MATCH REPORTS APRIL 2022

Monday 18th April                                  T&MU 3 Staines Town 1

 

A difficult season ended on a positive note as bottom of the table Staines proved the perfect visitors for an end of season celebration. Despite their status as our ‘bogey club’, they were no match for a Terrors side looking to end on a high note, and we duly picked up our first home victory in four months to consolidate a position of safety.

 

There was certainly a carnival atmosphere before the game, as we paid tribute to Dean Hamlin - playing his last game for us in his second spell at the club, and fittingly sporting the Captain’s armband for the day.

 

We started on the front foot, giving our visitors no chance to settle, and were in front after just five minutes play; Enoch Ako-Adjei burst through the centre onto a long ball and crashed an emphatic shot past Alfie McMaster to register his first goal for the club.

 

With confidence visibly flowing throughout the team, Anuar Ceesay made a break down the left and flicked the ball nicely infield to Mark Waters who returned the favour as Anuar broke into the box, but a defender was alert enough to intercept and deflect the ball out for a corner.

 

Waters’ passing skills were evident again as he set Enoch away for a run on goal, but his earlier calm finish was not to be repeated and this time he could only lash the ball high and wide.

 

But on the quarter hour mark, we doubled our lead. Shamal Edwards surged to the byline, and cut back an inch perfect pass for the onrushing Prince Mbengui to bury number two.

 

It was all Tooting, with Staines struggling to put any meaningful moves together, so it was something of a surprise when they hauled themselves back into the game; Yahya Aly took advantage of Nathan Daly’s failure to cut out a cross, and slipped the ball past the exposed Morgan Campbell on nineteen minutes.

 

The game settled into a quieter spell for a time after that, but Ceesay brought it to life once more as another surging run ended in him finding Ako-Adjei whose drive from range was well saved by McMaster.

 

The visiting keeper was in action again moments later, as the impressive Baye Ndiaye made a nice interception in midfield, and found Waters who slipped Enoch through again. His shot from a tight angle was fingertipped round the post for another good save by the busy McMaster.

 

HT : T&MU 2 Staines T. 1

 

The first chance of the second period saw Anuar Ceesay attempt a speculative effort from distance that McMaster fumbled, but managed to grasp at the second attempt.

 

Dean Hamlin was having a fine outing, and looked determined to sign off his Terrors career with a rare goal. Just before the hour he nearly managed it too; Enoch Ako-Adjei’s cross-shot was parried by McMaster, the rebound was gathered by Anuar who laid it off for Deano on the edge of the box. His rasping drive was well hit, but crashed against the bar and came out to deny him the fairy-tale ending.

 

The third wasn’t far away though, and it was Anuar Ceesay - enjoying a fine game - who netted it, driving across McMaster to become the third Terror on the day to net his maiden goal for the club.

 

We could have run out more emphatic winners, with McMaster saving twice from Mark Waters late on, but had done more than enough to seal the points on a satisfying afternoon - for once. All that was left was the presentation of the man-of-the-match award to Dean Hamlin, and this wasn’t just a sentimental choice - he really did have a superb game with which to finish. Thanks for the memories, Deano, and all the best for the future.

 

T&MU : Campbell, Edwards, Hamlin, Waters, Daly, Krokhin, Daniel (Obafemi 66”), Ndiaye, Ako-Adjei (al Haidery 82”), Mbengui, Ceesay (Bassett 73”).

SUBS NOT USED : Walters-Wright, Bangura-Williams.

Attendance : 208

Saturday 16th April                                Hanwell Town 3 T&MU 1

 

With survival all but assured, the Terrors gave a very passive ‘end of term’ performance to limp to defeat at Hanwell. The hosts were hoping to cement their place in the play-offs and raced into a three goal lead before we really started to show any signs of competing, by which time it was too little, too late.

 

It took just fifteen minutes for the London Geordies to ease into the lead; Dan Carter's inviting cross from the right was headed against the bar by Ogo Obi, who was alert enough to turn in the rebound with Morgan Campbell stranded. Hanwell continued to dominate much of the possession, and five minutes before the break doubled their lead when Jack Hutchinson shot home from a tight angle.

 

The game might have been beyond us just before the break when, from a corner, Obi's header was handled on the line and a penalty ensued. Campbell made a superb stop, diving to his right to push a firmly struck shot aside and keep us (just about)  in contention.

 

HT : Hanwell T. 2 T&MU 0

 

Unfortunately, Morgan's heroics did nothing to spur us into action and we began the second half with the same lack of urgency with which we finished the first, although Dontai Stewart did manage to at least muster up our first shot of the afternoon - disappointingly well wide of the target. Hanwell continued to make most of the running, and put themselves into an unassailable lead ten minutes into the half when Carter found Obi inside the box; his shot on the turn was parried by Campbell, but the ball fell kindly for ex-Terror Gareth Chendlik who bagged number three.

 

Perhaps it was Hanwell easing off with the game won, but it was only then that we started to spark into some kind of life. Substitutes Enoch Ako-Adjei and Anuar Ceesay combined to create a half-chance for the latter, but keeper Hugo Sobte was quickly off his line to smother the effort.

 

Sobte was involved in the next major talking point as he collided with Enoch and clearly brought the Tooting man down by unfair means; the Hanwell stopper came off worse though, and after lengthy treatment was shown the yellow card for the offence, when some referees may have issued a sterner punishment.

 

With twenty minutes to play, we were back in the game as  Shamal Edwards burst down the left and sent over a looping cross which Billy Brown just managed to squeeze over the line to open his account for the club.

 

Suddenly, we were showing the fight that had been lacking all afternoon and Anuar Ceesay was inches away from a second, but couldn't get the required direction on his header which cleared the bar.

 

Shamal, again, showed good pace - on the opposite flank this time, side-stepped a couple of defenders and whipped over a cross-shot which dropped just wide.

 

The Tooting fightback was snuffed out with fifteen minutes to go though, when Nathan Daly was involved in an off-the-ball incident with Tomas Siemienczuk which left the home player on the floor and Daly dismissed from the field of play. It was a sour end to a disappointing performance, and the game petered out somewhat after that.

 

T&MU : Campbell, Edwards, Hamlin, Waters, Daly, Walters-Wright, Brown, Clarke, Faniyan (Ako-Adjei 58"), Bangura-Williams, Stewart (Ceesay 58")

SUBS NOT USED : Pain, Ndiaye, Krokhin.

Attendance : 249

 

Wednesday 6th April                  Sutton Common Rovers 0 T&MU 2

 

A goal and an assist from the in-form Shamal Edwards bagged the points on a wet night in Leatherhead. After almost four months without a league win, this was our second in quick succession and gave us some breathing space at the wrong end of the table. Another three points from the final home fixture against rock-bottom Staines should ensure survival, and another chance to exit the South-Central Division at the right end next time.

 

With Rovers being our nearest neighbours in the division, it was somewhat bizarre having to make a ten mile-odd journey down to Leatherhead but a sizeable contingent of travelling Terrors made the trip and were well rewarded for their efforts.

 

The pitch was in pretty good condition, despite monsoon-like conditions for much of the afternoon; and a couple of heavy downpours during the first half made it tricky for both sides to get any kind of grip on the game. It was the Terrors who carved out the first chance, though, with Cory Walters-Wright just failing to get a touch to Nathan Gordon's free-kick as the ball dropped harmlessly past the far post.

 

Then a Billy Brown cross from the right-hand side caught on the wind and dipped toward the top corner; Rovers keeper James Dillon managed to just about gather the ball, but there were some claims that he may have carried it over the line. The referee gave the nominal hosts the benefit of the doubt and the game continued.

 

A long ball out from the back was taken nicely by Mark Waters who cut it back toward Edwards, but he was well-tracked by a defender who blocked the effort.

 

Dontai Stewart was finding a lot of space on the left flank, and he did well to get away from his marker before finding Waters who in turn found Brown, but under pressure he couldn't summon the power to dig out a shot and Rovers cleared again.

 

SCR were being forced back for much of the early stages, but emerged from their shell to cause some confusion around the penalty area which almost resulted in our falling behind as Tony Halsey's through ball was flicked on by Mo Amghar with the ball bouncing around the box before Ollie Pain dropped gratefully on it.

 

Three minutes later, Rovers came even closer when they managed to bundle the ball over the line in another goalmouth scramble, but the goal was disallowed for a foul on Pain.

 

Tooting regrouped, and looked the more likely to break the deadlock in the remainder of the half, as Dontai set up Shamal for a long range effort, but he couldn't repeat his heroics of the previous weekend on this occasion and his long-range strike sailed comfortably over the bar.

 

Mark Waters' evening came to a premature end when he departed the field after lengthy treatment for an injury, to be replaced by Sam Faniyan.

 

Jordan Clarke showed good determination after initially missing his kick from a throw-in, as he re-grouped and won it back before firing in a shot which Dillon just about managed to hold on to, under pressure from Enoch Ako-Adjei as we finished the half very much on the front foot.

 

HT : Sutton Common Rovers 0 T&MU 0

 

Thankfully, the interval did not disrupt our rhythm as we began the second period in the same manner we had ended the first. It seemed only a matter of time until the deadlock was broken, as Rovers were finding it increasingly difficult to build any momentum of their own. Just before the hour, Shamal Edwards seized on a wayward cross-field pass from Ryan Healey, side-stepped neatly past Healey who was desperately trying to make amends, and bore down on goal. As Dillon advanced, Shamal kept a cool head and slotted it neatly underneath the keeper's body to spark wild scenes of euphoria behind the goal.

 

And it got better for the travelling Bog-Enders minutes later, as Edwards outpaced Ryan Dacres-Smith down the left and whipped over an inviting cross which was gleefully buried with a towering header at the far post by Sam Faniyan, to give us the breathing space we so richly deserved.

 

Rovers were rattled now, and as they lost their shape and confidence we could - probably should - have added to our tally. Jordan Clarke deserved a goal for another enterprising performance, and almost got it late on; he controlled a difficult ball well, but could only steer his shot wide on the turn. Dillon then saved at full-stretch from a Nathan Gordon free-kick as we kept the pressure on right to the end, to put the seal on our most complete performance away from home all season - just when we needed it most.

 

T&MU : Pain, Edwards, Gordon, Waters (Faniyan 35"), Krokhin, Walters-Wright, Brown, Clarke (Ceesay 70"),Ako-Adjei (Anifowese 83"), Stewart, Ndiaye.

SUBS NOT USED : Daly, Mbengui.

Attendance : 111

 

Saturday 2nd April 2022                Chalfont St. Peter 0 T&MU 1

 

A thunderbolt from Shamal Edwards was enough to finally secure a first league win of the year and put the team in good heart ahead of a crucial trip to Leatherhead to face Sutton Common Rovers on Wednesday evening.

 

It was a strange old day weather-wise, with all four seasons being represented at some point during the ninety minutes; but when the dust had settled, we were able to look back on an enjoyable afternoon for once. Defensively solid, we could - perhaps should - have won by more but after such a lean period, just banking the points was all that mattered. With Chalfont one of only two teams below us at start of play, failure to win here would have opened up the spectre of automatic relegation once again. Having now got the monkey off our backs, we have established a ten point gap between ourselves and our hosts which, barring an extremely unlikely set of results, ensures that - at the very least - we'll get an opportunity to hang onto our Level 4 status by means of a play-off. If we can now build on the momentum engendered by this three points, survival without the need for an extra fixture is still well within our grasp.

 

Chalfont's playing surface is arguably the worst at this level, with bumps and undulations hindering any attempt to play an expansive passing game. Nevertheless, the Terrors did manage to string together some nice passages of play and it was from one of these moves that the deadlock was broken, five minutes before half-time. Jordan Clarke - the game's dominant player  - tried to set Mark Waters free down the middle; his through ball was cut out by the home defence but fell to Edwards who curled an absolute beauty from about thirty yards to leave Ben Parslow in the home goal grasping thin air.

 

It was no more than we deserved, having controlled the game to that point. We were forced into a re-shape early on when Sam Faniyan - scorer of a nicely taken goal in the midweek friendly draw at Merstham - went down heavily on the unpredictable turf, with nobody around him. Mark Waters was a welcome returnee, having missed the previous three matches, and entered the fray as Faniyan's replacement with just twenty minutes gone.

 

Jordan Clarke was running the game up to this point, and Waters slotted in neatly alongside him. With Dontai Stewart a constant menace up front, Shamal Edwards and Billy Brown causing havoc on the flanks and Nikolai Krokhin winning everything in the air at the back, the foundations for victory looked set. All that was needed was a goal.

 

Clarke played a lovely weighted pass down the left, and Enoch Ako-Adjei was quick to seize upon it. Taking the ball to the byline, he cut it back nicely for the onrushing Edwards whose shot just cleared the bar.

 

Clarke continued to cause panic in the home defence, and when he was pulled down on the edge of the box it looked a promising position for a free-kick. However, after much deliberation over who would take it, Nathan Gordon took on the responsibility and steered the ball well over.

 

Chalfont were continually stretched by the Tooting offence, and were beginning to concede set plays in abundance. Another free-kick from the left hand side was floated in but was just too high for both Krokhin and Cory Walters-Wright and dropped harmlessly wide.

 

Dontai was next to craft a shooting opportunity in the crowded penalty area, but his effort was deflected wide by Sean McGuinness for a corner which came to nothing, then Enoch burst his way through the overworked home defence only to drag his shot wide of the far post.

 

Having failed to capitalise on any of the chances created thus far, it looked ominous when Chalfont began to emerge from their shell and they very nearly took the lead against the run of play when Ollie Pain flapped at a corner, and two shooting opportunities were blocked by Krokhin and Gordon, with the third chance being fired over. It was a little reminder that no matter how dominant we were, a sting in the tail was never far away.

 

Thankfully, we heeded the warning, and Shamal Edwards' stunning strike gave us the lead we deserved as half-time approached. Just after the goal, Cory Walters-Wright headed over the bar from a corner; a second goal there, and surely the game would have been all but over at that point.

 

HT : Chalfont SP 0 T&MU 1

 

Having got the bit between our teeth, we looked in no mood to ease up as the second period began. Billy Brown released Enoch Ako-Adjei down the right, he shrugged off a defender and sent the ball towards Mark Waters in the six yard box but Ben Parslow read it well and intercepted the cross before the Tooting man could get to it.

 

A nice long ball from Cory Walters-Wright saw Waters gather, and play a one-two with Ako-Adjei; unfortunately, the latter's momentum caused him to continue his run and inadvertently deflect Waters' shot wide for a goal-kick, but the pressure was good from Tooting now.

 

Jordan Clarke did superbly well to intercept a cross-field pass at full stretch and, even though he fell, was still able to square the ball to Waters whilst he was on the deck. Mark found Enoch out on the edge of the box, but he struggled to get the ball under full control, was crowded out and the chance disappeared.

 

After another good headed defensive clearance from Nikolai, Waters picked it up and tried to set Enoch away but, once again, his intentions were well read by the Chalfont defence who nullified the opening.

 

With Clarke now tiring on the heavy pitch, we took the opportunity to introduce the fresh legs of Prince Mbengui and he was immediately involved, winning a corner from which Dontai Stewart's attempt at a spectacular overhead kick just cleared the bar.

 

It was all Tooting, but without the cushion of a second goal, there was always the fear that Chalfont could yet change the course of the game. We thought we had a decent shout for a spot kick when Enoch was bundled over just inside the box as he attempted to fashion a shooting chance; the referee wasn't impressed though, and waved play on.

 

With time ticking down, Waters attempted to put it to bed as he picked up a loose ball and fired towards goal from distance; Parslow seemed to have read it, but still made a meal of it as he fumbled it round the post for a corner.

 

As alluded to earlier, there was almost the cruellest sting in the tail when Chris Regis hit a speculative effort from long range that looked dangerous from the far end but cleared the bar; it turned out to be the last action of the game as Ollie had no time to even take the goal kick and the referee brought proceedings to an end to huge sighs of relief all round from players and travelling fans alike. Onwards - and hopefully upwards - to Wednesday, and another six-pointer awaits.

 

T&MU : Pain, Edwards, Gordon, Ndiaye, Krokhin, Walters-Wright, Brown, Clarke (Mbengui 75"), Faniyan (Waters 20"), Ako-Adjei (Ceesay 88"), Stewart.

SUBS NOT USED : Daly, Anifowese.

Attendance : 113