Strutton hits winner on return
Arlesey Town 0
Saints 1 Strutton 68
Evo-Stik League Southern Divsion One Central (Saturday 27 August)
Match photos at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskFRYmHR
Saints: Garry Malone, Ryan Wharton, Dave Thomas, George Fenton, Alan Hedley, Adam Kirby, Ruddock Yala, Jake Cass (Craige Tomkins 85), Charlie Strutton (Aaron Morgan 75), Tony Mendy, Jamie Di-Giuseppe (Glenn Yala 75).
Attendance. 73 Star Player. Alan Hedley
- Written by Ian
Cass lifts Saints to FA Cup win
Saints 2 Kirby 87, Cass 89
Harpenden Town 0
The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round (Saturday 20 August)
Match photos at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskGLJf9o
Unlike in life, in football the destination is usually more important than the journey.
This was a cup tie which neither side deserved to win but ultimately Chalfont's experience told and it took two excellent goals late in the game to brighten an otherwise dull afternoon.
Typically, the underdogs from Harpenden started the brighter, seeking an early breakthrough to put Chalfont under pressure. However, they lacked quality in front of goal and despite making several chances for themselves, Garry Malone was not put under any serious pressure in the Saints goal.
Saints had made seven changes for this game and it showed in their lacklustre performance. As an opportunity to make a case for inclusion in next starting lineup, not many could be said to have passed the audition.
Harpenden's threat began to fade after the half hour mark but it was still only in the final minutes of the half that Saints managed their only sniff of a chance when the visiting keeper was blocked by his own defender allowing Alan Hedley, a welcome returnee to the side, to win a header from a Di-Giuseppe cross but the resulting loose ball was hacked clear.
The introduction of Davis Haule for the injured Michael Malcolm at half time perked up Saints as the veteran swiftly took up a barking, demanding role in midfield. The first real chance came on the hour mark as Craige Tomkins chased a long clearance and beat the keeper to the challenge but his final shot was cleared off the line by Arnold for the visitors. The home tempo was slowly firing up and Adam Kirby sent a header from a Di-Giuseppe cross just wide.
The introduction of Jake Cass proved to be the decisive move for Chalfont as his natural driving play created havoc for Harpenden. The visitors were relying heavily on the runs of Alex Yearwood that asked many questions of the Saints defence but ultimately it was the experience of challenging and concentrating for the full 90 minutes that was to prove crucial.
Saints were pressing further into the Harpenden box as the visitors began to flag and Adam Kirby was able to stoop low to head home to finally put Saints in front with just minutes remaining. There was no coming back from this and Jake Cass capped his hugely influential 20 minute cameo with a drive across the edge of the area and a thumping shot into the corner to seal the win.
Harpenden doubtless feel they deserved more from the game but football can be a cruel game, the FA Cup particularly. So Saints secure their second late win in a week and stay unbeaten so far.
Saints: Garry Malone, Ryan Wharton, Ryan Phillips, George Fenton, Dave Thomas, Adam Kirby, Tyrone Pink, Alan Hedley (Jake Cass 68), Craige Tomkins (Tony Mendy 75), Michael Malcolm (Davis Haule 46), Jamie Di-Giuseppe.
Attendance. 74 Star Player. Jake Cass
- Written by Ian
Kirby seals derby win
Saints 1 Kirby 90+3
Beaconsfield SYCOB 0
Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central (Tuesday 16 August)
- Written by Ian
100% Saints edge Ashford
Ashford Town (Middx) 2 Bitmead 45+1, English 82
Saints 3 McDonnell 18, Mendy 56, Lockhart-Adams 59
Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central (Saturday 13 August)
Match photos at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskF1zzSY
Saints maintained their winning start to the season with a performance that showed a lot of promise but, following substitutions, became increasingly edgy as a fast-paced Ashford side pushed hard for a way back into the game towards the end.
For a ground lying hard up against Heathrow Airport, it wasn't too much of a surprise that much of the first half was played in the air. Frustration quickly spread around the crowd, all wanting to see the ball played more in the ground. Saints had the likes of Tyrone Pink and Dean McDonnell working hard along the flanks and Ashford moved smoothly across the face of the Saints back line.
The first chance fell to Ashford as Dan Fleming found himself in front of an open goal from a cross but he somehow scooped his shot over the bar with Malone scrambling to cover. Kofi Lockhart-Adams, a returning favourite, was equally lax soon after but it was Saints who drew first blood with a copycat of a goal scored the previous week. Tony Mendy, chasing down and working hard on the right put a low ball across the face of goal and Dean McDonnell arrived at the far post to turn the ball over the line.
Unable to take advantage of second phase ball, Saints were unable to press home their advantage, and Ashford were able to test the Saints defence with some quick movement and an eagerness to take on a shot. Max Webb drew an excellent save from Garry Malone, who had an excellent first half, denying Mark Bitmead with another good stop. Bitmead hit the post direct from a free kick as Saints began to wobble in the period just before the break. So it was no surprise when Bitmead finally hit the target in stoppage time with a low shot that Malone got a hand to but couldn't keep out to tie the score at the break.
If Tony Mendy had worked hard in the first half without reward, he found his prize after the restart as his weaving run into the box seemed to be petering out before he forced the ball home with a left foot shot. Minutes later Dean McDonnell set up Kofi Lockhart-Adams and his run into the box was finished with a delightful shot into far corner from a tight angle.
If the early double-substitutions that brought on the Yala brothers was an opportunity to look at some fringe players, it very nearly came unstuck as, for the last half hour, the increasingly smooth running Saints performance was disrupted and with Ashford bringing on some whippet-fast substitutes of their own, Saints were made to hang on in a game that they should have been able to put to bed.
Kam English squeezed in a shot from the edge of the area in the last 10 minutes to set up a frantic finish. Malone pushed one shot over his bar and made two smart stops as the post as the home side pressed for an equaliser. Tommy Brunton looked to have broken through in the last minute but Craig Carby had a handful of shirt and was red carded for pulling the player down. An agonising six minutes of stoppage time was added before Saints could celebrate their win.
Saints: Garry Malone, Ryan Wharton, Dave Thomas, Chris Ellis, Craig Carby, Adam Kirby, Tyrone Pink (Glenn Yala 63), Jake Cass, Kofi Lockhart-Adams (Craige Tomkins 85), Tony Mendy, Dean McDonnell (Ruddock Yala 63).
- Written by Ian
Mendy on fire as Saints bury Moles
Aylesbury 1 Lambert 84
Saints 3 Mendy 64, 88 pen, Lockhart-Adams 90+5
Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central (Tuesday 9 August)
Saints: Garry Malone, Ryan Wharton (Ruddock Yala 46), Ryan Phillips, Chris Ellis, Craig Carby, Adam Kirby, Glenn Yala, Jake Cass, Craige Tomkins (Dean McDonnell 59), Tony Mendy (Kofi Lockhart-Adams 90), Tyrone Pink.
- Written by Ian