Trio aiming to steady ship

Arlesey Town FC round-up It is back to the old school for Arlesey Town until the end of the season. After the departures of chairman Terry Back and player-manager Danny Honeyball, the Blues have moved quickly to address the managerial vacancy. Matt Corbo

Arlesey Town FC round-up

It is back to the old school for Arlesey Town until the end of the season.

After the departures of chairman Terry Back and player-manager Danny Honeyball, the Blues have moved quickly to address the managerial vacancy.

Matt Corbould, Lee Tekell and Andy Theodosiou - who all played a few years ago under the successful reign of Nicky Ironton - are the trio in charge until the end of the season.

A new permanent boss is expected to be appointed over the summer, while several names are in the frame to take over as chairman at Hitchin Road.

Several old boys have already returned or expressed an interest in returning to the playing ranks including the likes of Leon Gutzmore, James Dillnutt, Craig Reynolds, Martyn Young, Stuart Beevor, Paul Bloss and Dean McElroy.

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The Blues were beaten 4-0 at home by Ryman League Division One North leaders Dartford in foggy conditions on Tuesday night.

Although well beaten at the final whistle, Arlesey were more than the equal to the visitors for long periods especially during the first half.

The league leaders have not racked up 81 goals this season for nothing and when their opportunities came they were clinical in front of goal.

The Blues played their part in a fine match but at the critical moments they were found out, especially in defence.

It was not a night to remember for the usually reliable Jake Whincup in the home goal, and during the second half they were completely over-run in midfield.

Dartford almost took the lead in their first attack when Dillnutt and Whincup appeared to leave the clearance to one another. Fortunately McClements stabbed the ball wide of the open goal.

In the 18th minute, some fine prompting from Gutzmore and Tom Beech found Obi Nene in space and his shot beat keeper Kessell only to be cleared off the line.

The home corner count began to mount, but they fell behind in the 24th minute. Whincup failed to deal with a cross following a corner allowing Flanaghan to head home from close range.

Four minutes later, Arlesey's Shane Brown drove a free-kick that beat Kessell only to rebound off the bar and hit the keeper to roll for a corner.

Whincup redeemed himself when he pushed away a Coyle header who was unmarked from a flag kick.

The action returned to the other end as George Fowler drove a cross from the left for Beech to head over from close range and then Ide Okojie ran from midfield through the Dartford defence to shoot over.

Arlesey could not produce the same style after the break and the vital second goal came in the 53rd minute when Kadi flashed a free-kick on target that Whincup could only help into the net.

Beech was off target from a Brown cross, while the introduction of Young and Reynolds failed to improve home fortunes.

In the 73rd minute, Cass volleyed a cross that Whincup somehow kept out, the rebound being returned into the net.

Dartford made it four in the 82nd minute when a cross from the right by Haynes was powerfully headed into the net by McClements.

Blues: Whincup, Waldron, Oliva, Brown, Dillnutt, Opara, Fowler, Gutzmore, Beech, Nene, Okojie.

Arlesey won 1-0 at Potters Bar on Saturday to record a double over their Herts rivals.

The display, although not one for the purists, was high on commitment and organisation.

Caretaker boss Corbould, in charge for the first time, certainly appeared to galvanise the side and he was not let down by the players.

The sparse crowd was dominated by ex-Arlesey players and management staff who endured the freezing conditions to support their former colleague as well as the club.

Arlesey almost took the lead in the 21st minute when a Brown free-kick allowed Ryan Oliva to evade his marker but his header was directed straight at home keeper Jones.

Lloyd Opara linked with Beech who decided on placement instead of blasting the ball to allow the home keeper to save.

Then Beech bravely dived at an Okojie free-kick only for Jones to make another save and leave the Blues striker injured.

Potters Bar were not in the game during the first half and on the stroke of half-time, Beech again linked with Opara who volleyed wide.

Arlesey took the lead in the 48th minute when a cross from the left wing by Okojie was pushed away by Jones only for Nene to slot home at the far post.

The home side cleared a scramble in front of their goal as Opara twice saw powerful shots blocked by blanket defence.

Potters Bar began to force the pace and won a series of corners that were cleared without undue alarm.

The home corner count continued to rise, as both Koko and Alleyne had opportunities to equalise but their efforts sailed wide.

On two occasions the bustling Opara beat the home defence only to see efforts turned wide by Jones or blocked by outstretched legs.

Although the home side did not look to have an equaliser in them, the final whistle came as a relief for a much-maligned group of players.

Blues: Whincup, Waldron, Edwards, Oliva, Brown, Nelson, Opara, Fowler, Beech, Nene, Okojie. Subs: Dillnutt, Chung, Osbourne, Gutzmore, King.

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