Allen strikes proves decisive
Goals from Michael Campbell and Adam Allen gave the first team a 2-1 win, in a disappointing encounter with AFC Hayes on Saturday.
As someone once said "football is a funny old game", our performance against Hanworth Villa deserved a point at least, but we ended with nothing, whereas on Saturday, we played for probably 15 minutes, and came away with a 2-1 win.
We could have taken the lead in the opening two minutes, when a tremendous ball by Owen Davies dropped over the AFC Hayes centre half and was collected by Campbell, but he was denied by Cameron Kennedy who was off his line smartly. At the other and neat link up by Rhys Rabees, Sekani McCammon and Kildane Tesfu almost opened us up, but the final ball was delayed and McCammon caught offside.
Danny Fernandez fired a shot high over the crossbar on ten minutes, after neat work on the right by Josh Greenleaf. Campbell could have opened the scoring on eleven minutes, when he latched onto a Fernandez through ball, but was again denied by the keeper, and as the ball broke free, Austin Schofield got back well to block the follow up effort.
Hayes were gradually putting us under more pressure, and after a foul by Keano Robinson on 15 minutes on Rabees, the ball was whipped in, and George Murphy did just enough to prevent Schofield from getting a free header, and at the other end Owen Davies planted a header wide of the left hand post.
Fernandez curled an effort just wide of the left hand post on 20 minutes, and Campbell put a free kick over the crossbar two minutes later.
The game though was generally a very scrappy affair and dull affair with little to warm the hands of the watching crowd. Both sides had efforts around the half hour mark, with Tesfu doing well to prevent a whipped Sam Blowers cross from reaching Campbell, and it was a similar story at the other end, with Murphy doing well to prevent a ball from finding McCammon. Two minutes later and Max Hubbard & McCammon linked up well but were unable to get a shot away.
We were forced into a change on 36 minutes, with Murphy forced off due to a recurrence of a hamstring injury, and he was replaced by the dependable Dave Burton. We were struggling for some reason with the change of personnel, and a decent ball by Tesfu almost found Harry Carter but Craig Bradshaw was out sharply to intercept.
The final action of the half saw SCR almost snatch the lead. A Fernandez ball down the line found Campbell and his low cross was just to far in front of Greenleaf, and the sides went into the break with the scores level after a pretty tepid first half.
After a half time rollicking we came out with renewed purpose, and took the game to AFC Hayes from the off. Neat link up between Fernandez and Campbell almost set up Adam Allen, but he was just unable to get beyond the AFC Hayes backline, but we didn't have to wait much longer for the opening goal. Having seen AFC Hayes's Schofield put a free header wide, we went straight onto the attack and from a long ball forward, Campbell held off the attentions of Schofield and fired low beyond Kennedy into the bottom left hand corner. Despite the Hayes protests for a foul the goal stood.
It was almost 2-0 on 52 minutes, a dipping Fernandez free kick was shovelled wide by Kennedt and Greenleaf was just unable to force the ball home from a narrow angle. Two minutes later though and it was two. Campbell picked up the ball on the left, cut inside Tesfu and Schofield and fire goalwards, where his effort was half saved by Kennedy, with Allen forcing home the loose ball.
AFC Hayes were handed a way back into the game almost immediately, when Keano Robinson was penalised for a foul on Carter handing Hayes a penalty. The spot kick by Hubbard was low to Bradshaw's right but this time off target and the big keeper didn't have to make a save.
Just after the hour and with Robinson and Fernandez bombing forward, we were grateful to the alert Joe Mead for dropping into right back and clearing the danger. AFC Hayes made a couple of changes with Mohammed Ahmadi replacing Hubbard and Nathaniel Mensah replacing McCammon.
Kennedy pulled off an excellent save from a close range Greenleaf volley on 65 minutes, and two minutes later we made a double change with Jay Jones replacing Campbell and Matty Auletta replacing Greenleaf.
Hayes replaced Dan McDonnel with Samn Sillah, on 72 minutes as they looked to find a way back into the game, and they were almost rewarded on 77 minutes, when Carter latched onto a Blowers clearance and his swerving shot forced Bradshaw into a decent save to his left. They didn't have to wait long for a lifeline though as two minutes later Tesfu beat three players in our area before poking under Bradshaw and ensuring it would be a tricky last ten minutes for SCR.
Auletta picked up a great Jones crossfield ball on 82 minutes, and his low cross was well defended by Lawrence Artic and out for a corner. From the corner Allen bundled ball and keeper into the goal, for a free kick. Five minutes from time, and Allen found his way into the book for a foul.
In injury time a good run by Mensah ended with a soft shot that was comfortable for Bradshaw and SCR picked up another three points to move them up the table.