The good, the bad and the ugly

PUBLISHED: 10:07 15 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:40 06 May 2010

Football is a funny old game – just ask Arlesey Town s players this week. Days after holding runaway league leaders AFC Hornchurch to a draw on their own patch, the Blues were soundly beaten 2-0 at bottom side Flackwell Heath on Tuesday night. They also l

Football is a funny old game - just ask Arlesey Town's players this week.

Days after holding runaway league leaders AFC Hornchurch to a draw on their own patch, the Blues were soundly beaten 2-0 at bottom side Flackwell Heath on Tuesday night.

They also lost their discipline with four bookings and James Gray sent off midway through the second half.

Arlesey rarely looked like troubling the home keeper despite spending most of the second half on the attack with numerous corners.

The hosts, despite their lowly position, produced two fine strikes that earned them their fourth win of the season and an outside chance of escaping the drop.

Arlesey had a great chance to take the lead in the fourth minute when a cross from the left gave Luke Beckett a free header which he sent over the bar.

Flackwell Heath took the lead when Ramsey was allowed to run through the defence unchallenged to lift the ball over Jack Rashid into the net. The hosts almost increased the lead in the 29th minute when Gray slipped but Rashid made a fine save.

Arlesey fell further behind in the 51st minute when Greary held off two challenges to score with a shot low into the corner from the edge of the box.

Player-manager Darran Hay joined the fray for Andy Reed in the 53rd minute and almost immediately from a Lee Tekell corner, Dean McElroy missed a great chance of reducing arrears.

The game erupted in the 61st minute when Steve Dogbe thought he should have won a penalty and in the ensuing argument Gray was red carded.

Despite all the pressure and numerous corners and balls bouncing around in the home area, it was clearly an evening to forget for the lads from Bedfordshire.

Blues squad: Rashid, Reed, McElroy, Beckett, Dogbe, Gray, Mills, Tekell, Barr, Townsend, Rydeheard, Leon, A Fehmi, Clark, Bliss, Hay.

One point could have been all three as Arlesey faced their sternest test for some time on Saturday.

They earned a 2-2 draw at runaway league leaders AFC Hornchurch who were looking for the double having won at The Raj Villa Stadium in November.

The Blues looked to be heading for maximum points as they led 2-0 until a rally in the final 12 minutes saw the leaders get out of jail.

Until the latter stages, Arlesey's defence stood firm and they were always dangerous in attack with Ashley Townsend a constant threat, and he almost grabbed the glory in injury time.

Arlesey took the lead in the 10th minute as Townsend ran at the home rearguard before unleashing a shot from 25 yards that gave home keeper Brightley no chance.

Townsend continued to lead AFC Hornchurch a merry dance.

He engineered space on the right and his cross was headed wide by player-manager Darran Hay.

Lee Tekell also hammered a free-kick narrowly wide.

The visitors went two up in the 52nd minute as Craig Rydeheard persisted in foraging for the ball. His lob eluded home keeper Cross for Wayne Mills to follow up to head into an empty net.

It was cruise control for the visitors as Arlesey preserved their advantage until the 78th minute.

Steve Dogbe was adjudged to have brought down Janney, somewhat harshly, and the home striker recovered to convert from the spot.

With five minutes remaining, Cross mishit a shot that wrongfooted everyone including Jack Rashid and ended in the back of the net.

Townsend nearly had the final say as another of his bursts on goal which left defenders trailing saw an effort fly inches from the winner.

Blues: Rashid, Reed, McElroy, Beckett, Dogbe, Gray, Mills, Tekell, Hay, Townsend, Rydeheard. Subs: Leon, A Fehmi, Clark, Bliss.


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