The AFC and SAL kicked off the 2019/20 season on Wednesday night at Uxbridge FC, competing for honours in the Argonaut Trophy and Steve Langley Cup.
After losing 3-2 in the same fixture last year, the AFC went on to record wins against the Herts Senior County League (3-2) and the Arthurian League (4-0), and came into this game looking to record the first outright win against the SAL since 2009/10.
However, despite a bright start from the AFC, it was the SAL who took a 1-0 lead when Dan Butler curled in a superb effort from the edge of the box, beating Henry Warne’s despairing dive to find the top corner.
Despite the setback the AFC stuck to their game-plan, continued to move the ball well and were duly rewarded when Liam Hawkins played Ryan Bright through on goal with an incisive pass from the left, only for Bright to be upended by the out-rushing ‘keeper as he attempted to take the ball round him in the area. There was no hesitation from the referee in pointing to the spot to give Bright the chance to level things up, which he did cooly to make it 1-1.
After the interval the AFC really pushed on. The ball was zipped around well with the midfield duo of Ross Fleming and George Proctor dictating the tempo and using the ball well and Cameron McGovern linking well with Josh Higgins down the right hand side to create a number of good chances.
The AFC’s pressure finally told when a scramble in the box from an in-swinging Charlie Cain corner fell to Tom Coulter who prodded home to make it 2-1. 2-1 swiftly became 3-1 when Coulter was played in nicely by substitute Alex Roberts and slotted home to give himself his second of the game.
Despite a late SAL rally, the AFC centre halves of Harry Wakeford and captain Chris North marshalled the defence through to the whistle to ensure the AFC held on to record a famous win.
Goals: Ryan Bright (pen), Tom Coulter (2)
MOM: Cameron McGovern