Roar power from Town
London Lions 1 Buntingford Town 2 AFTER three straight league defeats, Town got back to winning games by overturning London Lions in their penultimate league game of the season. The match turned out to be an entertaining one with the hot conditions taking
London Lions 1
Buntingford Town 2
AFTER three straight league defeats, Town got back to winning games by overturning London Lions in their penultimate league game of the season.
The match turned out to be an entertaining one with the hot conditions taking a toll on the players.
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With both teams using the excellent Lions' playing surface to good effect, the game turned out to be an open affair with both teams creating plenty of chances.
Town started the better and Carl Smith had a couple of good chances in the first 15 minutes.
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First he latched on to Matt Turl's through ball but fired inches wide and shortly afterwards an identical through ball was well chested down and volleyed first time by Smith but the keeper blocked with his legs.
With Town having the better of the opening exchanges, they took the lead on 21 minutes when youngster Robbie Wilmott beat the full back for pace and crossed for Turl to fire home from 12 yards.
Lions stepped up their game and played some good approach football, putting plenty of crosses into the Town area.
Damion Williamson was called on twice to tip good efforts over the crossbar and on another occasion just before the break a forward somehow volleyed over from five yards when left unmarked.
The visitors kept their one-goal advantage until half-time and started the second half better then their opponents.
With the game becoming more open, passing was a crucial factor and Town maintained possession longer and better in the opening periods of the half.
Wilmott curled a fantastic 16-yard effort against the home bar with the keeper beaten before he doubled Town's lead after 65 minutes.
Receiving a ball 40 yards from goal, Wilmott's pace took him clear and after rounding the keeper scuffed his shot from close range which came back off the post.
In an attempt to clear the ball two defenders comically run into one another and Wilmott was on hand to smash home from close range.
Lions went straight on the offensive and reduced the deficit six minutes later when one of their many crosses was volleyed home in the six-yard box by a forward.
The home side threw more players forward in anticipation of a leveller which left them open to the counter-attack and with a little more care with the final ball Town should have been able to create more clear cut chances.
Town: D Williamson, J Babbage, D Chaffey, D Easley, M Smith, L Ridings (D Cain), M Turl (J Bitting), B Lynch, C Smith (T Jarman), R Wilmott, T Wisson. Unused sub: G Christie.
Hadley 1 Buntingford Town 0
TOWN'S hopes of a top-three finish in the Herts County League were dealt a blow as they lost at Hadley, last Thursday.
A solitary strike after 22 minutes won this closely-fought game between the teams in third and fourth positions but was largely uneventful in goalmouth action.
The defences had large periods of control, with both teams only creating three chances throughout.
Town started well and with a better attitude than their two previous league encounters.
Carl Smith had their best chance early on when he beat the offside trap but he delayed his effort to allow a defender to deflect his effort wide for a corner.
Moments later, Smith beat the full back and squared for Phil Fisher who mis-kicked on the edge of the six-yard box and the ball squirmed away from the goal.
Hadley also had some good moments and keeper Damion Williamson made a couple of smart saves before the goal when Town gave away possession crossing the halfway line.
The hosts worked the ball quickly to the right side of the pitch and a flat cross was met at the near post by a forward who swiftly guided the ball wide of Williamson from 10 yards.
The rest of the half was largely uneventful but Town should have levelled 10 minutes into the second half.
A quick move from defence allowed John Bitting a free run down the right and his excellent floated cross was met on the volley by Gary Christie.
However, his eight-yard volley smashed the underside of the crossbar and bounced back out to safety.
Town defended well and the hosts created no clear chances, but the visitors showed little craft and expertise to unlock the home defensive unit.
The one goal scored always looked likely to be enough for the home side as the game wore on, leaving Town boss Paul Attfield with mixed emotions.
He said: "The game wasn't spectacular but we collectively showed more desire than in recent games.
"In fairness, we never looked like scoring in the second half apart from Gary Christie's effort, and creating chances is something we need to address because we have struggled to do that in recent league games."
Town: D Williamson, B Lynch, D Chaffey, D Easley, J Babbage, M Smith, L Ridings (L Paine), G Garner (J Bitting), C Smith, G Christie, P Fisher.
- Town wrap up their league campaign tonight (Thursday) with a home game against runners-up Hatfield Town before making the short trip to Wodson Park, Ware, on Monday to face Hadley in the league cup final, kick-off 3pm.