Darren Hare gives us his report from Saturday's game at Beechings Cross
This was a decent display from the young players this week and I was very proud of the second half performance in particular.
Watford have a budget of £1.3 million but on the day we could have taken all three points and their staff could not have argued. We were expecting a tough game from our newest addition to the Football league Youth Alliance after their decision not to pursue a category status higher than 3.
We were more solid than last week, which we most definitely needed to be, apart from a 10 minute costly spell in the first half. We scored first with some great play from Kane Haysman who ran at the defence into the danger area and scored with a strong toe poke type finish – very effective given the time and space he had and the keeper didn’t expect it either.
Sadly, before the break we gave away two sloppy goals. The first wasn’t a particularly strong shot, but Dan [O’Neill] unfortunately pushed the ball back into the forwards path instead of deflecting wide and he punished us by scoring the rebound. That came about from both centre-halves getting attracted to the ball, leaving their striker available to be slid in.
Their second, and against the run of play I felt, was a bizarre goal to say the least. Josh Maughan (who was otherwise excellent all game) got too tight and was spun by their forward who managed to spin the ball in past Dan on the bye line! Still can’t get my head around that one and the video is inconclusive.
Any way in the second half we responded brilliantly as we scored almost straight from the kick off. The ball was fed wide by our midfield into Charlie Webster and he delivered an inch perfect cross that was met by schoolboy striker Dominic Lelliott with a great directed header into the corner.
The second- half was one way traffic in my opinion, we totally controlled the game, only needing to be wary of them on the counter attack. Mahlon Romeo, who had an excellent game at right back, had to get on the cover once to help Ollie Lee who was struggling a bit with his calf, but apart from that most of their goalmouth chances came from our sloppiness.
We hit the bar with a great curling shot from young Lelliott, had another stinging volley from Maughan saved instinctively by their keeper, and should have had a penalty when Haysman was hauled to the ground.
Forgetting the score, overall it was a great performance and a great game to watch. I was very pleased
Team. O’Neill, Romeo, Staunton (Hendricks 80), Maughan, Lee, Freiter, Coates, Webster (Dickenson 80), Haysman, Miller, Sellens (Lelliott 45)