Town held by strugglers
Bushey Rangers 1 Buntingford Town 1 DESPITE a disappointing draw at lowly Bushey, Town went top of the league on Saturday afternoon. The visitors started poorly with Rangers gaining a number of corners and forcing players into countless errors with some g
Bushey Rangers 1 Buntingford Town 1
DESPITE a disappointing draw at lowly Bushey, Town went top of the league on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors started poorly with Rangers gaining a number of corners and forcing players into countless errors with some good pressure.
Town looked shaky for most of the half continuing to give up cheap possession in key positions and with the pitch also a nightmare to play any sort of decent football the home side's direct approach created chances.
A number of set plays were just about dealt with, all be it not entirely convincingly and some chances were wasted before the home side took the lead on 23 minutes.
Damion Williamson's poor throw out was intercepted by a midfielder who lobbed a ball forward. Town's square defence was breached and a Bushey forward lobbed the stranded keeper from 18 yards.
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This sparked the visiting team into some sort of life and Will Turl brought a fine diving save from the home keeper soon after from a snap shot and a Jamie Morriss cross from the left just evaded advancing players.
Jim Hollingsworth had Town's best first half chance 10 minutes before half time when a counter attacking move saw him meet a right wing cross unmarked, but Hollingsworth chose a right foot effort when a left foot strike would have been better suited and the effort from close range squirmed into the side netting.
Whatever was said by boss Paul Attfield at half-time was evident from the first whistle of the second half as a completely different side appeared to dominate the period.
A change of formation and the introduction of Mark Smith for the injured Hollingsworth were the keys and Town were level within two minutes.
Youth player Jamie Morriss, making his first senior start of the season, latched onto a floated through ball and rammed a 16 yard angled half volley under the keeper's dive and into the net.
Three minutes later Morriss was unlucky not to add a second when his 25 yard free kick was superbly turned around the post by a full length one handed dive.
Another youth player Ricky Young worked tirelessly up front and he also brought two fine diving saves by the overworked keeper, as time wore on quickly.
Bushey tired fast in the hot conditions but had only one clear chance late on when Williamson's hurried ground clearance went straight to a midfielder but the keeper redeemed himself by forcing the player to shoot wide.
The last five minutes were crucial for Town. First Chris Hardy had an excellent shout for a penalty turned down after being clearly bundled over by a defender, and Turl's free 10-yard header from a lofted cross was straight at the keeper.
In injury time another Hardy run saw him drill in a cross that was slightly too hard for Ricky Young and his header flew inches over from close range but the home side held on for a valuable point.
Attfield was left disappointed by the result. "The first half was as bad a display as I've seen this year," he said.
"When we are in the position we are in the league you would expect some real graft and desire to want to be successful, but we lacked that in most departments, and we were fortunate not to be more than one down at the break.
"The second half was like watching a completely different team and we did more than enough to possibly win the game in the end but we have shown again our incapability to beat teams at the wrong end of the table and it could be crucial in the end."
Town: D Williamson, L Endacott, D Chaffey, J Babbage, D Cain, J Hollingsworth (M Smith), C Hardy, L Beaumont, R Young, W Turl, J Morriss (C De Lacy)