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Hadley 1 v 3 Sun Sports
Hadley v Hoddesdon Town
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The first team hosted Sun Sports in Round 2 of the Dudley Latham Premier Division Cup. We started very well and thought we had taken the lead early on when Dom Petrucci scored a direct free kick. Sun kicked the ball back to the centre spot for the restart but the referee awarded a goal kick as the ball had gone through a hole in the net. Petrucci was booked for his protest and the score remained 0-0. After an excellent first half an hour from us, it was our visitors who then broke the deadlock, Simeon Fearon scoring to make it 1-0. What happened after this was an act of sportsmanship that you do not see very often as Sun allowed Petrucci to walk the ball into the net from the kick off, to make up for the earlier mistake. This was an incredible gesture and a credit to our opponents. Sun then had a good spell towards the end of the first half and restored their lead with an unstoppable strike from their captain Ashley Lewis to make it 2-1 at half time. We did not really find our first half form in the second half, and didn't create a lot of chances to draw level. Sun were awarded a penalty late on, but the shot from substitute James Armstrong was well saved by Charlie Mann in our goal. Armstrong made no mistake soon after though, and twisted and turned inside our penalty area to create enough space to get a shot away past Mann to make the final score 3-1 and book Sun a place in the next round against Berkhamsted. Both teams were also reduced to 10 men late on, with Shay Khosrowshahi and a Sun player both getting sent off for an off-the-ball incident.
The first team travelled to Roker Park, home of Stotfold FC, and came back on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline. We set the tone for our performance right from the kick off, a mis controlled pass gave Stotfold the ball and the chance to attack us straight away. A lacklustre first half performance followed that saw us 1-0 down at the break. Ivan Machedo came off the bench at half time, and after we found ourselves 2-0 down, it was Machedo who pulled a goal back to make it 2-1 with a close range finish. Although our second half performance was similar to the first half, Ben Luck and Ivan Machedo both had chances to draw us level, but neither could convert. An injury time Stotfold goal sealed the win for them in a below par performance from us which is not what we have come to expect following our impressive run of recent form.
Elsewhere, the reserves lost 3-1 at Sun Sports reserves. After taking a 1-0 lead through a good finish from Antonio Fusco, the home side got back into the game and gained a 3-1 lead. We applied a lot of pressure in the second half, and hit the woodwork on a number of occasions, but could not find the net and the points went to Sun. The 3rd team had a good win in the Herts Junior Cup, beating Knebworth res 7-2 thanks to goals from Ian Kirkwood (2), Kieran Bowskill (2), Dave Pearce, Ryan Willoughy and Danny Gruar.
The first team bounced back from the weekend defeat at Sun Sports with a good 4-2 win against Leverstock Green. After going 1-0 down, we equalised with a typically good finish from top scorer Dave Pigden to make it 1-1 at half time. We took the lead almost immediately after the restart with a direct free kick from Alexis Nicolas beating the Leverstock keeper to make it 2-1, although perhaps Leverstock might have felt that their keeper should have done better. It was Nicolas who increased our lead after receiving the ball from a throw in, cutting inside an smashing the ball into the top corner, this time giving the Leverstock keeper no chance. Leverstock then pulled a goal back to leave us with a nervy finish to the game, but Dave Pigden relieved our fears after getting fouled in the box and making no mistake from the penalty spot to make the final score 4-2.