Amateur Football Combination 1 - 3 Herts Senior County League
Tom Sergeant (Old Parmiterians)
13 December 2016 at Rowley Lane Sports Ground, Rowley Lane, Barnet, EN5 3HW
On a mild evening with the pitch soft in places, the AFC Representative team kicked off their 2016-17 season against the Herts Senior County League (HSCL) at London Lions' ground on Rowley Lane, Barnet.
The team with 3 debutants was unrecognisable from the team I had initially wanted to put out with injuries and unavailability leading me to play some players in unfamiliar positions.
The AFC started the game strongly against a tough HSCL team, forcing a couple of chances from debutants Jarvis Cheek and Tom Sergeant in the opening few minutes.
Shortly after Sergeant was played in by another debutant Asha Cato-Tyson, finding himself in a 1 on 1 with the advancing keeper. Instead of chipping the keeper and finding the back of the empty net, the ball was safely in the hands of the keeper.
Two minutes later, the AFC defence failed to clear the ball from their penalty area and the ball found its way into the path of the HSCL striker and it was 1- 0 after 12 minutes. This rocked the AFC momentum and after 24 minutes we went 2 down with a well-taken goal from the HSCL forward.
We continued to battle in the latter stages of the first half, creating a couple of half chances for Craig Jones, Tom Sergeant and Jarvis Cheek but without forcing their keeper to make a save.
At half time, we discussed a couple tactical changes and once again started well.
With 15 gone in the second half, and with the AFC seeing most of the possession, the ball was played down the middle by the keeper. The ball was caught in the lights and Mark Nelson misjudged the bounce only for the HSCL striker to run through one on one with Keeper Parlett to beat and clinch his hat-trick.
What followed was a scrappy 15 minutes with neither team looking likely to add to the score until Jarvis picked up the ball on the left inside, cut inside and clipped a cross to the near post for Sergeant to flick past the keeper and put us back in the game.
The AFC increased the pressure, clearly having the better possession at this stage and looked likely to pulling another one back.
With 10 to go the ball was crossed from the right into the path of Cheek who looked odds on to stroke the ball home. The keeper appeared lucky to not be penalised for taking out our No.11 and what would have been a clear penalty. A goal at this stage would have brought panic to the heart of the already rattled HSCL defence and set up a hectic final few minutes.
To add to his memorable debut, Tom Sergeant was cautioned for a strong aerial challenge in the on the HSCL defender and a few minutes later was fortunate to not be dismissed for a 2nd caution, together with the HSCL centre-half who likewise has already been earlier cautioned when both of them began wrestling whilst waiting for a corner. The referee choosing to sensibly issue a strong verbal reprimand and keep both players on the field of play.
*The number 8 shirt was rested in respect of Rep side player Curtis Payne who tragically taken from us on 14 November 2016.
Overall, it was a disappointing result but allowed me a chance to look at a few players. We know the next few matches will be used to prepare for the Annual big ones against Southern Amateur League and Yorkshire League, ultimately getting us all focused on the FA Inter League Cup which has been confirmed for next year.
My thanks go to HSCL for their hospitability and to Lee Okugben of Old Parmiterians for his assistance on the night.
Have a great Christmas and I look forward to reporting better results in January.
David Cross - Rep Team Manager
1. Chris Partlett (Old Suttonians)
2. Chris North (Old Wokingians)
3. Charlie Caine (Old Meadonians)
4. Aidan Chapman (Old Meadonians)
5. Timi Dorgu (Old Parmiterians)
6. Mark Nelson (Old Minchendenians)
7. Tom Sergeant (Old Parmiterians)
9. Craig Jones (Old Meadonians)
10. Asha Cato-Tyson (Old Parmiterians)
11. Jarvis Cheek (Old Thorntonians)
12. John Sergeant (Old Parmiterians)
AFC 0 - 0 vs Oxford University
1 March 2017 at Uxbridge F.C.