Saints run aground
Barton Rovers 2 Calcutt 11, Blackett 43
Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central (Monday 29 August)
Saints: James Warrington, Jack Mullan (Kofi Lockhart-Adams 66), Dave Thomas, George Fenton, Chris Ellis, Adam Kirby, Dean McDonnell (Craige Tomkins 78), Jake Cass, Aaron Morgan, Tony Mendy, Jamie Di-Giuseppe (Ryan Phillips 72).
- Written by Ian
Strutton hits winner on return
Arlesey Town 0
Saints 1 Strutton 67
Evo-Stik League Southern Divsion One Central (Saturday 27 August)
Match photos at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskFRYmHR
The return of Charlie Strutton to Saints' ranks was the decisive play in Chalfont's sixth successive win of the season.
Struts, returning to help Saints but also to use the time to help a return to match fitness before a return to Maidenhead, added strength to the front and some solid support for Tony Mendy. Against an Arlesey side that was set up to defend, the two marksmen rotated their positions to cause problems and with Jamie Di-Giuseppe adding width on the left, The home bus was parked and clamped in front of goal. The breezy conditions didn't help with the accuracy of passing and the home side were able to fend off the visitors. With Jake Cass and Adam Kirby dominant in midfield, backed by the deeper-lying Ruddock Yala, and the defensive line virtually faultless, chances for the home side were very limited. A mishit clearance from their keeper set up their only chance of the half.
If the first half had whetted the appetite, the second saw Saints increase their control of the game. As Arlesey became ever more defensive so the chances for Saints increased. Jake Cass, driving forward at every opportunity, saw two shots fly over the bar and Strutton and Mendy pounded away at the parked bus.
Efforts by the home side were snuffed out by the Saints defence, with Alan Hedley outstanding in the heart, supported strongly by George Fenton. Ryan Wharton and Dave Thomas closed down the flanks and Garry Malone looked comfortable on his way to collecting his third successive clean sheet.
The breakthrough came after 67 minutes as a ball over the top was chased down by Charlie Strutton and his run on goal saw him burst through two defenders before a powerful left foot shot found the back of the net.
Saints continued to dominate and create chances to the end and deserved a greater reward but at this still-early stage of the season, the result is more important. As sharpness improves so will the payoff. Confidence is growing fast at Chalfont.
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)
- 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