Match Report
Saturday 15th December 2012 Suburban League North Division
Leverstock Green Reserves (0) 2 Bundey 84 pen, Budden 89
Tring Athletic Reserves (1) 4 Pond 44, Myatt 68, Humphries 73, 90 pen
at Pancake Lane

The reserves came away from their clash with Tring Athletic with a result that is very harsh on them. They were by far the stronger team in the first half, but a failure to convert these early opportunities into goals cost them dearly. With two late goals Green threatened to snatch a result from the game, but a late penalty for Tring extinguished those hopes.

Green were on the front foot for much of the first half, and although they had only a handful of real goal scoring opportunities in the opening minutes, Sam Amadi and Sean Lane were proving to be a handful for the Tring defence. Tring's Charles Martin was caught napping by Amadi, who picked his pocket and sent a decent cross over to Lane, but unfortunately Nathan Horder was there to pick up the pieces after Martin's error.

Within a few minutes, Green were moving forward again, this time with Jordan Palmer causing confusion between Tring goalkeeper Nick Lan and another of his defenders, Liam Thomas. The result was that Lan's botched save rolled out for a corner, from which Palmer nearly scored with a header, and Daren Bloor also came close with the rebound.

These early chances set the tone for the remainder of the half, with Green showing off some nice passing play, and creating a number of chances, while generally being able to keep the Tring strikers at arm's length. Harry Crane, Jordan Palmer and Sam Amadi combined well in the 24th minute to carve through the midfield, and Amadi was only denied a clear shot at goal by some last ditch defending by Tring, who were yet to really get into the game at this point. Green on the other hand bounced straight back with another attempt on goal, but Palmer couldn't cap his good run with a finish to match.

Jake Broome, Sean Lane and Sam Amadi would all have further chances in the first half before the tide of the game turned dramatically. Tring winger Che To made a foray forward up the right wing, which led to a cross into the box that landed at the feet of Jamie Pond who was sprinting in from the left. He swung his right foot at the ball and it flew into the top corner of Reece Axten's net to put Athletic ahead on the stroke of half time, and very much against the run of play.

If it was an ambitious Green squad that took to the field at the beginning of the first half, then it was a rather shocked looking one that we saw at the beginning of the second. Suddenly Tring, who had hardly threatened in the first half, looked the stronger and more confident team. They went on the attack straight away, looking to extend their lead, but Nathan Horder's attempt hit the side netting.

Green had a huge opportunity to equalize shortly afterwards. New boy Sean Lane had looked very promising all through the game up front, but when he rounded the keeper he could only put the ball wide of the goal. That moment aside though, it was all Tring during this section of the game, and Matt Myatt stepped up to double their lead in the 68th minute. His shot was a low one with a number of players from both teams between him and the goal, leaving Reece Axten unsighted to the shot until it was too late. Somehow it found its way through a number of legs and into the back of the net.

Tring put themselves in control of the game with a third goal five minutes later, this time scored by Andy Humphries. There was still hope for Green though, and an end-of-game goal fest set up a grandstand finish to the match. In the 84th minute Matt Myatt was deemed to have handled the ball in the penalty area, presenting Green with an opportunity to get a goal back. James Bundey stepped up to take the resulting penalty and scored his second goal in as many games. It was soon 3-2, and Bundey was again involved. His long range free kick found the head of James Budden, who was on hand to close the gap to the leaders.The result was confirmed only a minute later though when Tring had a penalty of their own, re-establishing their two goal lead.

All in all, it was a very exciting game, but sadly Green ended up on the wrong end of a 4-2 defeat.

(Peter Berman)

Leverstock Green Reserves: 1. Reece Axten, 2. Chris Purdue (14. Tom Seaton 45 mins), 3. James Bundey, 4. Jamie Ryan, 5. James Budden, 6. Daren Bloor (C), 7. Harry Crane, 8. Jordan Palmer, 9. Sean Lane, 10. Jake Broome, 11. Sam Amadi (12. Jack Collier 67 mins). Sub not used: 15. Tom Butlin.
Tring Athletic Reserves: 1. Nick Lan, 2. Liam Thomas, 3. Stuart Stedman (C), 4. Matt Myatt, 5. James Butler, 6. Charles Martin, 7. Nathan Horder (12. Dan To 73 mins), 8. Che To, 9. Martin Skinner (15. Colin Phillips 86 mins), 10. Andy Humphries, 11. Jamie Pond (14. Byron Goodman 73 mins).