The AFC Representative XI defeated The Bedford County League 5-4 aet in a thrilling game of end to end football, on Saturday 25th November. They now await the QF draw made by the FA on 13th December 2017.
Bedfordshire County League 4 Amateur Football Combination 5
Chris HERITAGE 12", Charlie CAIN 95", Ryan BRIGHT 100", 110", Ellis MCLENNON 120"
The game kicked off and the first 20 minutes it was AFC in the ascendency attack after attack, playing some wonderful fluid football and passing the ball ‘Pep style’. There was only one team in it and it came as no surprise when Chris Heritage flicked a through ball past the keeper after 12 minutes. 0-1. So far so good, but two glaring open goal misses came and went in that glorious opening half hour. Would the AFC rue those two missed chances – only time would tell. Bedford gradually came more into the game and it was a very welcome half time that saw the AFC holding onto their slender lead, but only just.
The second half started much as the first had ended, with Bedford pressure and the AFC defence being tested, but not seriously threatened, marshalled by my man of the match – the towering Aiden Chapman (Meads). Manager Cross made a substitution in the 55th minute replacing a tiring Chris Holt (Meads), who had ploughed a largely one man spearhead up front, with George Proctor (Sutts). Bedford continued their dominance, changing their players with a full complement of substitutes and finally they were rewarded with the equalising goal, a header from a corner. 1-1. The game ebbed and flowed but it was obvious to all that this match was destined for the extra 30 minutes, so it proved.
Manager David Cross had to get the energy levels back into the players, Chris Heritage was struggling with cramp, but once again due to the lack of substitutes, through late and unforgiveable cry offs, the AFC were left to soldier on through the pain that such a high paced game on a big pitch would bring. Still soldier on they did. Within 5 minutes of the restart the AFC took the lead following a rare attack when Charlie Cain fired home 1-2. Euphoria amongst the supporters – short lived as within a minute Bedford had equalised. Players from both teams were getting very tired indeed.
Then suddenly picking the ball up wide on the right wing Ryan Bright (Meads) began what was the replica of the Barnes dribble against Brazil, weaving this way and that, riding tackle after tackle, before planting a screamer in the bottom corner 2-3. Two minutes to the mid ET break, could they hold on, no as yet again Bedford just wouldn’t give up and equalised with an own goal from a corner 3-3. Half time 3-3, with just 15 minutes remaining before the dreaded penalties.
Three minutes into the second half the roof came off the clubhouse, as the home crowd went ballistic, Bedford scoring their fourth, when their best forward player fired home 4-3. The AFC players were now running on empty but somehow managed to attack once again and from another mazy run, caused a rash challenge, as Ellis McLennon (Sutts) was felled in the box ‘PENALTY we screamed’, the ref no more than a few yards away pointed instantly to the spot. Up stepped Ryan Bright to send the keeper the wrong way 4-4. At this point, with just three minutes left on the clock, penalties seemed the obvious outcome.
Minutes ticked away until with just 30 seconds to go, manager Cross made his final switch bringing on sub keeper Chris Parlett (Sutts) for the excellent Henry Warne (Dorking). We supporters thought this a strange move, as Warne had played solidly throughout, deserving his moment of glory with the penalties. This stoppage and substitution must have unnerved Bedford, because out of the blue a misplaced defensive pass was seized upon by Ellis McLennon, to chip the keeper from fully 20 yards 4-5. This time it was the away end that took the roof off – even good old Geoff Lence had seen nothing like it in his 50+ years of watching AFA football. Final whistle almost instantly and amidst scenes of complete exhaustion and euphoria the team crawled back to the dressing rooms for a very, very well-deserved drink and shower.
Round 2 fixtures:
(† Cumberland County League fielded an entire team selected from Workington Athletic, in contravention of competition rules which restrict selection to seven per club in the squad, and five in the starting line-up.
Manager David Cross has finalised his squad (due to more late cry offs) for this coming Saturday's (25th Nov) FA Inter League Cup match . It goes without saying that many AFC Officers & VP's will be in attendance to cheer the team on - however please attend if you have no other pressing engagement. The squad is as follows:-
AFC Squad v Bedforshire County League (Cranfield FC, Crawley Road, Bedford, MK43 0AA) ko 3pm
Manager David Cross
The Ashes calls, so Andy Macrae is off to a land down under, departing this evening (16th November 2017) and back on Friday 8th December. He will have his laptop with him, to manage most football administration, however should any emergency arise, please contact Bealonians Chairman, Terry Barlow, email@example.com or by phone - 07802 902925.
Match update:- The SAL won 5-1 (H-T 4-0). A disappointing first half with three goals conceded from set pieces but a much stronger performance 2nd half with the AFC goal scored by Old Suttonians - George Proctor. Manager David Cross wasn't cross but hopes the team can rally for the big one on Saturday 25th v Bedford County League.
The match day programme for tomorrows nights match is attached and all support for the AFC will be very welcome indeed. The match is being played at Uxbridge FC Honeycroft, Horton Rd, Uxbridge UB7 8HX
It is with regret that I inform all that the above team have withdrawn from division Three North with immediate effect, due to continuing issues with the regular availability of players. Their playing record for 2017-18 has been expunged and Three North will now be a division of 10 teams, not 11.
Ian Andrews AFC Secretary
AFC Squad For Rep Game against SAL at Uxbridge FC in The Argonaut Trophy on Wednesday 15th November is as follows:-
Henry Warne - Old Dorkinians
Aidan Chapman - Old Meadonians
Charles Gerson -Old Hamptonians
Charlie Cain - Old Meadonians
Chris Heritage - Old Hamptonians
Ellis McLennon - Old Suttonians
George Proctor - Old Suttonians
Manny Soderu - Clapham Old Xaverians
Phil Dunnett - Old Minchendianians
Ryan Bright - Old Meadonians
Sarf Pivano - UCL Academicals
Shane Banbridge - Old Minchendianians
Stuart Holt - Old Meadonians
Timi Dorgu - Old Parmiterians
Zach Francis - Old Suttonians
Chris Partlett - Old Suttonianians (Assistant Coach )
Note to all Clubs & Referees:-
To confirm the AFC Fixtures Committee have deemed that there will be not be any AFC fixtures arranged on either Saturday 23rd or Saturday 30th December 2017. The last fixtures before the Xmas break will be on Saturday 16th December 2017 and the next fixtures will be on Saturday 6th January 2018.
Ian Andrews - AFC Secretary
Roger Philo has recovered following his operation and so has resumed the full duties as above. Please contact Roger for all match and referee confirmations with immediate effect - details appear in the Directory .
Ian Andrews - AFC Secretary
With immediate effect the new Match secretary of Spaniards (Senior Three North) is
Andres de Haro Martinez 07821 147924 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
who replaces Jose Ramon Vadillo. The web directory is also updated
Attached are the first set of club and team marks up to and including Saturday 28th October. It is good to pay special attention to the current excellent mark of Spaniards who have put last seasons poor first season behind them and need to maintain this average.
On the down side the same clubs appear in the bottom places in most categories season on season and really must try and get their average marks increased with more acceptable on & off pitch behaviour and organisation. It is also worth praising those clubs that consistently appear in the top slots with so far this season Heathrow Seniors leading the way with a top two place in three categories plus 4th in SoF.