Thursday, September 8, 2011
The Comet Stevenage Sunday Football League began a new season at the weekend, writes Darren “Statto” Jones (email@example.com).
Last season’s treble-winners FC Nirankari began a new area with a few new faces. However, the experienced Adam Furness grabbed the only goal of the game to give old adversaries Dun Cow the three points.
After promotion from Division Two as double-winners, Stevenage Leisure Limited were given a harsh lesson in finishing, despite dominating the game. MBDA took the lead when a ball forward found Gary Hodgson, whose dynamic left-foot crashed the ball home from 20 yards. Andy Gibb’s performance in the MBDA goal is one of the best you’ll see at this level, he constantly denied the SLL forwards with some magnificent saves. Sam Harwood doubled the lead with a sublime lob over Dan Barrett. Ashley Kersey smashed home a third before half-time after perseverance from Kyle Watson on the wing saw him fire across goal. Watson himself scored a great volley for the fourth and Kersey’s header from cousin Watson’s corner made it five. Chris McCarthy finally grabbed a consolation when his shot deflected past Gibb.
In a battle of the new sides, Arena-Group won a scrappy affair. Russell Cox, Piers Le Grand, Ian Woodfield, birthday boy Elliott Bunn and Reece Gould were on target. St Nicholas replied through Carl Fletcher and Neil Henderson in the 5-2 defeat.
Another new side, Real Stevenage, met last season’s runners-up. They started the brighter, stamping their authority on the game with good neat possession. However, against the run of play, Broadhall took the lead after a mis-judgment in the Real defence allowed Grant Sullivan to take a touch and volley into the top corner. Five minutes into the second-half, Real’s comeback began when James Selby finished neatly into the far corner after a scramble in the box. Ricky Goddard rose highest in the area to poach a close-range header to put them ahead. With 15 minutes left, Ryan Ellis made it 3-1 when he met a delightful Sam Bickerstaff corner to secure the points with his head.
Long standing rivals Bedwell Rangers and what is now AJS Tyres Broadhall met on day one. The first-half was close with some good football played. Broadhall dominated the play, but Bedwell were good on the counter attack and it was from two such attacks from the latter that Perry Thompson pulled off magnificent saves to deny last season’s 42-goal man, Luke Smith. After the break, Thompson produced another memorable save, then, just as the game looked to have nil-nil written all over it, Joe Lee’s cross found Jordan Tyrrell, whose shot was deflected into the corner to give Broadhall a late and unexpected winner.
Marquis of Lorne will be one of the favourites, their comfortable win over new side Coopers United only emphasised that. Coopers did alright in the first-half, despite conceding a couple of sloppy goals. Their consolation on the hour came after great work by Michael Prater saw him find Callum Newbury, who looped the ball home. Jamie Campany (hat-trick), Martin Rees, James Ougham and Tom Hillard on target for Lorne as they ran out 6-1 winners.
MKS Carpentry took the lead when an Ade Barry corner was headed into his own net by James Anderson.
Putterills replied through Dave Banks’ 25 yard free-kick off a post to restore parity at the break. Greg Collins then rifled them into the lead before MKS hit two in quick succession to turn the tables again. Firstly, a Barry corner was headed in by Rickie Nash, then great work from debutant Phil Parker set Antony Lanni down the wing. He cut inside and curled home a great finish. An attack saw Charlie Anderson scuff a shot, which fell perfectly to Louis Bullock, who finished well for the Putterills equaliser.
Nirankari Timebridge hammered Broadhall Athletic 6-2. Dave Pateman (two), Steve Underwood (two), Terry Pateman and Ben Downham got the goals. Gary Hillard replied with a brace.
Chequers made the early running to go two up inside 25 minutes through Steve Koop and Ollie Barnett. Breachwood Lions then turned the game on its head to lead at the break. They finally managed to get their midfield game going with the wise head of John Griffin and pulled a goal back when Graham French played the ball into the feet of Dan Jefferies, who in turn moved the ball through to Ollie Mason to score from a one-on-one with the ‘keeper. They equalised with Richard Taaffe scoring his first for the club with a header from a Brendan Hansen corner and he scored again with a well executed shot from a great sweeping pass from James Mason. Jefferies netted with an audacious lob which seemed to seal the points. However, Chequers had other ideas! Steve Teale pulled one back before Barnett equalised with a shot that skidded off the greasy surface through a crowd of bodies and under the diving George Harrison in goal. Barnett then completed his hat-trick with a minute remaining when a ball over the top found him and he finished well to make it 5-4.
Hartham Press lost 5-0 to an impressive Emperors Head team despite playing some good football at times. Lewis Sealy (hat-trick), Lewis Essam and Damian Hadlow did the damage.
Gaz Baker hit a hat-trick for his new club as Pear Tree beat Rileys Athletic 3-2.
Broadhall Icon beat Granby 3-2. Michael Bunker, Dan Gregory and Steve Skinner on target.
Roebuck Gate beat ABC Taxis 6-1, Danny Bacon (two), Shaun Skutela (two), Lewis Collins and Dave Morton were on the mark. Lewis McClean grabbed the consolation.
TC Wanderers won a closely fought game against The Old Post Office with a solitary goal on 20 minutes. A lofted pass was played just behind Daniel Papp, who took the ball down well, ran 15 yards, holding off the challenge of a defender and slotted the ball under the advancing ‘keeper. The main threat in the first-half from TOPO were from set-pieces. The latter also felt aggrieved to have a goal ruled out for offside late on.
The league website can be found at www.cssfl.info
Results (Sunday 4 September):
Premier Division: Arena-Group 5 St Nicholas 2, Broadhall 1 Real Stev 3, FC Nirankari 0 Dun Cow 1, Stev Leisure Ltd 1 MBDA 5
Division 1: Bedwell R 0 AJS Tyres Broadhall 1, Coopers Utd 1 Marquis of Lorne 6, Putterills 3 MKS Carpentry 3
Division 2: Breachwood L 4 Chequers 5, Broadhall Ath 2 Nirankari Timebridge 6, Hartham Press 0 Emperors Head 5, Pear Tree 3 Rileys Ath 2
Division 3: ABC Taxis 1 Roebuck Gate 6, Granby 2 Broadhall Icon 3, TC Wand 1 The Old Post Office 0
Fixtures (Sunday 11 September):
Premier Division: Almond Tree Utd v Dun Cow (King Georges), MBDA v FC Nirankari (Barclay School), Real Stev v Stev Leisure Ltd (King Georges), St Nicholas v Broadhall (Canterbury Way)
Division 1: AJS Tyres Broadhall v Coopers Utd (Peartree Park), FC Mallard v Putterills (Alleynes School), Marquis of Lorne v TC Utd (10:00, Shephalbury Park), Odyssey v Bedwell R (Benington Rec)
Division 2: Broadhall Ath v A1 Trophies (10:00, Shephalbury Park), Chequers v Nirankari Timebridge (King Georges), Crooked Billet Boro v Hartham Press (Meadway Park), Emperors Head v Pear Tree (Chells Park), Rileys Ath v Breachwood L (10:30, Shephalbury Park)
Division 3: Broadhall Icon v Stev OT (Peartree Park), Roebuck Gate v Granby (10:30, Shephalbury Park), TC Wand v ABC Taxis (Alleynes School), The Old Post Office v Old Barclayvians (Peartree Park), View Point Wand v Proverbial Utd (Chells Park)
(Kick-Offs: 10:15, unless otherwise stated).