MATCH REPORTS AUGUST 2022
Saturday 6th August - Cobham 0-3 T&MU
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
The serious business got underway at Cobham’s
delightful Leg O’Mutton Field, and the Terrors eased
into the next round of the World’s Greatest Knockout
Competition with a comprehensive win against their
Combined Counties League opponents.
This was a solid display from back-to-front, as a
commanding James Shaw took everything that got
near him, at least any balls that had got past the towering Nikolai Krokhin who had assumed such superiority that his job title for the afternoon should have been ‘Air Traffic Controller’.
Marshalled superbly by club vice-captain Cory Walters-Wright - assuming the full mantle today, in the absence of the suspended Nathan Daly - the visitors grew in confidence as the first half progressed, and carved out the first half chance after a quarter of an hour, when the lively Baye Ndiaye dispossessed his opposite number and set Eddie M’Bango away with a run on goal. As a covering defender looked hesitant, Eddie weighed up his options and looked to set himself for a shot but another defender made up the ground to deflect the ball out for a corner.
Shamal Edwards was growing in confidence, and a partnership with Jordan Clarke that looked to be blooming towards the end of last season was beginning to bear fruit again. A through ball over the top was picked up by M’Bango, who bore down on goal. As he reached the edge of the penalty area, the home keeper had come out to meet him but Eddie deftly flicked the ball past him, and time seemed to slow down as it trickled towards goal; a Cobham defender had got back and just managed to skew it off the line for a corner, but at
some personal cost to himself as he collided somewhat painfully with the goalpost. After treatment, he was able to resume his duties, and the corner came to nothing but it didn’t take long for Tooting to break the deadlock - and when the goal came it was an early contender for ‘Goal of the Season’.
Shamal seized on a loose pass in midfield, and drove toward the left-hand edge of the area; as his marker backed off, he cut back inside, set himself for a curler and executed the prefect drive of power and direction, and the ball sailed over the helpless keeper’s head to nestle in the back of the net. It was reminiscent of Shamal’s goal at Chalfont St. Peter toward the end of last season and, in terms of team confidence, could prove just as important. Tooting dominated the remainder of the half, and a second goal would have been just reward for their efforts; Jordan Clarke came closest, after a ball was cut back across the penalty area by Ajani Domingo-Carrington, it pinballed around and Jordan took a step before firing a shot in. The keeper - perhaps obscured by the multitude of bodies in front of him - fumbled it, lost it, but just managed to drop on it before a Terrors’ attacker could seize on the loose ball.
HT : Cobham 0 T&MU 1
Proceedings had barely restarted before the Terrors had doubled their advantage. Right at the start of the second period, Jordan Clarke powered his way into the Cobham half, slipped an incisive pass through, and Ayman Dahdouh lashed it into the roof of the net from close range. Tails were up, Cobham heads went down, and - with one foot and nine toes in the next round - it began to look as if we could relax and enjoy forty-five minutes of football for a change.
Eddie M’Bango came close to extending the lead after nice work by Dahdouh down the left. He pulled the ball back across, Eddie sidestepped his marker nicely, but couldn’t get the power he’d have liked in the shot and the keeper safely gathered. As the game entered the final stages, Eddie had another chance to wrap things up, but once again the keeper was equal to his effort; then Shamal Edwards terrorised the home defence once again, and fired a low ball across the box which caused confusion, before the Hammers were able to hack it away.
We finally put the icing on the cake five minutes from the end, with a nicely worked move; Pedro Moco slipped a free-kick down the left channel, Shamal took it on and then cut back inside before sending over a perfectly flighted cross on to the head of substitute Enoch Ako-Adjei who deftly flicked it into the net to send the travelling fans into raptures.
Line Up: Shaw; Walters-Wright, Kirlew-Wright, Krokhin; Domingo-Carrington, Moco, Ndiaye (Chang 88), Dahdouh, Edwards; M'Bango (Dembele 88), Clarke (Ako-Adjei 58).
Subs: Ako-Adjei, Dembele, Daniel, Bassett, Ceesay, Chang, Manley.
Report by Ed Partlett (With an assist by James Tingley)
Saturday 13th August - Northwood 3-2 T&MU
A bright start ended up counting for nothing as
Northwood took the points on opening day amidst
a sweltering heat.
Just three minutes had gone, and many of the
travelling faithful were still taking up their positions, when Enoch Ako-Adjei picked up a through pass and unleashed a ferocious effort from outside the box that curled away from the stretching keeper to give us the lead.
Northwood had a chance of a quick reply, but Sydney Ibie couldn’t take advantage of slack marking and headed over the crossbar.
The visitors seemed to be growing in confidence when Shamal Edwards went on a mazy run, terrific footwork taking him past three defenders but it was asking too much to beat a fourth and he was dispossessed without being able to get a shot in.
On fifteen minutes it was Shamal again who tried a speculative cross-shot, but the back-pedalling keeper was able to get to it and tipped it out for a corner.
Just before the half-hour, the hosts were back on terms when a long throw caused confusion in the box and Ibie, this time, was able to poke the loose ball home.
And they led at the break thanks to a fortuitous penalty decision, Ronan Hutchins was bundled over in the box and Ibie stepped up to lash home his second, sending James Shaw the wrong way.
HT : Northwood 2 T&MU 1
We came out of the blocks quickly at the start of the second period, another run by Edwards caused panic, but his shot was blocked; Enoch retrieved the loose ball and lofted it back in, Eddie M’Bango took it down nicely but dragged his shot just wide of the far post.
It didn’t take long for the Terrors to get back on terms though, a nice touch by Eddie set Ajani Domingo-Carrington away down the right - he side-stepped his man and fired across the box for Ayman Dahdouh to drive home his second in successive weeks and it was 2-2.
We went to the sleep from the re-start, however, and Brandon Kalu’s cross was mis-judged by Shaw allowing Ronan Hutchins to stoop at the far post and guide his header in.
It developed into an open match thereafter, and either side could have added to the goals tally; Shaw atoned for his earlier mistake by saving point blank from Ibie, looking for his hat-trick; 4-2 and the game could have been over there and then.
A quick free-kick sent Mamadou Jallow away down the right, he got to the byline and cut the ball back for Jordan Clarke to run onto, but his curling effort was deflected away for a corner.
Eddie M’Bango had another chance, but his close-range shot was too close to the keeper. It still felt there was something there for Tooting, however, as the game entered the final minutes and, but for a tremendous save, we would have been travelling back to south London with our first point on the board; after a goalmouth scramble, the ball fell to Clarke on the edge of the box, and his curling effort looked to be heading for the top corner when keeper Andrew McCorkell somehow managed to defy gravity to get enough on it to tip the ball over for a corner. World class moments don’t happen in Northwood, but it was a save that certainly wouldn’t have been out of place several levels higher and it was enough to deny the Terrors at the death on a frustrating afternoon.
T&MU : Shaw, Domingo-Carrington, Edwards (Jallow 58”), Walters-Wright, Krokhin, Kirklew-Wright, Dahdouh (Akinnibi 72”), Moco, M’;Bango, Ndiaye, Ako-Adjei (Clarke 60”)
SUBS NOT USED : Bassett, Chang.
Attendance : 154
Report - Ed Parlett
Tuesday 16th August - T&MU 0-0 Merstham
The opening home game of the season developed into a cagey affair - with both sides defending deep and keeping a tight defensive shape, it was probably no surprise that the match finished goalless.
Merstham, relegated from the Isthmian Premier last time around, are one of the promotion favourites but after a humbling opening day defeat at home, were determined to leave Imperial Fields with at least a point - which they managed after a dour affair.
Spurred on by a good midweek crowd, it was the Terrors who made most of the early running. In-form Enoch Ako-Adjei was put clear by a through ball out of defence, outpaced his marker, and drove in a cross-shot from a difficult angle that flashed wide of the target.
Eddie M'bango also looked lively early on, and was bundled over by two visiting defenders which may have resulted in a spot-kick from another referee but the official on this evening deemed it a fair challenge.
Eddie made another surging run down the right, several minutes later but his cut-back into the area was crowded out for a corner.
Then he was away again, set free by Enoch after he'd seized on a loose ball. Eddie got to the byline but nobody had anticipated the break and his cross flashed across the six-yard box without anybody challenging for the hosts.
Eddie escaped down the opposite flank just before the break, played a nice one-two with Jordan Clarke who was closed down by the Merstham defence - the ball was cleared out to Pedro Moco who tried his luck from distance, but just cleared the bar.
HT : T&MU 0 Merstham 0
As the second half progressed, chances became fewer with neither side prepared to risk compromising themselves at the back, although a speculative cross-shot from the visitors that nestled in the side-netting was perhaps the closest they had come all night.
A nice turn by Ayman Dahdouh in the midfield enabled him to release Enoch but he was crowded out by two defenders before being able to set himself for a shot.
Cory Walters-Wright was another to try a long-range effort but didn't threaten Joe Ringer in the Merstham goal, and it looked like the match was petering out when the visitors almost nicked it at the death; a promising move down the left culminated in Lorenzo Lewis finding himself in the penalty box with the ball at his feet, he let it run across him and then hit a powerful drive which cannoned back off the angle of post and bar and left us breathing a huge sigh of relief, as the final whistle went shortly afterward.
T&MU : Shaw, Domingo-Carrington, Jallow (sub : Edwards 83"), Moco, Walters-Wright, Kirlew-Wright, Dahdouh, Ndiaye, M'Bango, Clarke (sub : Chang 68"), Ako-Adjei (sub : Akinnibi 89").
SUBS NOT USED : Cole, Bassett.
Attendance : 211
Report : Ed Parlett
Saturday 20th August - T&MU 1-2 VCD Athletic
It was another disappointing early exit from the FA Cup as VCD poached a last minute winner after a fairly even encounter looked to be heading back to north Kent for a Tuesday night replay.
We had looked enterprising early on, a first minute move saw Shamal Edwards slip a ball through the left-hand channel, and Ayman Dahdouh take it on before crossing it back into the box where Baye Ndiaye challenged for it in the air, but was questionably penalised.
The left side was looking fruitful as Mo Jallow got away and powered past two men before being crowded out near the touchline as he tried to square it back across.
Shamal then made a challenge to win a loose ball and send Jordan Clarke away but his shot from distance arrowed away from danger and dropped harmlessly wide.
A breakthrough looked imminent, but when it came minutes later, it was our visitors who found themselves with the advantage; Youssef Bamba made a surging run down the right and fired in a shot which James Shaw did well to parry, but unfortunately the ball fell to Anthony Adesite who impressively angled a diving header into the net.
Spurred on by this, VCD could have made it two shortly after, though had they done so the Assistant Referee may have had a question or two to answer as he seemed to ignore the fact that the ball looked to have clearly gone behind the right touchline during the build-up. Nevertheless, a cross was fired in and Adesite got his head to the ball just before the advancing Shaw, but couldn't direct it on target this time and saw it bounce wide of the target.
There was a nice break out of defence by the Terrors, and a sweeping move upfield that saw Jordan and Shamal gelling nicely, before Shamal cut the ball back for Clarke, whose shot was deflected wide for a corner.
On the half-hour, Enoch Ako-Adjei gathered a ball in midfield, and tried to power his way into the box but was unceremoniously cut down just outside. Jordan Clarke stepped up to take the free-kick, and drilled it low to the keeper's left to bring us, deservedly, on terms.
Just before the break, VCD threatened again after a free-kick caused confusion in the home penalty area; as it fell to an attacker, Shaw looked unsighted but did well to recover his bearings and tip the ball over the bar.
HT : T&MU 1 VCD Athletic 1
Shaw had to be alert again early in the second half to block a shot with his legs, but as the game wore on it looked less likely to be decided at the first time of asking. The hosts were enjoying the bulk of possession but VCD were keeping their shape and chances were at a premium now. However, with the clock ticking down, VCD were awarded a free-kick on the left-hand side, the ball was floated over and Joe Tennent found himself unmarked as he headed in the visitors' second of the afternoon, leaving us with very little time to reply.
Substitute Anuar Ceesay did look lively, and he slipped fellow sub Eddie M'Bango away down the right; his cross back into the danger zone almost found Enoch running on to it but George Kamurasi in the VCD goal read it well and snuffed out the danger.
Indeed, as we committed everybody forward in a last-ditch attempt at parity, VCD almost broke away to add a third at the death but an unmarked attacker was unable to find the target and put his header over. The damage had already been done, though, and hopes of glory in the famous old competition had gone for another year.
T&MU : Shaw, Domingo-Carrington, Jallow (sub : M'Bango 54"), Chang (sub : Bassett 78"), Walters-Wright, Kirlew-Wright, Ndiaye, Dahdouh (sub : Ceesay 63"), Edwards, Clarke, Ako-Adjei.
Subs not used : Akinnibi, Dembele, Cole.
Attendance : 254
Report : Ed Parlett.
Saturday 27th August - T&MU 0-1 Marlow
We were left without a win in three league outings as Marlow scored the only goal of a tempestuous affair right at the start of the second period to steal the points.
It had been an intriguing opening to the game; our visitors had the first half-chance when a free-kick was awarded on the edge of the penalty area, but Tristan Campbell’s deflected effort sailed over the bar.
Nikolai Krokhin’s height and long throws were destined to cause problems for Marlow all afternoon, and from one of the latter Jordan Clarke challenged and won the ball well in the air, before setting Eddy M’Bango away for a break down the right. Deft footwork took him past the covering defender and his cross-shot into the box was fumbled by keeper Aaron Watkins, who managed to fall on it at the second attempt as Baye Ndiaye sniffed around him hoping to capitalise on anything loose.
A poor clearance from Krokhin was then picked up by Benjamin Mulley who fed Chris Chapple but with team mates descending on the box, Chapple elected to try his luck from an acute angle and didn’t trouble James Shaw.
It was an open game at this point, and developing nicely when, after what looked a 50/50 challenge in the middle of the park, referee Elliott Spencer saw fit to not only penalise us with the award of a free-kick to our visitors, he doubled the punishment by brandishing a red-card to Leevi Bassett to the astonishment of most in the ground.
As we attempted to gather ourselves, David Rogalski engaged Pedro Moco in a foot race for a long ball, with the Marlow man coming out on top and driving a shot goalward which Shaw did well to block with his legs.
Pedro atoned shortly after by winning a loose ball in midfield and then set Eddy away down the middle but the big man struggled to get the ball under proper control and a defender was able to get a foot in and clear.
Despite the deficiency in numbers, we were beginning to get on top of things and with Krokhin causing more panic with a long throw, the ball bobbled around as if it were in a pinball machine before Baye showed nice feet to get to the byline but his attempt at a cross was blocked out for a corner.
From the kick, Shamal Edwards received it short and then slalomed into the box where he twisted, turned and floated the ball over towards the far post but Nikolai’s header looped onto the roof of the net.
There was a lengthy stoppage as a Tooting player received treatment after being flattened; Mr. Spencer’s decision not to take any action led to an enquiry as to why from Jordan Clarke - and all he received for his query was a yellow card of his own!
As half-time approached, another Nikolai long-throw dive bombed into the six yard box and it was very nearly an own goal as Curtis Ujah headed against his own man, Alexander Salmon and the ball skewed just wide of the post.
HT : T&MU 0 Marlow 0
The second half got away with Marlow driving forward and forcing a corner, the Tooting defence were unable to clear the danger and it was headed back across goal for Curtis Ujah to net with a firm header at the far post.
Having broken the deadlock, and with a man advantage, the onus was on Marlow to press on and make the game safe, but they were unable to do so as a determined Terrors side began to surge forward as if they had the numerical advantage.
Mo Jallow was starting to become a major force down the left flank, and he did well to hold the ball up against three players, before looping a cross over to the far post where Eddy M’Bango was crowded out - the legality of this was borderline - by two players, allowing Watkins to gather.
Jallow broke again moments later and drove the ball into the side netting and it was starting to look as if an equaliser was imminent.
We changed things round as Pedro departed for Malachai Cole, Kareem Akinnibi replaced Nikolai, and Antonio Dembele came on for Baye and two of the substitutes very nearly combined for a deserved goal as Kareem danced past two defenders on the edge of the box and then squared it to Antonio whose well-struck shot looked to be heading low into the bottom corner but a deflection took it just past the post.
The last chance came and went when a free-kick was slipped down the right, Jaiden Chang crossed the ball in and Kareem, on the volley and from a difficult angle, could only send his effort wide.
It was a commendable effort under difficult circumstances, but three more points had fallen by the wayside and a difficult trip to Guernsey awaited.
T&MU : Shaw, Edwards, Jallow, Krokhin (Akinnibi 79”), Chang, Kirlew-Wright, Ndiaye (Dembele 72”), Moco (Cole 64”), M’Bango, Bassett (S/O), Clarke.
SUBS NOT USED : Walters-Wright, Ceesay
Attendance : 158
Report : Ed Parlett.
Monday 29th August - Guernsey 0-2 T&MU
Tooting finally racked up their first victory of the season with a fine victory on Bank Holiday Monday to raise spirits in the camp no end.
The Terrors started the game in the best possible fashion. Inside the first 90 seconds, a long ball from the edge of the Tooting defence to the right flank, some good play resulted in a cross to Enoch on the edge of the box who was immediately hacked to the ground giving the referee no option but to point to the spot.
Tooting’s recent penalty record goes without saying but Enoch settled any nerves by confidently smashing the ball to the keeper’s right, sending him the wrong way.
Guernsey arguably had the majority of the possession thereafter and attempted to play the game in style with good build-up play from the back. Tooting did well to nullify any pressure with a stronger physical presence. The Guernsey number 3, Thomas Dodds, was particularly impressive, showing a constant presence.
It took 8 minutes for Guernsey to have their first attempt at goal with a long throw from the right evading the Tooting back line and being headed 2 yards over James Shaw’s goal. 2 minutes later, a long ball over the top reached the Guernsey number 9, Sam Murray, only for his shot to be comfortably saved by James Shaw who had a very solid game between the sticks that inspired confidence throughout his team-mates.
3 minutes later and a heavy aerial challenge between Thomas Vaudin and Baye Ndiaye resulted in Baye requiring medical treatment but was back on the pitch moments later. No chants of ‘Bruno and his magic sponge’ to be heard today!
20 minutes in and Guernsey were growing further into the game having the majority of the possession but unable to create any clear-cut opportunities. Shamal Edwards made his presence known in no uncertain terms to the Guernsey left flank with a superb perfectly timed tackle to clear the ball out for a throw-in. Most of Guernsey’s better attacking play came from the left flank with the link-up play between Robbie Legg and Ross Allen creating a few difficulties. Most of the crosses coming in did not find a green shirt and the Tooting defence reacted well to release any pressure. Mo Jallow was having a fine game, not often putting a foot wrong.
Guernsey became frustrated with their own lack of ability to create anything in front of goal, and the game became scrappier with both teams losing possession cheaply.
Shaw went down after collecting the ball amid pressure from a Guernsey player but it was unclear whether any contact was malicious and no caution was given.
The next passage of creative play came in the 30th minute when a brilliant through-ball to Eddy M’Bango left him one-on-one with the keeper . Ed will probably wish he’d taken a shot on goal as his decision to go round the keeper only gave the Guernsey defence the opportunity to clear the danger. A gilt-edged chance to go 2-0 up went begging, but Ed would make up for it in the dying minutes of the game.
3 minutes later some sloppy defending in the Terror’s back line gifted the ball to Guernsey only for a shot to go well wide of James Shaw’s goal; Shaw had so far not had a save of note to make.
On 36 minutes, Shaw did have to be alert to a wicked deflected shot from outside the box to retrieve the ball down to his left hand side. The deflection took the power out of the shot but James did well to be alert to it.
Very shortly after, there would have been nothing he could do as a cross from the right eluded everyone and would certainly have gone in had it been on target. Luckily it bounced off the crossbar and away to safety. That was a let-off but would have been a fluke if scored.
HT : Guernsey 0 T&MU 1
Guernsey certainly began the second period as the better team, and enjoyed plenty of possession in the Tooting half = both full-backs had to be alert to avert any threats.
A strong challenge by Kieron Mahon deservedly earned a yellow card from the referee, who controlled the game well for the majority with quick and decisive decisions.
Tooting’s first shot of the second half came from Jallow whose rocket of a 30 yard strike was tipped over by Josh Addison.
Guernsey were still enjoying the majority of the possession and it was good work down the left-hand side which resulted in a cross hitting the post and going behind for a goal-kick. This posed no threat as Shaw would have picked the ball up had the ball travelled inside the post. Guernsey were certainly still well in this game.
On 60 minutes, Guernsey’s best chance of the afternoon was blazed over the bar. Shaw was a delighted spectator but the home fans were mortified that the shot didn’t at least hit the target!
5 minutes later a loud shout for a Guernsey penalty was turned down. Moments later a Guernsey official showed us a picture going round social media that showed the ball at least 1 millimetre from Kynan’s hand (wink).
It soon dawned on us that this was going to be Tooting’s day. We heard later how much of an ordeal it had been for the players getting here so it looked like this element of luck was deserved by the team, especially given the early season results not going their way and being short of luck on a number of occasions.
On 72 minutes, some great workrate and strength by Eddy M’Bango under pressure from surrounding defenders earned his team a free-kick. 30 yards out, and to the right of the target, Shamal Edwards showed confidence to go for goal but it drifted well wide.
2 minutes later, a corner from Guernsey fell to an unmarked player who, astonishingly, managed to head the ball wide of Shaw’s right hand post when it looked easier to score. Guernsey’s wastefulness in front of goal was to cost them dearly but they were still showing plenty of determination to find the equaliser. Had this gone in, Guernsey would certainly have been favourites going into the last 15 minutes of the game.
A minute later, Shaw made another routine save and stayed down. Was there some gamesmanship going on here? So claimed a few locals who were growing despondent with the Terror’s keeper. James was booked for time-wasting which led to some back and forth on Twitter which I will leave to your imagination!
Enoch was working hard to lead the line for Tooting and won a corner after good play down the left-hand side. It was a wise decision to substitute him for Ayman Dahdouh on 82 minutes - his job was done for the day.
The crucial second goal arrived on 85 minutes. A ball forward was held up by Antonio Dembele who unselfishly set up Eddy M’Bango a few yards to his right. A fierce shot took a slight deflection on its way into the net leaving the goalkeeper with no chance. The 3 points were now certainly going back to south London - Eddy’s goal was well deserved for his efforts.
Guernsey had a late spell of pressure with a shot going well wide, but their day was done and the Tooting defence held firm in the closing stages for a well deserved victory.
Overall, it must be noted that the team showed grit and determination to win given the challenging circumstances. Who knows what they can achieve over the course of the season? But this was certainly a sign of progress in the right direction.
Up the stripes!
T&MU : Shaw, Edwards, Jallow, Walters-Wright, Kirlew-Wright, Chang, Ndiaye, Moco (Cole 70”), M’Bango, Dembele, Ako-Adjei (Dahdouh 83”).
SUBS NOT USED : Hart, Akinnibi, Ceesay.
Attendance : 625 (2 away!)
Report : Paul Dennis & Dom Betts.