UEL 2nd lose to Hertfordshire 3rd in seven goal thriller
By Mitchell Young
An action-packed match saw Herefordshire 3rds defeat UEL 2nds 4-3
It was UEL’s first away match of the season, but Hertfordshire got out of the blocks quickest with early pressure on the UEL defence. They capitalised on this after only 5 minutes, when Hereford’s forward went round the UEL keeper Ali Woods before cutting it back for an easy tap in to put the home side in the lead.
In the 19th minute the UEL defence got caught napping as the Hertfordshire turned UEL’s Dylan Freehily and slotted it past Woods to make it 2-0.
A response was needed from UEL and after a slow start it came on the 25th minute, a great counter was rewarded as the away side took the ball from their own penalty area and fed Olly Soulsby down the right side, cut inside and chipped the ball across goal causing a mix up between the Hertfordshire defender and goalkeeper, ending up with the ball in the back of the net and putting UEL back in the game at 2-1.
UEL were looking brighter after the goal, but a nothing ball by the home side wasn’t dealt with by captain Brandon Manoka, giving the chance to regain the two-goal lead at the break.
With half-time substitutes Harry Tew-Robinson and Harry Mathews introduced at the break, UEL were shaped more offensively in the second half and restarted well, applying more pressure to the Hertfordshire back four.
10 minutes into the second half saw the comeback emerge, after a Freehily throw that caused havoc in the area left Henry Hayden space to bring it down with an exquisite first touch and then unleash a frightening shot just inside the box into the roof of the net to reduce the deficit to one at 3-2.
The momentum was with the visitors, and just after the hour mark came the equaliser, a great cross field ball from Soulsby to Tew-Robinson was brought down before he unleashed a rocket from 25 yards out into the top corner leaving the keeper no chance.
Going into the last 15 minutes, it was apparent the next goal would win it for either side, and it was Hertfordshire who got themselves back in front with the right-winger for Hertford attacking Aman Gill. He whipped a deep ball to the far post, which was headed back into the box their centre midfielder who tucked it home from close range.
Inside the last 10 minutes UEL were searching for yet another equaliser, with goal-mouth scrambles and clearances off the line preventing UEL’s fourth. With seconds remaining, a throw-in was taken long into the box by Dylan Freehily, which was flicked on to Henry Hayden who looked to nick the ball from the keeper grasp and finish it into a open net, but the referee halted the celebrations by disallowing the ‘goal’ for a foul. The UEL players felt grieved, and having swarmed around the referee cost them two yellow card for descent for Soulsby and Tew-Robinson.
UEL 2nds put three points on the board in the opening match of the season with a 9-0 thrashing of Canterbury Christ Church 4ths. After a 15 minute delay due to the heavy rain the game finally got underway when a playable pitch was found by the officials.
In the opening exchanges UEL were the dominant force and tested the Canterbury defence from the off. Their early work was rewarded after only eight minutes when a great ball, whipped in by Ollie Soulsby from a corner, picked out Harry Tew-Robinson, who rose above his marker and headed it into the bottom right corner.
That goal was an incentive for UEL to go on and attack Christ Church’s defence with Tew-Robinson again tormenting the left back and getting beyond him with ease. When he finally curled in the cross it fell to Soulsby, who hit it on the half volley but just missed the target.
Tew-Robinson continued to cause the defence problems with his pace as a ball over the top sent him through on goal but his attempted chip went just wide of the left post.
With only 20 minutes on the clock Tew-Robinson was put through yet again but this time opted for a low shot which was straight at the keeper. Christ Church could hardly get the ball out of their own half with poor goal kicks from the keeper and the defence looking shaky on every UEL attack.
The home side felt confident. Emmanuel Kadiki and Louis, bursting forward from midfield, tried their luck with long range shots but both went just wide. Right-midfielder Soulsby was linking up well with Tew-Robinson, who had switched sides to cause the other wing back problems. A cross to the far post reached Soulsby, who cut back inside and hit a shot which was tipped onto the post by the keeper.
UEL could have been out of sight at the break after several corners and attempts on goal, but went in with only a one goal advantage despite great first half performances from Soulsby and Tew-Robinson.
The second half showed a change in formation for UEL, who switched from a natural 4-4-2 to a more daring 3-5-2 to be more dominant in midfield. It was Christ Church got out the traps earliest, though, when a low ball across the box was cleared straight up in the air and then off the line by Jaden Osei-Bonsu.
That early wake up call for UEL switched them back on and they got a second goal when a ball from Louis found Tew-Robinson, who burst through off the heels of the defenders, dinked the keeper and finished it into the bottom left corner.
Minutes later Tew-Robinson completed a superb performance with his hat-trick. A pass from captain Brandon Manoka allowed Tew-Robinson time and space to take on the defence before unleashing a fierce shot which flicked off the centre back and curled into the bottom left of the goal.
An early change for UEL saw Jaden take over the captaincy as Manoka was relieved of his duties. The fourth came through Tew-Robinson once again when he got on the end of a great, goal-bound cross to continue the rampage.
The fifth was imminent as the UEL striker Henry Hayden was put through again and finished into the bottom left corner on the hour mark.
After Tew-Robinson departed, UEL continued to surge forward and got their sixth midway through the second half. A great ball from William Semain over the top of the defence allowed Louis to burst forward from midfield and lift it perfectly over the keeper.
With the team 6-0 up, position changes were made to give the centre-backs a sniff of goal. Defender Osei-Bonsu swapped with Louis in midfield.
When the seventh came it was a surprise to see Osei-Bonsu on the score sheet. A low ball into the box was snatched off the defender by Osei-Bonsu and his shot, with no real pace on it, was fumbled by the keeper and trickled in at the near post.
The eighth came minutes later with when Dillan Freehily was sent forward after Osei-Bonsu had grabbed his goal. Great play down the left between the UEL left back and Freehily allowed the defender-turned-midfielder, who had stayed alert, to nick the ball off the defender in the box and finish it low at the near post.
The ninth came with five minutes remaining when Semain pinged a lovely ball from midfield to send the UEL forward through on goal and he finished low into the far corner.
Man of the match went to Harry Tew-Robinson for his outstanding performance.
Overall, it was a great overall performance from the whole team and a clean sheet for the UEL goalkeeper and defence who weren’t tested throughout the game.
After a sterling performance against Norfolk in their previous game, next up was a Cambridgeshire side that lost their opening encounter to Suffolk. But they looked to improve and hoped to gain a result against Essex on their first home game of the season.
In the first session, Pauline Child keep her 100% record in the singles after winning convincingly, after a great start and continued throughout the game coming home with an 18-8 win to get Essex of to a flyer. The other singles player for Essex was Phil Banner where mid way through the game there was virtually nothing in it against Cambridge’s banker Joe Peters. But unfortunately the game slipped away from Phil in the final stages as he lost 17-8. In the pairs, Maxine Horn and Paul Glennister were kept at bay throughout a tight match against the Cambridge pairing to lose 13-9. The other pairing Dave Amoss and Shirley Walker got off to a great start by taking an 11-4 lead two thirds of the way through the match and looked certain to claim the 2 points. But in the final few ends and despite being 12-10 up in the last end could only manage the draw to finish 12-12 to share the points. After the first session Essex were still in first gear as they were 5-3 down going into the second session.
The second session featuring the triples and fours got Essex back on track going into the break. With the triple, Rita Blackhall, Pat Goodchild and Alan High securing their two points with a great performance finishing up with a 16-4 win. The other Essex triple involving Peter Snelling, Stewart Blackhall and Brian Daley also never looked like losing after being 13-0 up after 8 ends and concluded with a 14-4 win or maximum points in the triples. It was now over to the fours with Roger Dover’s rink consisting of Dave Chittock, Rose Hambleton and Eileen Smith-Allen were in full control of their match and claimed a 9-4 win to continue the great session. To complete the session Peggy May’s rink including Racheal Cordy, Danny Curl and Paul Cairns have a tight game after only being 7-5 down with two ends to play but could not claw back the deficit and finished 11-6. At the half way stage, Essex had taking a small lead of 9-7 leading into the second half.
The third session started with Phil losing a second game by 18 shots to 9 and putting Cambridge back on level terms. But Pauline after a great display in her first game continued her form in her second game against Joe Peters, with only two ends to play the game was level. However Pauline managed to get in front and finished off with a 16-11 win to put Essex back in the lead. Although that win was not enough to gain the bonus points in the singles with only three shots in it and the two points going to Cambridge. The pairs had a win for Dave and Shirley after a tight game in the early exchanges but were in full control of the match and finished strongly to win 16-7. To complete the third session where Maxine and Paul who struggled to keep up with the Cambridge pairing and lost 20 shots to 4. With that score taken into account the pairs bonus points go to Cambridge. Going into the final session Cambridge go into the lead with the bonus points added at 15 points to 13.
To conclude the contest, Essex needed to win the session to win overall. The triples were first to finish, Rita, Pat and Alan couldn’t repeat their earlier performance and were defeated 22 shots to 10. The other triple Peter, Stuart and Brian had a much tighter contest. With two ends to play they were 8-6 down and the overall match was in the balance, but the triple dug deep and won the match 10-8. With the win also came the two bonus points for Essex’s triples and regained the lead 19-17, with two games remaining. The fours came to an end with Roger’s rink completing a great team performance from the start after winning comfortably 16 shots to 5. The final game to conclude the day was Peggy May’s four who were in full control from start to finish with a 6-3 win, this saw the fours bonus points also go to Essex.
Essex finished victors as they came from behind going into the final session, to win 23-17. After winning 10 of the 12 points available Essex gained another win and kept them top of the table despite a fine win for Norfolk against Suffolk.
A grand performance from the home side Essex was rewarded with a 36-4 win against new boys Surrey. After an off par performance at Norfolk a fortnight ago changes were made and a more organised Essex team stepped out to face Surrey. However Surrey had already proved they were not to be underestimated as they beat Northampton in their last outing.
During the early stages of the first session it was apparent that Essex were out to prove a point as Jack Shepard, Adam Sultana and Babs Morkutti stormed into early leads in the single and pair. Although with Mark Jones in the other single 8-5 up and the other pairing 6-4 up respectively at the half way stage, Surrey weren’t going to let up. After Jack raced into an 11-4 lead, the two points looked to be on the board but a great last minute surge from his opponent he managed to scrap into a 13-12 lead with two ends to play. The last two ends were hard fought but Jack managed to regain the lead and hold off the comeback to win 15-13. Adam and Babs continued their great early start and were racking up the shots as they finished with a 24-4 win. An immediate response was shown from Mitchell Young with a four to leapfrog Mark and go into the lead 9-8 and held him off in the later stages of the game to win 14-9. Barry Hedges and Peter Faultley completed the clean sweep by reversing the 6-4 down to win comfortably 16-8.
The second session was raring to go after a great start from the singles and pairs to really kick it off. Both the triples and fours were out the blocks again following on from the previous session with Dominic Reed’s rink including Shirley Banner, Mark Chittock and Keith Paxman grasping the initiative and got off to a flyer with a six on the first end. After that they saw off the Surrey four and kept them at arms length with a 12-9 win. Also the other four consisting of Mo Binstead, Heather Amoss, Nigel Reed and Sammy Lambert didn’t become complacent either and looked the winners from the off, with a convincing win of 16-5. The triples also kept the pressure on Surrey who were still looking for their first points of the day, with Anthony Faultley’s triple including Paul Bax and Dave Stifford not letting up secured a further two points and were ruthless throughout with a 18-3 win. The other triple involving Sadie Young, Linda Lambert and Tony Elham completed another clean sweep session with a close fought game but managed to see off their Surrey counterparts 12-9, to put Essex into a 16-0 lead at the break.
In the second half Essex were looking for more of the same and it continued with comfortable wins. Mitchell who although was 17-5 ahead relaxed in the remaining ends to finish up with a 20-10 win. Also Barry and Peter cruised home and won 15-7, keeping the 40-0 alive. Adam and Babs had a slow start to their second game which was a total reversal to their opening game after finding themselves 7-3 down. But they responded in the second half of the game to come through strong and didn’t drop a single shot in the last few ends to win untroubled by 16 shots to 7. Jack on the other hand found himself in a hole two thirds of the way in to the game after being 16-8 down, but after digging deep he clawed his way back into the game, managing to take a two shot lead going into the last end. He just held off Mark to claim the win at the death by 18 shots to 17 and a great comeback to keep the clean sheet. Also Essex claimed both the bonus points up for grabs in the singles and pairs securing a 28-0 lead going into the fourth and final session.
With the final session in full swing, again Anthony’s triple were in full control of their game and were in cruise control at the half way stage and came home with a 25 shots to 2 win. The other triple skipped by Tony was a tight game throughout, after being 8-6 down going into the last end they needed at least a two for a draw. But unfortunately for Essex could only manage the single to finish 8-7 and give Surrey their first points of the day, although was not enough to achieve the two bonus points in the triples leaving the score 32-2 with two games still playing. Sammy’s rink was next to finish, with also another tight game but couldn’t manage to secure the two points with a 8-6 defeat and Surrey’s second win of the day. The final game to finish the day was Dom’s rink who was also in a battle after being 6-5 down with two ends to play picked up a three and were 8-6 up going into the last end. The Essex four held off the Surrey quartet to win 8-7 and also picked up the bonus points in the fours to finish the contest Essex 36 Surrey 4.
This local London derby was set to be a fiercely fought contest with both teams looking for the three points but for different reasons. With West Ham looking worryingly at the relegation zone and Tottenham looking to keep themselves in contention at the top, three points for either side was massive.
The opening 20 minutes were treaded carefully after neither team creating any major threat on goal. Then the game came to live after a well struck shot from Andros Townsend 25 yards, but just swept wide. Townend was a big threat for West Ham with his pace down the right flank as he whipped in a ball to Paulinho who couldn’t keep his shot down. At the break it was Tottenham who seemed in control but couldn’t manage to break the deadlock.
As the second half begun Tottenham were still threatening and it looked much of the same from the first half until the hour mark, where West Ham started to get a foot hold in the game. As they broke the deadlock from a set piece in the 65th minute with a great corner from Noble which Winston Reid attacked, which initially was blocked by his teammate Nolan but stayed alert and drilled home the rebound to put the Hammer in the lead.
West Ham continued to press and were rewarded with a second in the 72nd minute, after Noble picked up the ball in midfield and fed in Ricardo Vaz Te whose initial shot was saved by Lloris but bounced back onto Vas Te and the ball trickled agonisingly in for Tottenham. The East London side never looked like resting on their laurels and killed the game off with a third with only 10 minutes remaining with great work from Diame in his own half, he laid it off to Ravel Morrison who went on a mazy run from the half way line. He went past two Tottenham players and finished it off with a delightful chip into the net, to claim his fourth of the season.
Tottenham without a response claimed their second defeat of the season. But With the Hammers climbing five places and out of the relegation zone, despite not having a main front man to lead the line stole all three points at White Hart Lane going into the International break.
Last night’s 4-0 drubbing at St Andrews was quoted as “unacceptable” by Steve Lomas after being the inform side going into the game off the back of three straight wins.
With Birmingham also struggling in the league it was a chance to extend our spurt of wins to four. But with history also not on our side it wasn’t looking likely without a win at St Andrews in 35 years, signifying a bogey ground before even kicking off.
Within the 9th minute it was already looking like we wasn’t going to rip up the history book with a very suspicious penalty decision given by Andy Woolmer for a tackle which was clearly outside the box. But justice was done from the spot as Forde was equal to Lingards shot.
The writing was on the wall for the lions as the wake up call was not enough to spark them in to live with Murphy converting from close range in the 18th minute. Even after the goal there was no real response which lead to Birmingham taking the initiative and doubling there lead 33 minutes in from a free kick.
The second half saw the introduction of Lee Martin for Steve Morison to play more of a natural formation of 4-4-2 to help the lions spread the play wide and bring the wingers in to play and it did with Martin growing into the game down the left side and we looked more threatening but was unable to bring ourselves back into the game.
Then came the game killer in the 67th minute which really deflate us and just to put the final nail in the coffin a fourth came in the last moments of the game from the in-form Lingard.
Throughout the game we weren’t destined to come away with anything but if it wasn’t for Forde who knows how many it could have been with save after save.
Lomas described our next game against Bournmouth on Saturday “massive” with the international break coming up. Can we bounce back with a win to bump us up the table?