Welcome to Hadley FC
AFC Dunstable 2 v 0 Hadley
Hadley v Harefield United
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The first team travelled to Creasey Park, home of AFC Dunstable. Despite the recent rain, the pitch was in excellent condition, and allowed us to get our passing game going from the start. We were keeping the ball well in the early stages and enjoyed good spells of possession, but our final pass often stopped us creating any clear cut chances, which the organised AFC Dunstable back line must also take credit for. We had a few shots from the edge of the box, with Jernade Meade going close on a couple of occasions. It was Meade who was then involved in a pivotal moment in the game when, with just over half an hour played, he was sent off for a handball in the area and a penalty was awarded. Newman Carney converted the penalty to give the home side a 1-0 lead. We got into half time with the score at 1-0, re-grouped and continued our good performance in the second half. The centre midfield pairing of Alexis Nicolas and Tony Sabag continued to help us keep the ball, and we could have equalised with Dom Petrucci having a couple of good chances. Ivan Machedo, Jamal Baptiste and Dave Pigden were introduced from the bench to give us some fresh legs, and it was Pigden who also went close to getting the equaliser, but his header was well saved by the AFC keeper. As the game wore on, the home side also had a couple of chances, and a claim for a second penalty, but it was not awarded and they could not find a way past Charlie Mann in goal. As we continued to press forward in the search for the equaliser, AFC Dunstable did get the all important second goal, with a deflected cross from Jimmy Hartley flying into the top corner to make it 2-0 and to seal the win for them. Overall, a good performance and lots of positives to take from a game against a well organised Dunstable team who will no doubt be near the top of the league at the end of the season.
Elsewhere, the reserves had a great result to come back from 2-0 down to beat Cockfosters reserves 3-2. After trailing 1-0 at half time, Cockfosters doubled their lead in the second half before two goals from top scorer Jeff Okirie brought the scores level. Reece Okugbeni timed it well to get his first goal for the club, scoring the winner to make it 3-2 and give us all three points. The 3rd team had a disappointing result, losing 8-1 to Croxley Community in the West Herts Charity Cup, with Ade Osubu getting our only goal. Despite having Spencer James sent off for handball early on, it was still a below par performance based on our recent good run of form.
The first team progressed into the next round of the Challenge Trophy following a 2-1 win against Southall. Our visitors play in Division One of the Spartan South Midlands League and have been on a good run of form recently following a change in management. We rotated the squad with Tom Le Tissier, Dan McAteer, Tom Milton, Alexis Nicolas, Dave Pigden and Ben Luck all returning to the starting line-up. Sam Lyon and Jamal Baptiste also made their first starts of the season. The first half was fairly even and ended goalless, with both defences coming out on top. The start of the second half remained a tight affair, until Southall were reduced to 10 men after their right back was given his marching orders. Around the same time, we introduced Tanasheh Abrahams and Jernade Meade from the bench, and the fresh legs helped us to exploit the space that the 10 men gave us. However, our visitors had not read the script and took the lead through striker Edison Terberen with about 20 minutes remaining. It was Jernade Meade who brought the scores level again with a great strike from the edge of the box as the Southall keeper could only watch it fly into the back of the net. This was Meade's third goal in as many games. Southall then went down to 9 men after getting a player injured and having already used all of their subs. This gave us the upper hand and it was another substitute, Kieran Smith, who made the difference. Smith got clear of the Southall defence and with the Southall keeper coming off his line, he unselfishly squared the ball to Jamal Baptiste to get his first goal for the club and book our place in the next round which will be a trip to Langford.
The first team returned to league action with the visit of London Tigers. With Louis Bowen making his debut having recently signed from Hoddesdon Town, we could not have started the game any better as, from our kick off, a good passing move was well finished by Ivan Machedo to give us a 1-0 lead before London Tigers had even touched the ball. After taking the lead, there seemed to be enough time and space for us to cause further problems to the Tigers defence, but on many occasions our final pass was misplaced and we lost possession. Although our defence always looked comfortable, we didn't really test the London Tigers goalkeeper and we went into half time 1-0 up. Alan Murray came on for the injured Shay Khosrowshahi just before the break, and Alexis Nicolas was also introduced at half time, replacing Daryl Milham. With nearly an hour played, we doubled our lead through Jernade Meade. However, our visitors did not let their heads drop and they pulled a goal back shortly after, Sebastian Philogene making it 2-1. London Tigers then started to cause our defence a few problems, and were awarded a penalty to bring the scores level. However, the penalty was well saved by Charlie Mann to keep the score at 2-1. In torrential rain, London Tigers continued to press for the equaliser but we saw the rest of the game out to gain all three points.
Elsewhere, the reserves had a good win, beating Stotfold reserves 2-1 thanks to goals from Matt Hudson and Fergus Morgan. The 3rd team completed a good day for the club with a 4-1 win over London Colney Blues in the Watford Peace Memorial Shield. Ade Osubu (2), Danny Gruar and Ryan Willoughby scored the goals in that game.
The first team made the 'away' journey to face Potters Bar Town in the Herts Senior Cup. After a very even and goalless first half, the home side applied some pressure to our defence for the first 20 minutes of the second half. However, we defended well and then we started to get on top for the rest of the half, taking a late 1-0 lead through a Dom Petrucci goal on 84 minutes. We could have extended our lead through substitute Jamal Baptiste, but his effort hit the post with the Potters Bar keeper beaten. As it looked like we were about to book our place in the next round, Potters Bar equalised in the 92nd minute and then thought they had taken a dramatic late lead after Tony Sabag cleared a ball off the line, although many Potters Bar players appealed to the ref that it had crossed the line. The match officials did not agree and the game went into Extra Time. We continued where we finished the second half, passing the ball well and taking the game to our hosts. Jernade Meade had two excellent chances, one from less than a yard out but he failed to get anything on the cross, and the other a one on one with the Potters Bar keeper after good link up play with Petrucci. However, the impressive Meade did not let his head drop and won the game with an outstanding long distance strike worthy of winning any game. We saw out the remaining few minutes of Extra Time to book a trip to Tring Athletic in the next round, following what was another very good performance from the team.
The first team gained an important three league points in a 4-2 win against Hoddesdon Town. After taking the lead through Ivan Machedo, two quick goals within the space of a minute from Josh Smith and Ben Andreos gave our visitors the lead. However, we did not let our heads drop and Machedo scored his second of the game to bring the scores level again. We then took the lead through Daryl Milham before Ivan Machedo got his hat trick with a very good header from a Jernade Meade corner to make the score 4-2 at half time. Manager Micky Hazard made a tactical change at half time to make the game less open, with a change of formation and Dan McAteer coming on for Shay Khosrowshahi. This had the desired effect as we looked more solid at the back and did not allow Hoddesdon to pose a threat to Charlie Mann in goal. We had a couple of chances to extend our lead in the second half, but did not take them, and the second half finished goalless to make the final score 4-2 in a good team performance.
The reserves were also playing Hoddesdon Town and came back from Lowfield with all three points following a 3-2 win. After taking a 1-0 lead through Fergus Moore, Hoddesdon then equalised and had a man sent off. The home side then took the lead before we equalised through Dave Pearce. Antonio Fusco then scored the all important winner and give us the win. The 3rd team had no game today.