AOFC 2 vs 0 AFC Kilburn
Deserved home victory for the Cranmers
AOFC were looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss away at Sherwood Reserves in the cup last week. After a great performance against Eastwood in the week, the Sherwood performance was well below par. Aslockton & Orston had been on 10 points for a while and were keen to get another 3 points on the board against visitors, AFC Kilburn, who were also on 10 points prior to the match. With no natural goalkeeper available, Nico Devivo again stepped up to play in goal.
The home side started the brighter and looked comfortable on the ball and were in control of the game from the off. Going forward, the Cranmers looked most dangerous down the flanks with George McCartney and Jay Leathen causing problems with their pace and direct runs deep in to the Kilburn half. Pierce Hallam was playing much deeper than usual in his holding midfield role ensuring that the Kilburn number 10 had no space between the defence and midfield, whilst Nick Fry and James Leach controlled the game in the middle of the park linking up nicely with lone striker Josh Asuman. The away side did get the ball forward at times, but struggled to break down the Aslockton defence. Danny Wright was back in at centre half and he was solid in the air, stopping the Kilburn tactics of a long ball to be flicked on by the centre forward. Ryan Campbell gave his opposite number nothing to go off at left back, whilst Sam Smith defended very well against a tricky Kilburn left winger. James Hallam swept up any danger that his fellow three defenders couldn't deal with, which left Kilburn struggling to create any chances. The home side got a deserved goal after great work down the left by George McCartney saw him leave his marker standing, and he whipped a great ball in for Jay Leathen to head home after a darting run towards the front post. The game remained much the same until half time, but Aslockton & Orston were unable to extend their lead.
The second half was very different to the first as the home side sat back, not looking to extend their lead, but to defend it. Kilburn hadn't troubled Nico Devivo much in the first half and so the plan was to keep the 1 - 0 lead and earn a clean sheet for Devivo. Aslockton did defend brilliantly and made no mistakes for Kilburn to pounce on whilst any efforts that did go towards goal were easily dealt with by Devivo. However, as the half went on the game became scrappier, with Kilburn piling players forward and putting the ball in to dangerous areas. Devivo was called in to action as he had to parry away a cross that nearly floated in at the back post, whilst James Hallam got back excellently to make a tackle after Devivo had been rounded and the Kilburn player was in on goal. Aslockton made all three subs as Matt James replaced George McCartney, James Hackett replaced Danny Wright and Oliver Warner came on for Jay Leathen. The subs really tightened things up with their fresh legs. Matt James could have grabbed himself a goal when a ball across the Kilburn 6 yard box found his feet, but he was unable to direct the ball towards goal. Kilburn continued their pressure and there were many goal mouth scrambles, with a couple of brilliant goal line clearances, including by striker Josh Asuman who was back defending his side's lead. After an excellent performance by the striker, it was fitting then that he earned a goal for himself. Asuman was thrown the ball on the left side and he beat two defenders with one turn and then another before finishing under the Kilburn keeper. A minute later, the referee blue his whistle to end the game, leaving the Cranmers with a deserved three points after a solid performance across the pitch.
Goals from Jay Leathen and Josh Asuman (Asa)
MOTM: James Hallam