Ambers sign off at home in style
The Ambers continued their winning streak by beating Albion Sports 4-1 ....
The Ambers lined up in a 451 formation to face Albion Sports in the last home fixture of the season, aiming to consolidate 4th place to ensure byes in the early rounds of next season’s FA Vase.
At the heart of this attacking style was skipper for the day, Connor Smythe, the first Amber to reach a half century of games this season, and the youngster put in a man of the match performance in front of a crowd containing one or two potential managerial candidates.
The captain burst into the Albion box after eight minutes and was clearly fouled, but the referee saw it differently and allowed play to continue, Aaron Moxam picking up the loose ball in the area and belting a thunderous left foot strike which cannoned away off the crossbar.
The Albion relief was short lived though, and it was a Smythe shot which led to The Ambers taking a twelfth minute lead. His daisy cutter was touched wide by Albion keeper Trenerry, who must have been wondering where his defenders had disappeared to, as Alex Rippon rose unchallenged in the six yard box to head home Joe Thornton’s corner kick.
The Ambers were continuing their fine passing game as seen on Tuesday night, with Smythe and Thornton seeing plenty of the ball down the left, but as the game continued, it was the visitors who were starting to gain a foothold in the game, with skipper Facey linking their play up well.
Some good foraging by Harry Bamforth allowed Thornton to deliver a cross which Smythe met on the half volley but Trenerry once again denied him, before Albion created their best chance of the game. A Facey flick on released Jenkinson through the middle but Gary Stevens raced off his line to deny the striker and the danger was cleared.
There was a blow for Handsworth just before half time when Bamforth limped off and had to be replaced by Steve Warne, and the last chance of the half saw a Jack McCarthy header from a Thornton free kick drift wide at the back stick.
Albion started the second period on the attack and Jenkinson fired a good chance over before some free flowing football from The Ambers saw a cross from Richard Tootle land on the head of Smythe but Trenerry saved well. However, the same player wasn’t to be denied his goal, and on 55 minutes, Rippon pounced on a loose ball and fed Thornton in the left channel. A simple ball inside found Smythe who took it in his stride as he burst into the box before rounding the keeper and slotting the ball home.
There was further joy for The Ambers shortly after when Moxam created problems on the left and his cross was only cleared as far as Reece Hands who thrashed home a half volley from the edge of the box.
Danny Buttle was brought on from the bench and his first action was to land a pinpoint cross at the feet of Moxam whose close range volley was somehow stopped by Trenerry, who also denied the follow up chance.
Out of the blue, the visitors suddenly got a goal back when Jenkinson raced away down the left and shot home despite a desperate attempt to clear by Will Eades. This obviously gave Albion some heart and they spent a good deal of the remaining time on the attack although clear chances were kept to a minimum, and it was the home side who had the final say when Thorntons attempt to play in Moxam was only stopped by the hand of Khan resulting in a penalty which was expertly despatched by Moxam for his 46th goal of the season.
HE Barnes Man of The Match – Connor Smythe