Saints losing their way
Egham Town 2 Moore 36, Joseph 87
Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central (Saturday 22 October)
Having thrown away a winning position in their previous two games, Saints were hoping to catch Egham in a funk after their FA Cup defeat the previous weekend. It was not to be.
Had they taken any one of the flurry of chances that came their way in the opening stages, they might have turned around their recent slump. Hedley, Cass and Strutton all fired wide as Saints began strongly. They also had a strong penalty shout as Jamie Norris clattered Cass in the area only for a debatable flag for offside to be raised in the build up.
Egham also skewed a clear chance wide as the home side settled into the game. Adam Kirby added to the list of misses after a Cass air kick unsettled the home defence.
The opening goal could easily have added to the litany of wayward shooting after 36 minutes. Garry Malone was caught out of his goal and a cross into the box was headed against the bar by Chris Moore but he was first to respond to the rebound to net at the second attempt.
Egham are not the easiest team to watch and a constant diet of niggles and whines can be irritating. Wes Daly, clearly their best player, went down like a child having a tantrum to con the referee into showing a yellow card to Alan Hedley. Some teams can easily intimidate a weak official and Egham had this one’s card marked early on.
Brendan Matthew should have doubled his side’s lead with another header that hit the bar but the ball was cleared away with Ryan Wharton needing treatment for his efforts.
With the sun beating down from a blue sky, the referee bizarrely decided that floodlights were needed for the second half. It was a half wholly dominated by the home side. Wharton’s injury in the first half required an early change for a defence that were under the cosh for long periods. Fortunately for Saints, Egham’s shooting accuracy was little better than earlier.
Saints could offer little in retaliation with Strutton struggling virtually singlehandedly against a competent defence. One shot off balance from a Hedley pass and a close range miss from a ball that surprised him was the most Chalfont could muster in a frustrating afternoon in front of goal.
As the game moved into the closing moments, Saints again switched off to concede a second goal with the one bright moment of a dull day. Saints failed to clear a corner and failed to close down the loose ball and the ball ran out to Zac Joseph on the edge of the area and he fired a great shot over the heads of a forest of players into the far corner.
While Egham clearly deserved the win, they were helped by a Chalfont side that had too many players not playing at their best. With a tough game against Northwood on Tuesday and then an important FA Trophy tie against Corinthian Casuals on Saturday, the reaction could make this a season-defining week.
Saints: Garry Malone, Alex Paine, Dave Thomas, George Fenton, Ryan Wharton (Craig Carby 53), Adam Kirby, Tyrone Pink, Alan Hedley (Glenn Yala 78), Kofi Lockhart-Adams (Craige Tomkins 78), Charlie Strutton, Jake Cass.
- Written by Ian
FA Trophy match announcement
The FA Trophy match against Corinthian Casuals, to be played on Saturday 29th October, will now be played at Chesham United's ground. Kick Off will be at 3 pm
- Written by Benny Goodman
Saints drop the ball again
Saints 1 Strutton 53
AFC Dunstable 1 Mannion 90+1
Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central (Tuesday 18 October)
Saints: Garry Maone, Alex Paine, Dave Thomas, George Fenton, Ryan Wharton, Adam Kirby, Tyrone Pink (Glenn Yala 88), Alan Hedley, Craige Tomkins, Charlie Strutton (Jack Mullan 90), Jake Cass.
- Written by Ian
Late double strike sinks Saints
Saints 2 Kirby 35 Tomkins 45+3
Bedford Town 3 Frater 26 Knight 86 pen Watkins 89
Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central (Saturday 15 October)
Saints can feel hard done after conceding two late goals that negated a lead they had held for most of the game but it was the energy-sapping efforts of the previous week that ultimately cost them.
Bedford, looking to continue their recent winning streak in the league, started the brighter of the two sides, twice going close in the early stages. Saints were hampered by a first minute injury to Ruddock Yala, who finally hobbled off after 21 minutes.
When they did finally splutter into action, they relied heavily on the force of Adam Kirby and the unbounded engergy of Jake Cass to supply the forward momentum.
By now finding space and time down their left flank, Bedford took the lead after 26 minutes with a good finish by Nathan Frater that sailed into far corner fom an angle.
Saints had a chance to pull things back when Cass was pulled down just outside the box and Craige Tomkins was unlucky to hit the post from the curling free kick. Cass was again in the thick of things as a throw in on the left was worked out to Adam Kirby outside the area and he placed his shot just inside the post for a deserved equaliser.
Tyrone Pink, the hammer of Arlesey in midweek, was paying the price for those efforts with a quiet afternoon but a run in stoppage time drew a foul and free kick and ultimately a corner as Saints pushed hard to gain the advantage following a strong spell. The kick by Craige Tomkins sailed over everyone and nestled in the far corner to secure the interval lead they wanted.
With Bedford stepping up the pace and Saints beginning to look leggy, the second half was one that demanded a stern rearguard action to protect what they had. George Fenton, often having to cover for others, was outstanding in the home defence as the Eagles swooped and flapped around the Chalfont goal. Garry Malone made a superb one handed save to push away a header as nerves began to tighten. More than anything, Saints needed a rallying voice and probably a tactical reappraisal but only the unnerving tick of the clock winding down was heard.
Looking for anything to give themselves a way back into the game, a clumsy challenge in the area by Glenn Yala gave Watkins the opportunity to force the referee to make a decision and so he did. Luke Knight smashed the resulting penalty straight down the middle of the goal to level the scores.
Minutes later and things got worse as Saints switched off at a throw in giving Adam Watkins room to drive in a speculative shot. On target or not, it took a heavy and cruel deflection off George Fenton and past the wrongfooted Garry Malone.
Bedford could hardly believe their good fortune and ran out the clock to secure the win they probably hadn't expected at the start of play. For Saints, they need to recharge their batteries as the games are coming thick and fast, beginning with a home game against AFC Dunstable on Tuesday.
Saints: Garry Malone, Ruddock Yala (Glenn Yala 21), Dave Thomas, George Fenton, Craig Carby, Adam Kirby, Tyrone Pink (Jack Mullan 78), Alan Hedley, Craige Tomkins (Kofi Lockhart-Adams 69), Charlie Strutton, Jake Cass.
Attendance. 89 Star Player. George Fenton
- Written by Ian
Irresistible Saints sail through replay
Saints 6 Kirby 9 Cass 22 Hedley 42 Strutton 47, 52 Tomkins 76
Arlesey Town 0
FA Trophy Preliminary Round Replay (Tuesday 11 October)
- Written by Ian