NGU 0 Arlesey Town 3
By Pat Hillier
Comfortable win for the visitors after a very disappointing NGU performance
If the performance which led to the impressive and crucial home victory over Biggleswade United on Tuesday evening ranked amongst the best North Greenford have produced this season, this one against Arlesey Town, in which a number of players involved in that Tuesday win were unavailable, certainly ranked amongst the worst.
Arlesey could not have had a more comfortable win. Within the opening fifteen minutes the visitors had raced into a 2-goal lead. First, with just two minutes on the clock, a well delivered ball over the top of the Blues back four gave Town striker Charlie Moss a clear run on goal and Moss produced a clinical finish into the top corner that gave Greenford keeper Frazer Siddall no chance.
Indeed had it not been for Siddall, Arlesey could actually have been 2-up in the 8th minute when he pulled off a superb save to keep out an equally good strike that looked almost certain was going to find the back of the net. But it didn’t take long after that for Town to add to their lead: just six minutes in fact. And again it was all too easy for the away team when, on this occasion, a corner was poorly defended with centre-back Phil Payne allowed enough time and space inside the box to pick his spot. Payne made the most of the opportunity and did just that.
At this point in the contest the main concern for Greenford was that the floodgates would open and cause what could prove significant damage to the Blues goal difference. As it turned out, this somehow didn’t happen, which was fortunate. In fact as the first half progressed United mounted several potentially promising attacks but ones they couldn’t make count in the Arlesey final third, and visiting keeper Robbie Ponting was never seriously tested.
The closest the Blues came to scoring was in the 24th minute when, on the end of the team’s most incisive move of the half, right midfielder Sammy Adams found himself in space inside the box but was unable to control his shot and his attempted volley missed the target by some distance.
The second period was a largely forgettable affair with Arlesey dealing comfortably with any further Greenford attacks and themselves coming agonisingly close on several occasions to making the game safe. Although the visitors didn’t in fact need to add to their early two goals, they finally succeeded in reflecting their dominance throughout this contest by scoring a third fifteen minutes from time. It came following a neat through pass that put Alex O’Brien in behind the Blues defence. O’Brien then coolly rounded Siddall before passing the ball into the empty home net.
This defeat means that the threat of relegation still hangs over North Greenford. It is certainly mathematically possible for three of the four teams currently occupying lower league positions – Leverstock Green, Stotfold and London Tigers – to finish above United. Not only would more points in the two remaining games, at the end of this very disappointing season, do much to lift the morale of everyone associated with the club, they would help ensure its Step Five survival.
NGU Team: Frazer Siddall, Thomas Ward, George Harsini (Darren Ankomah-Brew 70), Emmanuel Ndukwu, Nick Turner (captain), Manu Oke-William, Sammy Adams (Ash Hameed 55), Andrew Manitou, Courtney Austin, Khris Oti, Dujon Desagurante