Obi nets a hat-trick for Blues
Arlesey Town 4 Witham 2 Magnificent Arlesey produced the complete all-round performance to defeat more than useful Witham. From hat-trick hero Obi Nene and his partner-in-crime Leon Gutzmore, to the bravery of teenage keeper Luke Howard, the much-maligned
Arlesey Town 4 Witham 2
Magnificent Arlesey produced the complete all-round performance to defeat more than useful Witham.
From hat-trick hero Obi Nene and his partner-in-crime Leon Gutzmore, to the bravery of teenage keeper Luke Howard, the much-maligned Blues were worthy of the three points.
Despite trailing to a 28th minute goal, they equalised by the interval, and produced a stunning display to take three deserved points against the wind in the second half.
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Caretaker manager Matt Corbould opted for a more attacking formation than in recent games.
He introduced Nene to partner Gutzmore up front and his judgment was rewarded with the most positive display from Arlesey since the heady days of early November.
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Gutzmore linked with Owen Beale from a corner only for the midfielder to see his shot deflected for a corner.
At the other end, Howard made a fine save to deny Goodwin.
Both sides were finding the strong wind difficult, George Fowler's long-range effort saved by Madden.
Witham took the lead when a cross from the right swirled away from Howard to be played back by King for Hawes to open the scoring.
Arlesey almost equalised when a quickfire move involving Beale and Gutzmore found Nene whose shot was blocked by the keeper's legs.
After James Dillnutt shot over from a corner, Reynolds tried again with a flag kick and Nene rose above the defence to head the equaliser in the 39th minute.
The Blues took the lead in the 49th minute as Gutzmore played the ball to Nene who finished in fine style.
Witham pressed forward and Fletcher just failed to make contact with the goal at his mercy.
Howard then produced a flying save to deny Hawes, and although the pressure continued to mount, the Arlesey defence was superb.
The visitors were getting caught short at the back and Nene held off his marker to fire the ball against the body of Witham keeper Madden.
James Dillnutt was forced to hack the ball over his own bar to clear another threat and in the 84th minute, the home defence for once allowed Lawes to get goal side to equalise from a narrow angle.
Arlesey responded in the next attack as the ball was worked across to Craig Reynolds to unleash a thunderbolt from 25 yards that flashed into the net.
In the final minute, substitute Tom Beech placed a header narrowly wide from a Nene cross.
Then a superb ball from Dillnutt found Nene on the right who outpaced the defence to slam the ball into the far corner to complete a wonderful hat-trick.
Blues: Howard, Waldron, Fowler, Oliva, Dillnutt, Beale, Young, Reynolds, Gutzmore, Nene, Tekell.
Subs: Brown, Beech, King, Osbourne, Beevor.