Arlesey Town round-up

ARLESEY had an early Christmas present when they edged out Redbridge 1-0 on Saturday at the Raj Villa Stadium. With manager Darran Hay taking a mid-season break Mike Brooks was in charge, Stuart Beevor was not quite ready to resume and Steve Dogbe still i

ARLESEY had an early Christmas present when they edged out Redbridge 1-0 on Saturday at the Raj Villa Stadium.

With manager Darran Hay taking a mid-season break Mike Brooks was in charge, Stuart Beevor was not quite ready to resume and Steve Dogbe still injured and out till the New Year, they paraded the same side that started at Wingate.

With two losses behind them this was the opportunity for Arlesey to get back to winning ways, although they gained the victory they were far from convincing against opponents who were always committed and portrayed similar failings in front of goal.

The home side started at a high rate of knots and after a series of attacks the Redbridge defence was lucky to survive in the 10th minute when Kaan Fehmi found Martin Williams whose astute pass to Michael Mackenzie put him through on goal.

Hall the visitor's keeper was committed but Mackenzie's goal bound shot was cleared off the line by O'Sullivan.

Skipper James Gray made a mistake on the edge of the box for Armstrong to see his shot deflected for a corner, Fehmi then blocked an effort on the line as Redbridge began to cause problems.

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Redbridge finished the first period the stronger. Luke Bliss pushed away a shot from Bradbury at the expense of a corner, as the hosts play became disjointed with too much long ball instead of playing through midfield.

Arlesey persisted with their long ball game after the break which got them nowhere and Redbridge enjoyed their best period of the match when a flowing move put Cushley through on goal but he shot weakly at Bliss.

Then Skerritt and Allison combined but the latter's fierce shot from a narrow angle fizzed off the top of the bar.

Just when it was beginning to look bleak, Arlesey rallied and were unlucky not to take the lead in the 65th minute when a Lee Tekell free-kick was only partially cleared and Craig Rydeheard volleyed the ball goalwards only for his effort to hit the bar and be cleared to safety.

Fehmi then produced a fine run into the box but his weaker left foot sent the ball wide.

The vital goal came in the 76th minute. A free-kick from Tekell on the left was met by the onrushing James Gray who headed powerfully into the far corner giving the Redbridge keeper Andy Hall no chance.

Arlesey nearly added a second when Rydeheard outwitted the Redbridge defense to centre for Ossie Foster to head over the bar.

The visitors then made a double substitution but with time running out they could only increase their corner count as the home side held firm to start the Christmas programme with a victory.

Blues: Bliss, McElroy, Bloss, Williams, Barr, Kaan Fehmi, Gray, Tekell, Foster, McKenzie (Clarke), Rydeheard. Subs not used: Arin Fehmi, Townsend, D Iwediuno,

ARLESEY went down 2-0 at Enfield Town on Boxing Day.

They had major problems before the game with keeper Luke Bliss out with a broken ankle sustained against Redbridge and Jack Rashid still suspended.

A few frantic phone calls secured the services of Shaun Griffith the goalkeeping coach at Kettering who had an excellent debut.

Arlesey conceded a goal inside the first minute and then had Gordon Barr dismissed in the 15th minute. Despite this the Blues fought hard and were in contention until the second Enfield goal two minutes from time.

This shortfall of numbers did not deflect from a spirited performance in which the defence was solid keeping the home attack at arms length with Lee Tekell and Craig Rydeheard prominent in midfield.

The hosts scored inside the first minute when James Gray slipped on the edge of the box to present Negus with a one on one with the keeper and he made no mistake.

Arlesey then came under continuous pressure and their cause was not helped in the 29th minute when Gordon Barr reacted to being held back and he was dismissed for use of the elbow.

After the break it was a different game with the visitors gaining a foot hold in the outfield play and when Lee Tekell curled in a swerving free-kick Dean McElroy should have equalised instead of stabbing the ball wide at the far post.

Griffith saved brilliantly from Case, but Arlesey's goose was cooked in the 88th minute when they were caught upfield and from a right wing attack Campbell played the ball across goal for Case to wrap up the points

Blues: Griffith, McElroy, Bloss, Williams, Barr, Kaan, Fehmi (Clark), Gray, Tekell, Foster (Arin Fehmi), Mc Kenzie, Rydeheard. Subs not used: Townsend, Leon.

* Biggleswade Town earned a South Midlands Premier League point with a 3-3 home draw against Edgware Town.

All the goals came in the opening 50 minutes with Town's goals coming from Neal Morgan, James Mulley and Jake Goodship.