St Margaretsbury U18s 3 Buckhurst Hill U18s 2
FA Youth Cup Preliminary Round
Thursday 1st September
The Stags sadly succumbed to their hosts in a close tight game that was ultimately won by the hosts due to them taking their chances, while we spurned a few of our own in a game that at times failed to fully ignite.
The opening stages were relatively incident free, with only a few crosses making their way into the respective boxes, which both keepers dealt with easily enough. Hayden Ashdown did have to make one excellent save in the 17th minute when a St Margaretsbury player had a shot from some distance, while moments later Jones just failed connecting with a teasing cross into the box that had left the keeper stranded.
Then on 25 minutes the deadlock was broken as Louen Angolhall was fed a ball just inside our box, and he managed to lift over Ashdown to give the hosts the lead.
The game ignited at that point, with Ashdown having to collect a deep cross soon after the re-start. However we managed to win a corner, which their keeper punched clear, before going on to make two back-to-back saves to prevent us from equalising.
In the 33rd minute the Stags did manage to pull level after Jones was hauled down in the box. Jones then stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 1-1.
We were to be level for a mere three minutes though, because Lekai Whiley was able to pace into the pace before drilling a shot into the roof of the net.
But our lads picked themselves up, saw Gleghorn have a shot parried by the keeper, before a mix-up saw Johnson rush out of his box, make a hash of clearing the ball, allowing Jones to have a long range effort that only narrowly missed the target.
Jones was given another opportunity in first half stoppage time, when he slammed home another penalty to make it 2-2 at the break.
Jones turned his marker and had a shot deflected for a corner, and the opening minutes of the half did see a bit of Buckhurst Hill pressure.
However in the 54th minute it was St Margaretsbury’s turn to be awarded a penalty and from it Whiley made no mistake, thumping it past Ashdown to put his side back in front.
Ferris had two free kicks saved by the keeper, then a goalmouth melee saw a couple of shots blocked before a foul on the keeper saw the hosts awarded a free kick.
The hosts then had a little spell of pressure, without creating any chances beyond a free kick that Ashdown saved.
The final 15 minutes saw the Stags create a few chances, but lady luck it seemed had left the stadium a tad early, as luck certainly deserted us. A free kick from Sayer caused the keeper to make a real hash of it and another goal-line melee ensued until the hosts finally managed to get the ball away from danger. A shot from Wilson lacked power and was easily saved by Johnson, who then saved a Gleghorn shot, as well as the rebound, before requiring one of his posts to keep out another Gleghorn effort in the closing stages. And then when we did finally get the ball across the line it it was promptly disallowed as the referee had seen a foul on the St Margaretsbury keeper.
It was a valiant performance, and Johnson certainly was the busier of the two keepers. However St Margaretsbury were able to close off the game and progress to the next round.
Buckhurst Hill: Hayden Ashdown, Campbell Wilson (Archie Sherrin 75′), Dan Sayer, Hasnan Khan, Joe Stewart, Reagan Pownceby (Eden Reyes 67′), James Deaney, Alfred Gleghorn, Jude Jones, Brodie Gingell (Zafar Ghafar 64′), Jack Ferris.
Scorer – Jude Jones (33’p, 45’+2p).