLNE RANGERS FC: Colours: Red & Black Shirts, Black Shorts and Red Socks.
Peter Spencer., Danny Cross., Chay Hammerton., Aiden O’Brien., Daniel Martin., Aaron Silliker., James Walters., Daniel Boxall., Ryan Lewis (C)., Kye Learoyd-Tuckwell., Fraser Preston.
Acting Manager: Gary Bright.
Assistant Manager: Nic Alston.
Used Substitutes: Quinten Daly.
Unused Substitutes: Glen Linnane., Brett Woodward.
HATFIELD PEVEREL FC: Colours: Blue & White Shirts, Blue Shorts and Blue Socks.
Graham Hirst., Matt Knight., John Leeder., Patrick Wilkinson., Luke Turner., Elliot Mouser., Danny Hunt., James Irvine., Laurence Hale (C)., Christian Simioni., Christopher Hill.
Manager: Steve Pretty.
Used Substitutes: Anthony Roll., Sam Harrington
Unused Substitutes: Reece Packford., Steve Pretty.
Referee: Nathan Oakes (Colchester).
Assistant Referee’s: George Payne (Colchester).
and Keith Succamore (Witham).
Man of the Match: James WATERS (ALRESFORD COLNE RANGERS FC)
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