Attfield delighted with Town’s crucial victory
Buntingford Town 2 Whitewebbs 1 LIAM Beaumont s 93rd minute winner gave Town the points against fellow title challengers and kept their hopes alive of winning the Herts County League. Town were forced to concede home advantage after heavy overnight rain
Buntingford Town 2
LIAM Beaumont's 93rd minute winner gave Town the points against fellow title challengers and kept their hopes alive of winning the Herts County League.
Town were forced to concede home advantage after heavy overnight rain, leaving their pitch waterlogged, but the 17-year-old's strike means there is now just a one point gap between now leaders Hadley, Town and Whitewebbs.
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The game surprisingly started low key with both teams unable to break down well-organised defensive units.
Buntingford opted for a more long ball approach to their game which was relatively successful up to the final third of the pitch.
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But a number of wayward passes or average crosses meant the home keeper Obey Murefi was largely untroubled.
Town welcomed back winger Tom Malins after a stint at United Counties League St Neots Town and he was their main attacking threat in the first half, but again his final delivery was always well defended.
Whitewebbs took a 16th minute lead when what appeared to be a poor free kick into the box was only partially cleared, and the ball fell to Mark Brennan who had too much time to control and strike a 16-yard drive towards goal that bobbled over keeper Damion Williamson's hands.
Town upped their game and wingers Robins and Malins had continued space and possession on either flank with a number of crosses claimed to easily by the keeper and the disappointment of creating very little in the first half was made clear to his team by boss Paul Attfield at the interval.
The vigour shown by Town at the start of the second half reaped rewards within the first few minutes when within two minutes Mark Wright reacted quickest to a weak back header by the Whitewebbs centre half but his snapped shot was blocked by the on rushing Murefi.
On 51 minutes Town were level when Luke Robin's returned corner was floated perfectly for Will Turl to head past Murefi from eight yards.
The remainder of the game then became an entertaining end-to-end affair, with both teams having good penalty shouts turned down by the excellent refereeing performance of Steve Smith.
Whitewebs had plenty of good possession but failed to largely test Williamson although a 20 yard free kick flew inches over mid way though the half and moments later Williamson's only worthwhile save saw a smart tip around a post from a floated long range shot.
Will Turl had another header cleared off the line and Wright's looping header deceived keeper Murefi who recovered to backtrack and scramble the ball away which was a fraction from crossing the line.
With the game looking deadlocked and the clock beating both teams one last gasp free kick from Malins was knocked down by Turl and youngster Beaumont had the time needed to half volley past Murefi from 10 yards to seal the points.
Attfield was delighted after the game.
He said: "This is a tremendous result for us. We have only had to come from a goal behind on two other occasions this season, and each time we have mustered a goal so late in the game, which shows some excellent character and never-say-die attitude.
"It is has been tremendously difficult for everyone lately, with the weather interrupting a regular game pattern, but all the players are determined to be successful this season, and the way we turned this game around could be very significant by the end of the season.
"There is still a long way to go, but I do now think the league champions will be decided from the current teams lying in the top three positions."
Town: D Williamson, C Hardy, D Easley, L Endacott, J Babbage, M Smith, J Hollingsworth (L Beaumont), T Malins, M Wright (R Young), L Robins. Unused subs: D Chaffey, J Stephens
- Town travel to Hadley in the Aubrey Cup quarter-final on Saturday.