Back to winning ways
Tadley-Calleva got back to winning ways on Saturday, recording a comfortable win at home to Camberley Town.
Tadley, coming off the back of defeat in the FA Vase currently sit mid table in the Combined Counties Premier South but have at least three games in hand on others in the league, due to early season cup commitments and know immediate form is vital to reach their pre season targets.
After switching sides due to a lost coin toss, the hosts got the match underway under a blanket of mild autumn sunshine and immediately looked to threaten the opposing goal. Jack French had the first effort of the fixture which he saw tipped round the far post and out for a corner before, just moments later, Tadley should have been a goal to the good.
A corner from the left hand side was swung in, directed to the penalty spot where the ball was directed goalwards, after another save from the Camberley number one the ball fell to Brad Neal who was all alone in the six yard box. He hit the ball with power and looked certain to score until up popped the Camberley shot stopper once more to deny the home side.
The visitors were growing into the game and alot of play moved to the middle of the park , both team however unable to build any momentum due to a high turnover of possession.
As Tadley were pressing for an opener, Camberley hit them on the counter and forced a corner on the far right hand side. The ball was floated to the back post where Cavan Atkinson rose the highest to nod the ball into the back of the net and put the away side ahead.
The away sides joy lasted just a matter of minutes as Tadley hit back in style. Connor Thorne picked the ball up in the middle and shifted it right, to Morrissey who found Darboe in the middle, the midfielder took a touch, laid the ball to the oncoming Hargood who wrapped the ball into the far corner, leaving the goalkeeper no chance and sending the Barlow’s Park crowd into euphoria.
Tadley were level, and deservedly so.
Two fantastic saves from both goalkeepers saw the scores kept level at the half. Adam Hargood’s free kick was beaten away at ‘The Pit’ end just moments before the half while Tadleys Craig Atkinson pulled off a wonderful diving save to his right from a long range effort that looked destined for the top corner.
A closely fought first forty-five minutes with Tadley edging the chances. Something that would continue into a clinical second half.
Just four minutes after the restart, Hargood was again playing a pivotal role in his team’s success. A long, direct ball from captain Jordan Goater released Hargood in a foot race against his opposing number. With the goalkeeper also on-rushing, Hargood managed to get a toe to the ball to knock it past the goalkeeper and into the path of Fragata who was on hand to finish an easy tap in and give the hosts the lead for the first time in the match.
With a lot of the play still in the middle third, both sides were battling for possession but again, both conceding the ball cheaply.
There were just over twenty minutes to go when a game changing save from Tadley’s Craig Atkinson sparked a counter attack that all but put the game to bed as a contest.
A Camberley corner from the left hand side was met well by the head and looked a certain goal, until the outstretched arm of Tadley’s shot stopper stopped the ball in its track, allowing for a short clearance to Connor Thorne who activated the counter attack. Backed by four team mates, Tadley had outnumbered their opponents defence and broke with blistering pace. Dan Morrissey drove the ball into the box before squaring it to Sheldon Wright who’s cushioned pass fell nicely to Jack French who fired home into the bottom corner to double the hosts lead.
With weather conditions worsening, Tadley conceded a second. A ball from the right skidded off the now soaking surface into the six yard box where a 50/50 tackle saw the ball drop to Anoyke who fired the ball into the back of the net from close range.
Tadley had to weather a storm, both from the sky and the onslaught of red shirts flooding into their final third. Another wonderful save from Atkinson kept the red sea at bay.
With Camberley streaming forward, Tadley helped themselves to another counter attack. This time cultivating in a Sheldon Wright effort that was saved well, but parried into the path of Kieron Rodgers who helped himself to yet another goal to add to his tally.
A hard fought but comfortable win for Tadley sees them put another three points on the board before welcoming relegation battling Colliers Wood United to Barlows Park next.