Newsletter No 16 by Bill Scholes
22:31 12 Dec 12
Saturday 8th December 2012
Congratulations to Ampthill Town, last man standing for the SSMFL as they reached the 4th Round for the second successive season after their narrow 1-0 victory over fellow SSMFL side Hertford Town. We always knew we would get one side through to the 4th Round, but if truth be told we were really hoping for three, given the current form of both Dunstable Town and Oxhey Jets. However league positions count for nothing in Cup matches, as has been admirably demonstrated over the years, and it all boils down to performance on the day and let’s hope they can produce a similar match winning performance in the next round where they will have home advantage against Enfield 1893, conquerors of Dunstable Town.
Just the one hat trick this week, and that came from Chas Abrahams of Aylesbury Reserves
F.A. Carlsberg VASE – THIRD ROUND
Ampthill Town defeated SSMFL rivals Hertford Town 1-0 in a match that unfortunately will not linger very long in the memory banks. Hertford had reached this stage after a “smash and grab” raid at Takeley in the last round and were clearly bent on applying the same tactics with the hope of the same ending. It might possibly even of worked, but for an injury to keeper Jake Knight after a collision with Michael McKenzie resulting him having to be replaced by an on field forward, Kardan Campbell. Whilst the stand in keeper was in no way responsible for the goal when it came, it did have the effect of upping the urgency of an Ampthill side who had been in control of the game but with no end product to show. The goal, after 75 minutes, was the result of probably the best passage of play in the whole afternoon- a slick one touch passing movement that Warren Garcia finished clinically, and which sent the Ampthill supporters into raptures. It also had the effect of releasing Hertford’s defensive shackles as they finally began get near the Ampthill goal, but to no avail. Ampthill, whilst not at their best, deserved to go through, and Craig Bicknell and his team deserve full credit for sticking to their task, and particularly for going to applaud the Hertford “Behind the Goal Gang” supporters at the end of the game after they had given magnificent support to their team throughout the match. It was like a throwback to the good old days, when supporters sung to show their support for their team, and not to abuse opponents and officials alike. Mention must also be made of the excellent after care from hospitality supremo Louise Goodman, not forgetting of course Chairman Bernie Stoddart’s superb home made cake. Dunstable Town went down to the only goal of the game as they returned to Brimsdown Rovers’ old ground, now used by their opponents Enfield 1893 from the Essex Senior League. The decisive goal came after seventy-nine minutes as a mistimed clearance from keeper Paul Taylor struck an Enfield player, allowing him to square the ball for striker Chris Meikle to slot home. Oxhey Jets made the long trip to Suffolk to play Hadleigh from the Eastern Counties league but returned empty handed after their 2-0 defeat. Jets were not at their best as goal in each half caused their demise, but Hadleigh defended strongly although the Jets did miss a penalty with 18 minutes left.
With four out of the top six not in league action, the only positional change at the top came as AFC Dunstable moved above Ampthill following their 4-1 win away at Leverstock Green. Billy Fleury and Hayden Wills put AFC two up before Adiel Mannion reduced the arrears with 25 minutes to go, but a brace from Jason Blackett made the game safe for the visitors. London Colney hung on to their 4th place with a narrow 1-0 win at home to struggling Hatfield Town, Mark Paradise scoring the all important goal, whilst St. Margaretsbury remain in 5th spot, and with games in hand, after their 3-0 win over visitors Hadley. A brace from leading scorer Anthony Anstead put the Bury on their way and an OG finished off the scoring. Down in the basement, Holmer Green moved off the bottom of the table with a welcome 2-1 home win, their first of the season and only their third in total, over mid table Tring Athletic. Elliot Derby opened the scoring for Holmer and although Stewart King levelled the scores on the half hour mark, Dean Allen put Holmer back in front immediately before half time – a lead which they held on to for the remaining 45 minutes. London Tigers are now back occupying the bottom spot but they did gain a point in a 1-1 draw at home to Biggleswade Utd, who took an early lead through Jason Darvall, only for Utd to draw level with a second half goal from Jabir Laraba. It remains tight at the foot of the table with just four points separating the bottom five clubs. Two goals from Connor Duffy and Ricky Pither enabled Hanwell Town to beat Stotfold 2-1, ensuring that they have now won as many games (8) as they have lost, and moving them up a couple of places into the bargain. Despite a brace from Kyle Mathews, Hillingdon Boro slipped to a 4-2 home defeat against Berkhamsted, who fought back from honours even at half time to run in three more goals in the second period. Louis Rodriguez had levelled the scores right on half time, and Jordan Fredericks, Dale Sears and Lewis Pritchard did the rest. A similar 4-2 scoreline occurred at Colney Heath where the home side got off to flyer against Harefield Utd with a 1st minute Richard Cooke goal and added two more courtesy of an Aaron Clarke double before half time. The Hares produced a spirited recovery in the second half, and two goals from Mark Sergeant (pen) and Gary James gave them hope of at least a draw, but a last minute penalty from Kevin Ashwood doused their dreams.
With leaders Harpenden Town otherwise engaged, London Lions took the opportunity to close the gap at the top to just one point after their 4-0 win at home to promotion rivals Crawley Green. Guy Morris gave the Lions an early lead before Sam Sloma added a second just before the break and a third just after the break. Andy Glynne rounded off the scoring near the end. Cockfosters stay in third spot after they also won 4-0, this time at home to bottom club New Bradwell St. Peter. Two goals in the first half from Bilal Butt and Anton Lewis, and two in the second period from Fergus Moore and a Walid Matata penalty did the damage. Southall were the only other side in the top 9 to be involved in League action and they remained in 7th as a result of their 3-3 draw away at Buckingham Athletic. They will probably view this result as two points dropped given that they were leading 3-1 with just two minutes of normal time remaining, but Athletic made the most of “Fergie time” to score twice and grab a share of the points. The home side showed fantastic character as Andy Bennett slotted home in the 91st minute before Chris Doherty levelled in dramatic fashion in the 94th minute. Earlier Paul Dearlove’s goal for Athletic cancelled out Ibrahim Baah’s opener as the sides went in 1-1 at the break. Southall regained the lead in the second period with goals from Manvir Brar and Kurt Herbert before the dramatic end to the game, which will be remembered for many years to come at Stratford Fields. Amersham Town put their Vase woes behind them as they leapfrogged over visitors Cranfield Utd following their 4-0 win. Martin Griggs, re-signed yet again from Risborough Rangers, came up with a brace and Justin Hockley and Shane Thomas added the other two. The other two games in the Division both ended up with a 3-2 result in favour of the home side. Bedford entertained Wodson park, and despite going behind to a second minute goal from the visitors, turned the game around with goals from Jamie Cole and Luke Tinkler, plus an OG, whilst a Ben Shaw double and a single from Karl Lewis helped Chesham Utd Reserves to all three points against Stony Stratford Town.
Aylesbury Reserves, refreshed after being rested last Saturday, had a comfortable 4-0 win over bottom club Wolverton Town, with Chas Abrahams striking a hat trick. With Tring Corinthians and Mursley United only gaining a point each after their 0-0 draw, Hale Leys Utd took the opportunity to move up into the top six after their 4-3 home win over Caddington. The visitors took the lead on five minutes through a penalty from Steve Harris but soon found themselves behind after 26 minutes through Daniel Parsons and Sean Cole as Hale Leys woke up and then proceeded to miss chance after chance. They were made to pay with less than twenty minutes to go as Steve Harris scored his second penalty, but once again Hale Leys regained the lead as Cole scored his second within three minutes. Carl Moreton then put the Shopping Centre side further in front before James Haughney pulled a goal back for Caddington Old Bradwell Utd and Pitstone & Ivinghoe remain in the bottom four after their 1-1 draw, Kieran Dougherty putting Pitstone in front on the hour mark and Toby Cribb equalising 10 minutes later..
HERTS SENIOR CENTENARY TROPHY – QUARTER FINALS
Following the Quarter Finals, the SSMFL will provide 3 out of the 4 Semi Finalists for this competition. Hoddesdon Town had a 3-0 win at home to Chipperfield Corinthians, but it took two goals in added on time from latest signing Tyler Hatherly to make the tie really safe. Broxbourne Borough also left it very late, a goal from Kieran Smith in the 3rd minute of added on time sealing their 2-1 victory over Met Police Bushey. The duel between Div One promotion contenders Kings Langley and Codicote was won by the visitors 3-1, with Craig Arnott scoring a brace. Arnott gave Codicote the lead after 10 minutes only for Langley to draw level through Tom Carter midway through the half, but two goals around the hour mark, from Arnott again and Ricky Bridge, ensured safe passage to the Semis. Unfortunately Welwyn Garden City could not make it four out four in the Semis as they went down 4-0 at home to Baldock Town.
ANAGRAM RECORDS TROPHY – SECOND ROUND
No joy for The 61 FC as they bowed out of the Anagram Trophy, losing 2-0 away to Sporting Hackney.
ANAGRAM RECORDS TROPHY – THIRD ROUND
Another Jimmy Hill hat trick saw Harpenden Town safely through to the next round after a comprehensive 6-1 win away at Sarratt, despite going behind to an early goal from the home side. Also on the mark were Hill’s strike partner James Ewington, Reece May and Sam Edwards. Risborough Rangers also moved into the next round with a 3-2 home win over Frenford Senior, helped by a brace from James Shrimpton, with Ben Williams striking the winner. The holders Letchworth GC Eagles were taken to extra time by Totternhoe but just edged a narrow 3-2 victory. A goal from Ross Morrissey had put Totternhoe within a minute of putting the holders out, but a goal in the last minute sent the tie into extra time, and then the Eagles scored twice very quickly but although Gary Simpson reduced the deficit they couldn’t find the vital equaliser. The tie between Aston Clinton and Kent Athletic resulted in an epic 4-4 draw after extra time, but visitors Kent went through after triumphing 3-0 in the penalty shoot out. Kent took an early two goal lead with a brace from Pat Daly, but the homesters hit back with two goals in a minute immediately before half time from Neil Roberts and Matty Tallyn. The elder Tallyn then put Aston in the lead before a late penalty from Jason Penman ensured another 30 minutes. A goal in each period, firstly from Kevin Mealor for Aston and then from Joe Anderson for Kent, made the penalty shoot out necessary.
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