Newsletter No 15 by Bill Scholes
22:43 05 Dec 12
Saturday 1st December 2012
Having awoken on Saturday to a very white and frosty morning, I was amazed to find that only one out of a total of 43 fixtures was actually postponed. A very well done to all those groundsmen and helpers who must have worked tirelessly to get the games on
There were just three hat tricks this week – one in each Division. In the Premier, Frankie Jowle scored three times for Berkhamsted against London Tigers, in Division One Craig Arnott was the man on the spot for Crawley Green against Wodson Park whilst in Division Two, Brian Haule notched three for Aylesbury Reserves against Risborough Rangers.
It’s as you were at the head of the table, with the top three sides all recording victories. Leaders Dunstable Town had to battle hard to overcome Hertford Town 5-2 at Hertingfordbury Park after arriving at half time with the scores level at 2-2. Tony Burnett gave Dunstable the lead, only for Sean Stock and player-manager Marvin Samuel to swing the game in Hertford’s favour, before Jon Cooper levelled a minute later. The second half however belonged to the visitors as goals from Newman Carney, Wayne Mills and Nathan Frater secured the three points. Aylesbury Utd ground out a 2-1 win at Haringey Borough thanks to goals from Stacey Field and Louis Austin. The Ducks were gifted the opening goal with a penalty awarded for handball - Field duly converting, but .Haringey hit back and eventually levelled through former Chesham United striker Darrell Cox on the stroke of half time. Aylesbury improved greatly after the break, and re established their lead early on when great skill from Field set up Austin to score the winner. Third played fourth as Oxhey Jets visited AFC Dunstable, and it was Oxhey who came out on top with a 4-2 win helped by a brace of goals from Ian Bywater. AFC trailed 3-0 early on in the second period, but staged a fightback with two goals in five minutes from Jake Parsons and James Baldry, but a goal four minutes from time from Lewis Putnam settled matters for the away side. As a result of this loss, AFC Dunstable slipped back down to 7th, whilst the big winners were London Colney, St. Margaretsbury and Ampthill Town who all moved up into the top six. London Colney won 2-0 at Harefield United thanks to second half goals from Russell Gallagher and Dave Parkinson, whilst St. Margaretsbury overcame inconsistent Leverstock Green 4-2, despite going behind to a Tobi Akin goal in the 34th minute. The Bury fought back with goals from Michael Cooper, Lee Roberts and Steve Barker and although Curt Dizen reduced the deficit for the Greens, Anthony Anstead sealed the win with 8 minutes remaining. Ampthill Town entertained Hanwell Town and fell behind to a 15th minute goal from Tom Duffy but Christian Lester restored parity before half time. Michael McKenzie scored the goal in the second half that secured the 2-1 victory. The Division’s biggest win of the day came at Broadwater where hosts Berkhamsted enjoyed a 5-1 win over second from bottom London Tigers. Frankie Jowle opened the scoring for the Comrades in the first half but Emmanuel Njodzeka brought the Tigers level before the break. The second period belonged to Berko as two penalties from Jowle completed his hat trick with Myles Stephenson and Jamie Gavin rounding off the scoring. Tring Athletic skipper Graham Hall made his 200th appearance for the club in the home game against Hillingdon Boro and celebrated with his 51st goal for the club to set them on their way to a 2-0 win - their 5th consecutive victory. Vice Captain Chris Salmon added a 2nd goal just before half time to make it look like an easy victory on paper but the reality was quite different as a gutsy Boro competed strongly right up to the final whistle. Stotfold ended a run of four straight defeats by winning 3-1 at Colney Heath. Aaron Clarke had given Colney the lead but two strikes in three minutes from Sean Herr and Ricky Baker turned the match in Stotfold’s favour before Baker scored again in stoppage time to round off the win. Hadley took an early two-goal lead at The Gosling Stadium against hosts Hatfield Town with two goals from Hakim Medfai, only for the Town to draw level before the break courtesy of Guellar Makengo and Curtis Isiri. It was Hadley who went on to take all three points with a penalty 12 minutes from time scored by Alexis Nicolas and then a stoppage time Rob Quattromini goal making the final score 4-2. No joy for bottom club Holmer Green, away at the Division’s lowest scorers Biggleswade Utd, but they did at least end their month long goal drought with two goals from Dean Allen. Biggleswade however struck back with five goals of their own thanks to a brace from James Peters and singles from Robbie Freeman, Peter Duffy and Sean Murray to keep Holmer anchored to the foot of the table. All is not lost for the bottom two however as the three clubs above all lost, and the gap to the safety zone is only a few points.
Leaders Harpenden Town returned to League action with an excellent 2-0 away win at Southall who sat in 5th position prior to kick off. It was solid team performance with the twin strike force of Jimmy Hill and James Ewington again causing problems this time with Ewington taking centre stage with a well taken brace. The first goal arrived on 14 minutes when a long ball from keeper Matt Lord was flicked on by Mark Hitchcock and after a couple of deft touches Ewington found the corner of the net. He was denied a second 5 minutes later when a Hill flick on found Hitchcock whose shot was parried into Ewington’s path whose fine effort rattled the post. However his and the Town’s second was never far away and it duly arrived in the 24th minute with a fine flowing move involving skipper Danny Green and Tommy Burns left Hitchcock to thread an inch perfect pass to Ewington who clipped a shot into the corner. The second half was more even but Harpenden defended well and Lord, when needed. was more than up to the job. Southall were generous in defeat complementing Harpenden on their performance. London Lions moved up into second spot following their 3-1 home win over Sun Postal. The visitors took the lead through Jonny Daily on 35 minutes but Guy Helman brought the Lions level 5 minutes later. Two second half goals from Adam Bolle and Ben Ellis gave Lions the victory, the three points and the bump up the table. The last month or so has not been the best for Cockfosters, and they fell to their 4th defeat out of their last 5 games going down 3-1 away at Kings Langley. However only two of those losses have been in the League and they retain third spot with a couple of games in hand on the leaders. A brace from Ben Long and one from Jimmy Armstrong put Kings Langley totally in control of their game and they were home and hosed before Anton Lewis got Cockfosters on the scoresheet with 15 minutes left. It took a 50th minute goal from Sean Downey to break Wodson Park’s resistance and set up a comfortable 5-0 victory for Crawley Green. In the opening minutes Crawley’s Jamie Warne went close and Wodson replied with a free kick from Bradley Jenner which Dean Bull tipped over the bar. For the remainder of the half it was all Crawley and Robbie O’Dell, Peter O’Donnell, Stuart Strange and Jamie Warne all had efforts blocked or shot wide. The deadlock was broken after 50 minutes when Downey took full advantage of a long free kick from keeper Bull to slot home. Seven minutes later Crawley doubled their lead. Peter O’Donnell took a short free kick to Adam Reid who fired in an unstoppable right foot effort from the edge of the box. Crawley pressed home their advantage and killed the game with 3 goals in 4 minutes, from Chris Gibson, O’Donnell and Chris Cook. New Bradwell St. Peter welcomed Codicote to the Recreation Ground for the first time and the visitors went away with all the points in a 6-2 victory. With Peters struggling at the foot of the table and Codicote riding high, it looked like a formality for the visitors to claim the three points. However it was not as simple as that as Peters gave a good account of themselves. The first chance went to Codicote but Craig Arnott’s shot hit the Peters post and bounced clear. Another Codicote effort was cleared off the home goal line by Nathan Hawkins as the home team came under increasing pressure. But Peters hit back and scored on 24 minutes when Ron Sekadde put away a right wing cross. Peters had several good positions but a combination of poor pass selection and weak finishing saw them just one goal ahead. Codicote finally woke up on 29 minutes when Craig Arnott received a defence splitting pass to put away a first time shot. His brother Mark added a second goal from a pass by Craig on 40 minutes to put Codicote into the lead. There was just time for Codicote to see a shot from Mark Arnott hit both posts before being cleared by the Peters defence. The second half started well for the visitors when David Iwediuno beat the offside to run through and score on 50 minutes. But back came Peters and they pulled a goal back with a terrific strike from Captain Ross Stone on 56 minutes. Codicote went into overdrive in the final quarter of the match and Mark Arnott scored on 62 minutes from a pass by Iwediuno. Another goal came on 77 minutes when Mark Arnott converted following a defensive mistake. The final goal arrived on 80 minutes when Iwediuno ran through to round the keeper to score. The score does not reflect the effort made by a young Peter’s team who played some good football in patches. But they were a little careless with the ball and their positioning and Codicote took full advantage of this. Hoddesdon Town remain well within striking distance of the leading contenders in 6th place as they garnered another three points after their 2-1 win away at Buckingham Athletic. No boats or wet suits needed as the floods of the previous week had subsided. All three goals came in the space of 4 minutes and all three were scored by Hoddesdon – two by Ben Andreos and Gary Simmonds were at the right end and one by Jamie Curtis was at the wrong end. Two first half goals from Mark Draper and Isaac Oppong enabled Welwyn Garden City to defeat Kentish Town 2-1, Sean Flaherty scoring Town’s late consolation, whilst Cranfield Utd and Chesham Utd Reserves shared the points in a 2-2 draw. Manny Richardson put Cranfield in front before Max Farrelly equalised just before the break. Patrick Akwasi restored Cranfield’s lead immediately after the restart, only for William Orchard to level it up again on the hour mark. The game between Stony Stratford and Amersham was postponed.
Expecting to host local rivals Aylesbury Reserves, Risborough Rangers were rather surprised to find themselves facing Aylesbury FC’s first team, whose home game had been called off late in the morning. Having posted their intentions on their website around midday, Aylesbury should not have been surprised to find that the local supporters were not best pleased. Undaunted, Risborough produced an excellent performance against a team sitting three Divisions above them, causing numerous embarrassments to their more illustrious visitors. Not surprisingly, Rangers defence came under fairly continuous pressure but with young keeper Steve Clark in excellent form, they kept a clean sheet for the first 45 minutes, whilst at the other end Ben Williams found himself clear just before the break and calmly slotted home to give Rangers a 1-0 lead at half time. As Risboro tired in the second half, two goals from Brian Haule and one from Sonny French turned the game around, but a couple of minutes before the end, sub Alex Macdonald reduced the deficit but almost immediately Aylesbury’s leading goalscorer Haule completed his hat trick to make the final score 4-2. Risboro could hold their heads high at the end of the day, but no doubt would have preferred to compete for the three points on a level playing field. In a close fought game, leaders Aston Clinton had to come from behind with three late goals to overcome visitors and local rivals Hale Leys Utd, and maintain a three point lead at the top of the table. Hale Leys went into the Jaffa break leading 2-1 with goals from Carl Moreton and Jay Wilson, Peter Weirich responding for the home side with a penalty, but player manager Neil Roberts brought the scores level with 8 minutes left. In time added on, Kevin Mealor and Chris Stapleton both found the net as Aston Clinton ran out 4-2 winners. A second half brace from Pat Daly enabled Kent Athletic to leap frog over visitors Totternhoe with a 2-1 win and move up into second spot. Second from bottom Caddington sprang a surprise as they recorded only their third win of the season, beating The 61 FC 1-0, the all important goal coming on the half hour mark from Gary Elbourne. Tring Corinthians made their first ever league visit to Broxbourne Borough and came away with a 1-1 draw, courtesy of a late equaliser from Terry Phillips. Jamie Smith had put Borough ahead towards the end of the first half. Mursley Utd had to settle for a point away at Pitstone & Ivinghoe in a game that finished two apiece, after the visitors had gone into a two goal lead. Jack Westbrook headed home after just 12 minutes and Liam Gallagher (taking a break from Beady Eye!) coolly converted a penalty on 35 minutes, but Grant Fryer reduced the deficit just before the break. Pitstone pressured their opponents in the second period as they went searching for the equaliser but the Mursley defence held firm until Kieran Dougherty made the breakthrough to gain a share of the spoils. At the foot of the table, Wolverton Town entertained local rivals Old Bradwell Utd but could not gain the win they needed to take them off the bottom – going down eventually 3-2. The Wolves opened the scoring through Chas Partington, but Old Bradwell responded with three goals around the half time mark before Michael Rudniak finished off the scoring in added on time.
F.A. VASE DRAW – THIRD ROUND PROPER
Good luck to all four SSMFL sides left in the Third Round this Saturday. Unfortunately, two have been drawn together, but it does guarantee at least one club will be in Monday’s draw for the Fourth Round!
Ampthill Town v Hertford Town
Hadleigh Utd v Oxhey Jets
Enfield 1893 v Dunstable Town
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