Sarratt 0 - 2 Hadley Wood & Wingate
Superb performance brings victory
A superb performance from a very young Hadley Wood & Wingate side left Sarratt with all three points on a chilly Spring afternoon. With an average age of 18.5 years old it looked like a lack of experience may hamper Hadley Wood's hopes but the youthfulness of the side put in a dominant performance to take the victory.
Hadley Wood put the pressure on Sarratt from the start of the game and the Sarratt defence looked nervous with a cross from James Karena into the Sarratt box was won in the air by the Sarratt defence but the header was back towards his own goal, looping over the keeper's head but just wide of the goal to spare the defender's blushes.
On 9 minutes Hadley Wood tried to use their set pieces to their advantage when a dangerous corner by Elijah Gabsi was headed just wide by Bradley Marriott. Sarrattt struggled throughout the first half to hold onto the ball for any lengthy spell and some slick passing and dominance in the centre of midfield by Gabsi and Wilson Chingoka gave Sarratt troubles all day long.
Hadley Wood deservedly took the lead on 26 minutes in a rare counter attacking move. Sarratt forced a corner and the ball was quickly cleared by Chingoka towards the energetic Elliott Bailey. Bailey run to the right side of the box and turned inside only to be taken down inside the penalty area giving the referee no option but to point to the penalty spot. Bailey got up and took the kick himself with an powerful blast into the top right corner of the goal, a penalty which no goalkeeper in the world would be able to get close to.
The only chances of the half for Sarratt came five minutes later with two close chances in the space of a minute, both from set pieces. The first coming from a corner floated to the far post and headed by Richard Vercesi which was blocked and cleared to the edge of the box. A handball from the resulting clearance gave Sarratt another chance to put the ball into the Hadley Wood box and again it was put to the far post and again headed by Vercesi put just wide of the near post.
The start of the second half started in the same fashion as most of the first half with Hadley Wood holding the ball confidently. However on 54 minutes Ross Weinrabe was called into action in the Hadley Wood goal for the first time. Sarratt caught Hadley Wood on the break and Shaun Benham ran with the ball into the box. The ball was pulled back to Ade Adeeka giving him a one on one chance which was stopped superbly by Weinrabe.
On 62 minutes Hadley Wood nearly doubled the lead when a poor goal kick by the Sarratt goalkeeper landed straight to Chingoka who sent a first time pass over the pushed up Sarratt defence to Bailey. Bailey just got to the ball before the Sarratt keeper on the edge of the box but was unable to turn the ball into the goal. However, two minutes later Hadley Wood did get their second goal. Some good work on the left by Gabsi brought two defenders towards him to try and tackle him. Gabsi was able to turn back from the byline and pass the ball to Amon Walton Owen who put in a pinpoint cross to the far post where Charlie Harris beat his defender in the air and headed over the keeper into the net. The goal was well deserved for Harris who had put in a solid performance throughout.
Sarratt pushed more men forwarded and Hadley Wood started sitting back as the rest of the half progressed by Sarratt were unable to create many chances. The best in the remaining minutes came once again from a corner which was sent in centrally and won by Adeeka who's shot was blocked and fell to Benham 7 yards out but his shot was high over the bar.
Hadley Wood held out for a well deserved 2-0 win and will look to win again on Thursday night when they host Evergreen FC.
Hadley Wood & Wingate: Weinrabe ©, Karena, Walton Owen, Chingoka, Marriott, Mafuta, Harris, Gabsi, Bailey (Barry), Grantham (Webb), Iyayi (Kouroushi)
Sarratt: Morgans, McGeachy, Wyatt, Vercesi, McIntosh ©, Taylor, Sawyer, Reilly, Adeeka, Benham, Grierson
Subs: Lee, Hammond, McConway