Stanmore Jaffreys v Reserves, 10 Oct 2020 (League)
Buntingford Won 4-2
Town Ressies made the trip to Watford to face a Stanmore Jaffreys side also looking for their first win of the season.
An admin error meant instead of kicking off at 14:30, Town had to wait until gone 15:00, but the delay didn’t seem to bother them and with a slight tweak in formation and a tiny shuffle of the starting line-up they started the game brightly, looking dangerous in the opening minutes.
With Tommy Jackson and Liam Faik up front and Reece Knapp supporting from midfield, there was plenty of energy and quality going forward and it was Jackson’s headed flick on after 10 minutes from a long throw which dropped to Knapp from 6 yards who volleyed home.
Despite going ahead Town were still nervy as they adapted to their new formation and it was Jaffreys who started to play a bit of football and on one occasion their striker found himself one on one with Ewan White after a good move but his finish was poor and Ewan stood tall and made a comfortable save.
Town had a number of half chances and forced several free kicks and corners but it took until 30 minutes in before they doubled their lead, this time James Parkins looping header from a Liam Faik corner found its way over the keeper and under the bar, 2-0!
Town appeared to be comfortable now, and with relatively little threat perhaps they lost focus as in the last 10 minutes of the first half Jaffreys won a dubious penalty, Lloyd Bowman adjudged to have pulled down his marker in the box at a set piece; it was harsh on Bowman who often falls over for no reason and the number 9 just happened to be standing next to him on this occasion!
Toby Grieves who had been playing nicely at centre back then picked up an ankle injury and Town were forced into a change, Will Brant coming in to help shore up the defensive line.
Within moments a good move down the Ressies left flank ended when a low cross ran across goal deceiving Ewan in goal and nestling into the far corner; Jaffreys level at half time after barely landing a punch.
A stern interval team talk from the management team seemed to light a fire in the team and on 50 mins a quick free kick by experienced midfield playmaker Ross Murphy found Parkins marauding into the box and his touch and low finish gave Town the lead once again.
Jaffreys seemed to have thrown caution to the wind and Town enjoyed playing on the break, Tommy Jackson and Liam Faik linked up on several occasions and on 55 minutes, Tommy found Liam and he in turn rounded the keeper and stroked home the ball from a tight angle to make it 4-2.
On 60 mins Town freshened things up and Danny Holding, Alex Hewer and Luke Sloane replaced Tommy, Ayo and Reece.
Town looked really comfortable at the back with Sid, Lloyd and Will shackling the opposition attack and with Ross Murphy and Ryan Bailey sitting in front of them they formed an impenetrable wall, Ewan only called upon once, diving low at the feet of a striker who turned out to be offside anyway!
Parkins spurned the opportunity to score a hat-trick, blazing a header over from about 4 yards out on 75 mins.
He was replaced by Ayo Akiode shortly after as Town continued to keep things fresh, Ayo putting in another hard working shift in both directions.
Luke Sloan was having a solid debut down the right and he linked up nicely with the tireless Liam Faik who jinked inside and fired into the bottom corner only to be given offside.
Next it was Alex Hewer who came close, his low shot hitting the inside of the post and flashing across the goal line behind the goalkeeper as Town searched for a 5th.
Danny looked busy up front, hassling the defence and holding the ball up well, Town found themselves in good positions in a number of occasions as the game wore on but often the final pass just eluded a Buntingford shirt.
With the last kick of the game Hewer tossed over a deep speculative cross and as it drifted over the keepers head the referee inexplicably blew the whistle just as the ball hit the back of the net, despite protests the game finished 4-2 and Town rightfully had their first win of the season.
A moral boosting win for the ressies who now have something to build upon; the more games they play you feel the better this team will get.