Bad day at the office for the first team
The first team chalked up a third successive 1-0 defeat on Monday, when going down to a disappointing loss to bottom placed Bedfont & Feltham.
Bedfont started brightly and had the first shot in anger in only the second minute, when Tony Mendy capitalised on a poor call given to Liam Holden, and fired a shot goalwards which was never troubling Craig Bradshaw.
We were very sloppy in the opening stages, gifting possession back to Bedfont almost every time we received it, and Bradshaw was called upon again to make a save from a shot by Kenrick Harriott. Gradually we started to get our game together and decent build up play involving Aaron Bogle and Jordan Johnson-Palmer released Keano Robinson but his cross was poor and out for a goal kick.
Harriott was almost gifted a chance on eleven minutes, when the recalled Dave Burton misjudged a through ball, and we were grateful to a covering tackle from Owen Davies, which forced the ball out for a corner. From the corner Mendy put a free header over our crossbar.
We almost opened the scoring on fifteen minutes, when a run by Sam Blowers ended with him being bought down on the edge of the Bedfont area. Holden curled the free kick over the wall, but saw it agonisingly cannon off the woodwork with 1 beaten. Three Bedfont players reacted to clear whilst we stood watching.
Davies did well to clear a long clearance by Ravan Constable, and a dangerous Robinson cross seemed to destined to find debutant Stefan Joseph, only for Jason Pinnock to head behind for a corner. From the corner Robinson put his header well wide of the right hand post.
We were now getting on top and on 18 minutes a good run by Matty Auletta led to him finding Adam Allen, who in turn tried to thread the ball through to Joseph, only for Pinnock to make a timely interception.
Harriott fired wide right on 20 minutes, and after our attack had fizzled out, Mendy went one on one with Auletta, who did well to hold him up and allow Bogle to clear behind for a corner. Two minutes later and Bedfont should have opened the scoring. A corner was only half cleared to the left, and from the low cross Frank Vincent really should have scored from close range, but could only fire over the bar. Two minutes later and it was 1-0. A long ball was misjudged by Burton allowing Mendy in on goal. Despite the efforts of Burton and Davies the ball was fired home to give the visitors the lead.
We almost gifted Bedfont another chance, when Burton, Holden and Blowers were all caught over playing in the wrong part of the pitch, and we were forced into giving away a needless corner. Bedfont's short routine was neat, but we were alert and caught the man offside from the final ball.
We continued to be poor, and you would have thought we were the bottom of the table side and not our opponents, who did everything right, as we did everything wrong. Robinson almost found Joseph with a raking crossfield ball on 36 minutes, but the SCR debutant lost his footing at the vital moment and the chance was gone. Half time came with us 1-0 down, and knowing a massive improvement was required.
We started the second half positively and Joseph did superbly on the left a couple of minutes into the half, and picked out the advancing Allen, his low shot was well hit, but Constable got just enough on it with his left foot to make the save.
Darren Putman went into the book for a foul on Auletta, who it has to be said had little protection in the first half and was the subject of some fairly "robust" challenges. From the free kick, Johnson-Palmers first effort was cleared back to him and from the second he picked out Davies who saw his volley gathered by Constable.
We were having much the better of things now, and after good work by Auletta and Joseph forced a mistake, we saw Constable come into a crowd of players to make a good claim from the corner.
Ten minutes into the half and a good break down the right by 9 ended with a fierce shot and a good save away to his right by Bradshaw.
Darren Salmon made his first change on 56 minutes replacing Adam Allen with Charlie Emery. Two minutes later and a good run by Auletta almost saw him set up a chance for Holden, but Bedfont had numbers back and were able to clear the danger.
Joseph did well on 65 minutes, when finding himself isolated and up against five Bedfont defenders. He managed to keep possession and the ball eventually found its way to Robinson who saw his shot comfortably saved by Constable.
On 66 minutes Sam Emmanuel replaced the impressive Pinnock for Bedfont, and we replaced Blowers with Jean-Luc Kinsaba. A couple of minutes later and Raymond Troy replaced Leonardo Pedro for Bedfont.
Joseph almost threaded a ball through to Holden on 70 minutes, but Constable gathered smartly, and then launched a clearance that bounced just on the edge of our area. Joseph and Auletta linked up well on 75 minutes, but Auletta's final cross was too deep and although the lively Kinsaba regained possession, he could only find the first man with his cross.
Bogle pinged in a decent cross on 82 minutes, with Holden guiding his header just over the bar, and we made our final change, with another youngster, Josh Greenleaf coming on for Auletta. Greenleaf was involved in the action straight away, with a low shot being blocked, and from the follow up Robinson saw his effort blocked, before Kinsaba was bought down giving us a free kick.
Holden drilled an effort goalwards on 85 minutes bringing a decent save out of Constable low to his left, and the keeper did well to gather the loose ball as Joseph moved in for the rebound.
Bedfont replaced goalscorer Mendy with Calvin Harrison on 87 minutes and our last real chance came on 88 minutes when a Johnson-Palmer free kick forced a scramble and from the resultant corner Davies headed wide.
Full time came with a third successive 1-0 defeat, and in truth we got what we deserved, we played poorly, Bedfont are clearly a revitalised side at the moment, and must rue the fact that games are running out for them, as the side they had is good enough to stay in the Premier Division.