Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Tadley Calleva v Andover New Street 30/10/18

Tadley Calleva 2 Andover New Street 4

THIS was the first meeting this season between the two Clubs, who were both promoted to the Premier Division for the first time in their respective histories for the current campaign, and to date have adapted with differing results. Tadley got off to a very impressive start and have since held their place in the top half of the table while New Street, whose results have often belied their performances, have struggled and came in to the game with just six points to their name. It was perhaps therefore not unreasonable to feel that the likely outcome would be a home victory but strange things happen in football – as all present were to be reminded.

On a cold, but not as cold as expected, night in the frozen North of the County the visitors were first to threaten with a cross from Jazz Beavis finding Claudio Herbert in the box but the header was straight at keeper Freddie Gee who then fisted clear a long range free kick from Luke Neller. Despite this bright opening pre-match thoughts were intensified after just eleven minutes when the home side took the lead. Brett Denham lobbed the ball over a rather square back line allowing Cameron GEORGE to slot the ball confidently past the advancing George Baxter in the visiting goal. The game continued in an end to end vein with both sides enjoying spells of possession but with Tadley always looking the more dangerous in the final third of the pitch. Street’s Herbert displayed neat control and footwork before sending Alderman clear on the right but Zac Hine was too high from the cross before a remarkable double save by Baxter kept the deficit to one. He perhaps initially left his area unwisely to challenge George, with the ball spinning away, only for the forward to regain control and chip the ball towards the unguarded net. Somehow Baxter made back his ground and clawed the ball off the line with claims that it had crossed same being denied by a well-placed Assistant Referee.

There was just time for one further scare for the visitors before the break when Denham lobbed the keeper from a narrow angle with a defender this time clearing off the line to leave the difference between the two sides as all headed for the half time tea at just one goal. HT 1-0

The second half started with New Street doing exactly what was required. They were no doubt told at the break to “keep it tight and not concede” but went one better by scoring themselves after just three minutes. Gee got his fists to a free kick from the left but it was not the best of contact, the defence failed to complete the clearance and HINE lashed the loose ball in to the roof of the net. The same player then had a twenty five yard effort acrobatically tipped over the bar before Denham twice went close at the other end. Firstly a long run ended with no support and weight of numbers crowding him out before he was on the end of a Sam Hamilton cross with his header just the wrong side of the post. New Street failed to learn from this and as the clock ticked past fifteen minutes another cross from the right saw GEORGE put his side back in front with a free header from some eight yards out. Herbert’s blistering speed took him clear but the cross was too high and Baxter fisted away a thunderbolt from Hamilton before the scores were level again on the half hour with a typical Shane LOCK goal. The striker cut in from the left hand side of the area before firing across and past Gee and inside the far post.

Both sides made substitutions up front with the home side perhaps surprisingly replacing Denham, but it was a defender who came close to breaking the deadlock, home skipper Shaun Dallimore bringing a fine reflex save from Baxter following a corner. An accidental collision temporarily flattened Tadley’s Danny Vickers and bought cautions for two of his colleagues, who perhaps did not agree with the “accidental” description, before the eventful final five minutes and a reward for the visiting bench for their change. Callum Sweeney’s pass sent substitute Kylan Lewis away on the left and this time Gee was perhaps unwise in racing out to challenge, but that takes nothing away from the superb finish from LEWIS, high in to the far corner of the net to put his side in front.

Rather than hanging on Street went forward again as normal time moved in to stoppage time with Herbert’s speed taking him clear and in to the area where he was bought down by Gee. Penalty, little protest but no other punishment for the goalkeeper, and HERBERT’s assured spot kick was the icing on the cake for the white shirted visitors. A hectic finish to a very enjoyable and well refereed game and New Street take the credit. Not many sides will win at Tadley during the course of the season and it was three very valuable points for the visitors – who now face a trip to Portland on Saturday. FT 2-4 (John Gorman)

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