MATCH REPORTS OCTOBER 2022
Saturday 1st October - T&MU 1-1 South Park (Reigate)
Imperial Fields welcomed some of the greats from the past, to celebrate the launch of Jeff Brooks' new book ('the Tooting Terrors in the Seventies'), but much of the football on display did not do justice to the heroics of the likes of Messrs Cobb, Juneman and Ives as their modern-day incarnations laboured to an uninspiring stalemate.
Perhaps the result itself should not have been too much of a surprise - this was the third time in succession that a visit from South Park has ended one apiece - but the best that can be said about the afternoon is that at least a half-time deficit was overcome, and defeat averted; however, the bare facts are it was a fourth home league match of the season without a win (six in all competitions), and Edd M'Bango's second half equaliser was the first time we have registered a league goal on our own territory this campaign - miserable stats indeed.
South Park were compact, held their shape well and defended with discipline; but should have been opposition we were capable of overcoming if we're going to make any progress in this division. The team were freshened up by a few new signings and the return of Alex Filipe was certainly welcomed alongside Tayo Oyebola (starting) and Harvey Browne (on the bench).
Tayo looked lively early on, and Filipe carved out the first half chance when his cross-cum shot from the left caught on the wind and had to be tipped over by a back-pedalling Zak Basey in the visitor’s goal.
Tooting kept up the early pressure and Edd M'Bango flashed a ball across the six yard box that caused some confusion as a number of players went for it leaving Basey down in a heap and the ball running loose to a well-placed Jordan Clarke; as he shaped to shoot, the whistle was blown with Basey still grounded. He got up rather quickly after the briefest treatment, and play resumed with a drop-ball on the edge of the box to much consternation from the home support.
South Park hadn’t really shown much in attack, but took the lead on the half-hour when Ryan Healey’s diagonal pass wasn’t dealt with and Ethan Ford steered the ball past James Shaw.
The Terrors forced a series of corners as the half drew to a close, and came close when Cory Walters-Wright headed toward goal but Basey touched it over leaving us trailing at the break.
There was much huffing and puffing as the second half progressed, but no real cutting edge from either side and it was something of a surprise when a long ball drifted towards the far post and Edd M’Bango, almost on the goal-line, managed to direct his header in for the equaliser.
Neither side really looked likely to win it after that, although a nice move between Edd and substitute Anuar Ceesay almost led to a winner, but the latter could only drive wide from a tight angle after a nice one-two; perhaps another pass might have yielded more but with time running out, that was the final action of a disappointing ninety minutes.
T&MU : Shaw, Edwards (Jallow 45”), Filipe (Browne 76”), Walters-Wright, Daly, Kirlew-Wright, Douglas (Ceesay 80”), Ndiaye, Oyebola, M’Bango, Clarke.
Subs Not Used : Krokhin, Moco.
Attendance : 205
Report : Ed Parlett
Wednesday 5th October - Sevenoaks Town 2-1 T&MU
Velocity Trophy 1st Round
Another knockout competition fell by the wayside as we departed the Velocity Cup on a chilly night in Kent. With several first team regulars unavailable, it was an opportunity for some of the youngsters to impress and, despite the result, one or two of them did just that.
Jet Harris made his senior debut in goal, and showed potential. He was called into action early on, flicking away a shot from Yahaya Bamba who had sidestepped Ajani Domingo-Carrington to create the chance.
Jet was unlucky to be left exposed in the tenth minute, when Freddie Parker took advantage of some lax marking to open the scoring with a drive across the keeper from the right hand edge of the box.
Tooting went on the attack, looking for a quick equaliser, and the host's keeper, Reginald Rose, looked nervy as good pressure from Edd M'Bango led to him rushing an attempted clearance. Harvey Browne, making his first Terror's start, did well to kill the loose ball, but shot well wide as he turned.
Some good hustling of the home defence by Anuar Ceesay led to him engineering a half-chance, but from a difficult angle, he could only find the side netting.
Alex Filipe went on a lung-bursting run down the left flank, and left a couple of home defenders in his wake before firing in a great cross. A defender just about managed to hook it away as Edd pressured again, but the ball fell to Baye Ndiaye on the edge of the box. His shot was deflected into the grateful arms of the keeper but we were beginning to look worthy of an equaliser at this stage.
Sensing this, Sevenoaks stepped up their own efforts, and Jet was called into action again when a mix-up at the back led to Parker's close-range effort which Harris did well to block.
There wasn't much he could do just past the half-hour, though, as ex-Terror Omari Hibbert thundered his way down the left side, and cut back inside to unleash a ferocious drive which rocketed past Jet to double the host's advantage.
Just before the break, Tooting put together a pleasing move; Edd put the pressure on the home defence again, running purposefully at a cowering back line; he squared to Harvey who had matched the run, but was well covered by his marker. He did well to retain control, and squeezed the ball back to Pedro Moco, advancing from midfield to assist the attack. Pedro struck the ball cleanly, but couldn't keep it down and it just cleared the bar.
HT : Sevenoaks T. 2 T&MU 0
Tooting began the second period brightly, with the home keeper continuing to look shaky, and pressured several times into playing questionable balls across his own penalty area as his wing-backs felt sufficiently concerned that they didn't bother venturing too far forward. Anuar, Edd and Harvey were continuing to keep the pressure on, and it looked as if Rose could crack at any point.
With such a deep back line, it was difficult for the visitors to create any sort of meaningful chances though, although Alex Filipe did drop another useful cross into the corridor of uncertainty which the home defence managed to hack clear at the third attempt as the ball pinged round the six-yard box, with Harvey attempting, but failing, to get something on it.
Sevenoaks broke clear, and almost extended their lead (which would have been cruel) when Jordy Ndozid's drive from distance deflected for a corner, from which another ex-Terror, Lexus Beeden, headed firmly wide.
We made a couple of changes to freshen things up, with the returning Raees Bangura-Williams a welcome sight on his first outing of the season.
Rose was continuing to pfaff around at the back, and Edd once again took advantage of his hesitancy to dispossess him and feed Harvey who shot wide.
Tooting were getting involved again and some good pressure brought half chances for Edd, who tried to work an opening on the edge of the box, but his shot was blocked by a frantic defence, and Harvey again, who volleyed over from another Filipe cross.
The pressure finally told as the game entered the last ten minutes; sub Ayman Dahdouh beat his marker, and flashed a low ball into the danger zone which Harvey Browne steered past Rose. It was no more than we deserved, though Rose decided to play silly beggars again by refusing to release the ball as we attempted to get the game re-started as quickly as possible. Having already been booked for some petulant nonsense earlier, Rose was lucky not to have left his side bereft of a recognised keeper for the closing period.
We piled on the pressure once action had finally resumed; from a corner kick, Ayman tried a shot from distance but couldn't get sufficient power behind it and Rose held, but the closest we came to an equaliser was Edd M'Bango's effort from Alex Filipe's cross which was deflected wide for a corner as our last chance drifted away on the cold Kentish wind.
T&MU : Harris, Domingo-Carrington, Filipe, Krokhin, Chang, Kirlew-Wright, Ndiaye (sub : Dahdouh 75"), Moco (sub : Bangura-Williams 60"), M'Bango, Ceesay (sub : Douglas 61"), Browne.
Subs not used : Dauda, Akinnibi.
Attendance : 132
Report : Ed Parlett.
Saturday 15th October - T&MU 0-2 Westfield
Bright sunshine accompanied a dramatic downpour to leave a picturesque rainbow straddling the main stand t Imperial Fields, but there was to be no pot of gold as the Terrors slumped to another home defeat, sending us tumbling to the nether reaches of the table.
Despite the poor form, particularly at home, there was a vibrant atmosphere beforehand as many of the Bog End faithful anticipated that Westfield, just two points and two places above us at start of play, may prove the ideal opposition to finally kick-start our season.
It seemed justified early on, as Tooting made the early running. New boys Harvey Browne and Tayo Oyebola were linking up well, and the latter was inches away from getting on the end of Alex Filipe's whipped in cross.
Westfield created the first real opening, though, when they advanced to force a corner, from which Jonathan Sanchez shot just over as the ball fell to him.
Visiting keeper Sonny Wheeler was almost playing as on old fashioned sweeper, given the number of times he advanced off his line to thwart long balls forward as we attempted to set Tayo away.
There were hearts in mouths for the visitors when a Westfield defender, in attempting to clear, struck the ball against his own team-mate and the ball ran agonisingly toward the goal, before trickling just wide.
There was mis-communication at the back as Westfield broke, and James Shaw had to save well from Florian Adu, but Tooting finished the half in the ascendancy when Enoch Ako-Adjei advanced purposefully down the right flank, cut back inside and fed the ball to Harvey Browne whose curled effort just drifted away from the angle of post and bar.
Then Jordan Clarke advanced menacingly and sprayed the ball out wide to the overlapping Alex Filipe. His cross cum shot eluded everyone, before dropping just wide of the far post.
HT : T&MU 0 Westfield 0
It was the visitors who started the second half on the front foot - perhaps as a result of an earbashing in the changing room. Daniel Goather-Braithwaite, a wing-back who had been largely anonymous thus far, seemed to see more of the ball in the opening five minutes of the second half than he had in all of the preceding forty-five. He twice crossed, forcing James Shaw to punch clear on the first occasion, and the home defence to hack it away on the second; Westfield had woken up, but the home defence was (just about) coping.
Tooting countered nicely form the next foray forward by the visitors; Jordan broke up an attack nicely, fed Harvey who was running outside of him, and he attempted to find Alex Filipe with a diagonal ball which was read well by the defence and cleared.
Jordan ran on to pick up the loose ball, tricked his marker, cut back inside and fired a cross to the far post where Tayo and Enoch both awaited but Wheeler just managed to tip it away from both.
It was end-to-end now, and a goal looked imminent; it just wasn't clear who was going to benefit from it. A Westfield break yielded a corner, from which James had to be alert, holding down well to his left. Then Cory Walters-Wright did well to track the run of Adu, and put in an outstanding block-tackle just as the striker shaped to shoot.
However, from the corner, the breakthrough came. The ball was lofted to the far side of the area where midfielder John Adebeyi had strayed, not picked up by the home defence. He connected perfectly to volley the ball back across the area and into the far corner to the, almost palpable, despair of the home crowd; not again, surely?
We made a couple of changes in an attempt to get back into the game; Anuar Ceesay looked particularly lively in his efforts to make things happen and a great ball from him set fellow sub Edd M'bango away through the middle. Edd outpaced his marker and drove a ferocious shot goalwards but Wheeler got just enough on it to tip it over the bar. It was as close as we were to come all afternoon.
Mo Jallow had joined the fray, and was making inroads down the left flank; his balls in had led to token efforts from Anuar Ceesay (wide), Cory Walters-Wright (blocked) and Edd M'Bango (saved) but it began to look as if the Terrors could labour all evening, without ever finding the breakthrough, and a second goal - if it were to come at all - was more likely at the other end as the visitors looked to counter at every opportunity.
The salt-in-the-wound moment came in stoppage-time, as the soft award of a free-kick was punished with an even softer goal by former home favourite Troy Walters, who placed a through ball through a defensive wall that just seemed to melt away leaving James Shaw exposed. It was the final nail in the coffin of another dismal afternoon.
T&MU : Shaw, Ako-Adjei, Filipe (Jallow 62"), Daly, Walters-Wright, Chang, Ndiaye, Moco (Ceesay 70"), Oyebola (M'Bango 63"), Clarke, Browne.
Subs Not Used : Kirlew-Wright, Douglas.
Attendance : 197
Report : Ed Parlett
Tuesday 18th October - Dartford 1-0 T&MU
London Senior Cup 1st Round
The Terrors battled hard, and looked to be on the verge of pulling off an upset at times, before falling to a second half strike that allowed the hosts to advance in the London Senior Cup.
There were several changes to the Terrors line-up, and the small band of travelling fans were heartened by the inclusion of Jake Rose’s name in the starting eleven. Jake was a fan favourite a few years back, and a key figure in the side which lifted this trophy sixteen months ago.
Jet Harris made his second appearance at senior level, and the young keeper certainly impressed with a number of important stops earning him a unanimous decision as man-of-the-match from the visiting support.
He was forced into action twice early on, repelling efforts from Pierre Fonkeu and Kieran Murtagh in impressive fashion, before showing superb reflexes to get down low to his left in turning a curling effort from Davide Rodari around the post.
There was a beautiful spell of one-touch passing from Tooting, as we began to work our way into things. Ayman Dahdouh showed great strength and pace to burst though the middle and drive a shot into the side netting.
But it wasn't long before Jet was called into action again, pulling off another two saves in quick succession before Harvey Browne made inroads down the left flank and showed good control to out-fox his marker before crossing a dangerous looping ball into the box - unfortunately for the visitors, nobody had read his intentions and the ball went harmlessly out of play.
Jet Harris pulled off yet another close-range save from Rodari before we thought we had taken a shock lead, seven minutes before the break. Raees Bangura-Williams curled in a fine ball from the right and Edd Mbango slid to steer it past Tom Wray in the home goal. However, the flag had gone up on the far side in what must have been a very tight call when the ball was played.
We did get the benefit of the doubt at the other end when the Darts were denied an opening goal for the same reason, as the first half finished goalless.
HT : Dartford 0 T&MU 0
The Terrors started the second half on the front foot, and began to increase the pressure on the home defence. Rates Bangura-Williams collected the ball on the edge of the box, side-stepped a defender and lifted a curling effort goalwards. The ball crashed against the bar and fell to Raees again. His low shot was heading for the bottom corner but Wray got down to turn it round the post.
Edd Mbango then showed great strength to outmuscle his marker and crossed for Mo Jallow whose shot was deflected past the post as we kept the pressure on.
On the hour, Dartford mounted their first threat of the second period and Jet was called into action again, repelling an effort at the near post. From the corner, an attacker rose highest but headed just over the bar.
As the travelling fans sensed an upset, Dartford took the lead; a cross from the left finally left Jet exposed, and Alex Wall tapped in the loose ball.
After such a battling effort, it was hard to take and the home side - buoyed by seven consecutive victories prior to the evening - almost doubled their advantage minutes later but Jet, once again, had the answer to the question, beating out another close-range drive.
It wasn't until the closing stages that Tooting threatened to take the tie to penalties - substitute Enoch Ako-Adjei showed tenacity to work an opening, but his shot just dipped wide of the far post and our last hope had disappeared.
T&MU : Harris, Jallow (sub : Edwards 75"), Browne, Krokhin, Chang, Kirlew-Wright, Bangura-Williams, Dahdouh (sub : Ceesay 51"), Mbango (sub : Ako-Adjei 77"), Clarke, Rose (sub : Oyebola 79").
Sub not used : Bassett
Attendance : 148
Report : Ed Parlett
Saturday 22nd October - Sutton Common Rovers 3-0 T&MU
A demoralised Tooting side were ripped apart on a dreadful surface as 'local' rivals Sutton Common Rovers picked up their first home win of the campaign.
Following a gutsy showing at Dartford in midweek, the manager made some key changes, with some of the players who’d with some of the players who’d performed well four days previously given a chance to show what they could do, but on a dreadful playing surface - which shouldn’t really be the case with an artificial pitch! - the gamble didn’t pay off.
Jet Harris, in goal, had performed man-of-the-match heroics in the London Senior Cup tie but from the moment he was left exposed at a 14th minute corner, and Kyron Williams gleefully buried a free header to give Rovers the lead, his afternoon went from bad to worse.
Five minutes later came the sort of aberration every goalkeeper dreads, when he failed to get a clean touch on Kynan Kirlew-Wright’s backpass, and could only slice the ball horribly into his own net.
To be fair to Jet, he could have capitulated from that point on, but showed the strength of his character to pull off some decent stops after that and keep us - just about - in the game.
Just past the half-hour, Anuar Ceesay showed good feet, and found Ayman Dahdouh whose shot was deflected for a corner. From this, the ball was lofted towards the far post where the diving Nikolai Krokhin, impeded by plenty of bodies, headed just wide of the target.
With all three substitutes utilised for the second period, Tooting finally managed to sustain some attacks; Shamal Edwards' introduction certainly gave us the option of somebody who wasn't afraid to run at the home defence yet it seemed his afternoon might have been over before it had really begun when he was chopped down just outside the box by a nasty two-footed challenge, which was somehow deemed only worthy of a yellow card by the referee - and he only seemed to show that as an afterthought while Shamal received lengthy treatment.
Thankfully, he was able to carry on, and Jordan Clarke floated in a free-kick which fell to another sub, Leevi Bassett, whose shot was blocked but at least some resistance was being shown.
We managed a decent spell of pass-and-move which resulted in Edd being pushed over as he attempted to make inroads in the box, but our shouts for a penalty fell on deaf ears.
Another free-kick floated into the box fell nicely to Anuar, whose first effort was crowded out, but the ball came back to him and he couldn't find the target with his second, drifting it wide.
But just when it looked like we might force an interesting last period, the lively Jephte Tanga - who’d been a thorn in the side of the visiting defence all afternoon - raced clear to drive the ball across the diving Harris, and seal the points for the home side whilst increasing our woes at the foot of the table. side, increasing our woes at the foot of the table.
T&MU : Harris, Browne (sub : Edwards HT), Ako-Adjei, Krokhin, Chang, Kirlew-Wright, Douglas (sub : Mbango HT), Dahdouh, Oyebola (sub : Bassett HT), Ceesay, Clarke.
Subs not used : Ndiaye, Shaw
Attendance : 96
Report : Ed Parlett
Saturday 29th October - T&MU 2-1 Bedfont Sports
A huge sigh of relief engulfed Imperial Fields on Saturday, as the Terrors finally bagged their first home win of the season against fellow strugglers, Bedfont Sports.
This was a vital three points to bank, and hopes will be high that it can kick-start our season.
Both teams were, understandably, cautious early on, but the Terrors began to put their foot on the accelerator and took the lead just past the quarter hour mark as Bedfont wilted under a sustained period of home pressure.
Enoch Ako-Adjei began and finished the move; he burst down the right-hand side, and cut the ball back across the six yard box. A defender attempted to clear, but the ball broke to Raees Bangura-Williams who showed nifty feet to engineer a shooting opportunity, which was deflected to Harvey Browne on the edge of the box. His blocked effort fell to Jake Rose, whose shot was cleared off the line by Olukayode Osu. Jordan Clarke picked up the loose ball and floated it back into the danger zone where former Tooting keeper Gary Ross fumbled and Enoch seized on the loose ball to drive it under him for his fourth goal of the season.
Bedfont were stung into action, and began to create chances of their own, but the home defence stood firm. We were probably a little fortunate when striker Michael Goddard headed over when well placed, but perhaps - for a change - we had earned our luck.
As the second half progressed, both teams began to feel the pressure - our nerves started to look a little frayed as we inched closer to the win, Bedfont huffed and puffed but their inability to create anything tangible frustrated them as they sensed the points slipping away on the bricks of the re-assembled 'Wandle Wall'.
With six minutes left, they found an opening - and a little good fortune. A free-kick was needlessly conceded midway down the left, and was floated towards the far post where Edd Mbango headed it clear, under pressure from a Bedfont attacker. Edd went down as a result of the head-clash, and didn't move. With concerned home players appealing for the game to be stopped for immediate treatment to their stricken team-mate, the referee waved play on and Bedfont crossed back into the danger zone. Distracted defenders failed to clear and the ball fell to Nicallas Araujo who slipped it past James Shaw.
Heads have dropped in similar situations recently; to Tooting's credit, they didn't here. Driven on by the encouragement from behind the goal, Tooting pressed for a winner and - for once - managed to find it. As the game entered stoppage time, Edd Mbango seized on a ball down the left channel, used his pace and strength to put-strip his marker and cut back inside to fire a fierce effort goalwards. Ross did well to parry the effort, but it fell to Raees just inside the box who kept his head to place the ball home and spark the sort of celebrations not seen in these parts for many a month. Onwards and upwards!
T&MU : Shaw, Ako-Adjei (sub : Edwards 66"), Browne, Krokhin, Filipe, Daly, Bangura-Williams, Chang, Oyebola (sub : Mbango 62"), Clarke (sub : Dahdouh 72"), Rose.
Subs not used : Walters-Wright, Ceesay.
Attendance : 264
Report : Ed Parlett.