Long Crendon 3 - 1 Tring Town AFC
Long Crendon get revenge against Tring.
Saturday saw Long Crendon host Tring Town AFC. Coming into the weekend, the away team was unbeaten, and the last time these two sides met, Tring ran away as 4-0 winners.
Before kick off, Long Crendon lost George Collingwood to injury. Feeling a recurring shoulder injury, George warmed up yet didn’t feel comfortable and decided it was better for him to miss out. Gerald Reilly responded by putting the more than capable Dino Bonwick in goal, meaning Liam Gabard started at right back.
The rest of the team was fairly unchanged. Joining Liam Gabard in defence was Scott Hardy, Nathan Brownsword and Zak Wiggins. The midfield consisted of Eliot Farley and Chris Scott on the wings, with Alex Farley and Matt Wakelin sitting deeper than the more advanced Tom Sykes. Ryan Scott started in the lone striker role. Ben Thomas and Luca Forchione were named on the bench.
Right from the first whistle it was Long Crendon who were doing the attacking. Alex Farley played through Chris Scott who shot just over, but within 10 minutes it was the former who made the breakthrough. Tom Sykes was just able prod the ball back to the onrushing Alex Farley, who thundered in a left foot shot which flew into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Tring seemed to step up their game after the goal, and were finally getting hold of the ball. Ryan Scott was giving the opposition centre backs no time to rest, and Zak Wiggins and Liam Gabard were dealing with the threats down the wings with the help of Eliot Farley and Chris Scott.
Liam Gabard, starting at right back for the first time looked as if he had played there all his life, and could have had two goals for himself. The first chance came from 25 yards, with no pressure on the advancing fullback, he shot and saw his fierce effort deflect behind. His second chance came from the following corner. With the ball bouncing around the box, his shot on the turn flew just wide of the post.
Tring then found their way back into the game. Nathan Brownsword gave away a free kick for a foul on the Tring midfielder. The free kick resulted in a brilliant ball in, difficult to defend against, yet one that evaded every Tring player. Unfortunately it found its way into the back of the net. A thumping header from our captain, but sadly it hit the net at the wrong end.
Shortly after saw the end of Tom Sykes’ game. The midfielder, suffering from illness all week was feeling the effects, and Ben Thomas replaced him in midfield. This saw Alex Farley move further up the pitch, with Ben sitting slightly deeper.
The half drew to a close with the scores equal, yet in terms of chances, it was all Long Crendon’s way. A Tring player hadn’t tested Dino Bonwick, with their shots coming mostly from range and way off target. The Tring goalkeeper had been busy, and kept them in the game, saving from point blank range from Liam Gabard on one occasion.
Second half didn’t begin at the same pace the first had, with both teams making sure they held what they had. Nathan Brownsword and Scott Hardy were commanding at the back and the Tring striker never got a sniff. Long Crendon were not creating as much, but Long Crendon deservedly got back in the lead.
Shortly before the goal, manager Gerald Reilly took off the ever brilliant and commanding Matt Wakelin, and striker Luca Forchione came on, with Long Crendon changing to a 4-4-2 and Alex Farley taking the armband.
Good pressing again from Ryan Scott forced the opposition centre back to concede a corner. Taken short by Eliot Farley to Luca Forchione, Eliot received the ball back from his teammate and whipped in a cross. Not the best of crosses, yet with the wind working in his favour and the goalkeeper unsuspecting, the ball snuck into the near post.
Two bookings then followed. Nathan Brownsword had his name in the book, the referee seeming to be unhappy after a few tackles, and Luca Forchione also had a yellow to his name. Getting a bit over excited, a late slide tackle caught the Tring centre back, and his name was rightly in the book.
With the defence still coping with everything Tring tried, it was Scott Hardy who started the move for our third. Picking the ball out of defence, he picked out Chris Scott, who in turn picked out Luca Forchione. Racing through, Luca just beat the goalkeeper to the ball and took it round him. With the angle closing, Luca cooly finished and Long Crendon had the game wrapped up, consigning Tring to their first defeat of the season.
Good to get revenge on Tring, who didn't even manage a shot on target, and we keep in touch at the top of the table.
Managers MOM: Ryan Scott
Chairmans MOM: Liam Gabard