LTHC Men’s 1st XI 2 at Barford Tigers Men’s 1st XI 4

MRHA T1 – Midlands Premier

Saturday 16th February 2019

With forced changes due to absence and league restrictions, Town travelled away to high flying Barford with apprehension but confidence given recent team performances.  Coach Guest made his first appearance since 2018 and there was a call up for Andrew Capel with the late withdrawal of Hitesh Patel.

To say Capel made an impact would be an understatement. Unfortunately this impact started en route to the game with driver Capel nearly killing the coach and captain Morris in a display of utterly reckless driving. Playing a game of chicken with the crossroads, Capel decided to drive straight through without stopping. The same set of crossroads nearly killed Godwin, Murdoch, Thomas and Curd.

Alas, Capel’s impact continued in to the game, with Town finding themselves 2 down after only 2 minutes. Some lacklustre defending from Town gifted Barford’s Polish forward the ball in front of Town keeper Dhutia. After a double save, Barford finally flicked the ball in the the Town net. This was quickly followed by another.

However, from the restart, Town grabbed a lifeline. A silky pass and move from Morris and a rejuvenated Vincent, presented the ball to Ratcliff who was able to drive the ball from the wide flank to the baseline. A neat pull back found Pakistani international Hundal on the penalty spot who calmly reverse flicked in his first goal for the club.

With the withdrawal of Capel and the reintroduction of Curd, Town were in search of an equaliser. After 20 minutes this was to come to fruition. Some rare excellent play from Curd gave England international Mike White the opportunity to smash home from close range.

Curd provided the catalyst for many good attacking opportunities, however poor finishing from Town forwards meant the score remained level in to half time.

The second half was therefore set up for a contest where either side could have taken all the points. With chances being missed from both sides, it was a piece of individual skill that gave Barford the edge, taking a 3-2 lead with 10 minutes to go. Selfless work from Curd, Slaney and France presented the town forwards with several opportunities. Unfortunately these were not converted. Frustration was creeping in and it was Sam Curd who settled the ship with an excellent never give up attitude. At the death, Barford put the nail in the coffin with a 4th goal past Dhutia, putting a small blog on an excellent keeping display. Although another narrow and perhaps undeserving defeat, Town should take credit for their work rate, attitude and ability, which is much improved in recent weeks. Next week Cannock are the visitors where a league double win over them is on the cards.

Categories: Match Reports