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Costello Inspires Tadley Win

Tadleys new man Scott Costello returned to haunt his former club with a second half brace, putting his side well on their way to victory.

Coming into the game off the back of two league defeats to Jersey Bulls & Knaphill, Tadley knew that anything but a victory would put plans to climb the table at great risk. An Aldershot Senior Cup victory away at Combined Counties Division One, Bagshot FC would give this young squad of players confidence going back into league action however.

Conditions at The Spectrum were challenging. Minus temperatures, drizzle & fog all making an appearance pre kick off, you wouldn’t have been crazy for thinking the game would take some time to warm up. However, after just two minutes, Tadley took the lead.

A failed clearance was intercepted by French who started the attack, shifting the ball forward before a passage of one touch passing allowed the ball to fall to Hargood on the edge of the box. Hargoods shot was parried by the home goalkeeper but only as far as the oncoming James Batchelor to strike the ball into the far corner.

Tadley had stunned their hosts and continued to push for a second as two more great chances could have put the game to bed as a contest within the first 15 minutes.

The game started to even out as Guildford grew into the game, looking to pull back level. Just after the twenty minute mark, the hosts did just that. A loose touch from Ahmetaj forced him to make a lunging tackle which resulted in a free-kick awarded to the home side.

The resulting free kick was blocked with the head of Scott Kinge, but the ball went high into the air and headed towards goal. Atkinson made a fantastic save low to his left, but the ball bounced back kindly to the Guildford centre forward who had the easiest of tap-ins to level the scores.

Guildford had their tails up for the remainder of the half, looking the more threatening & winning almost every second ball. This desire to be first to the ball ever so nearly paid off in the dying embers of the first half when an intercepted loose ball in the middle was played through the lines. As the trigger was about to be pulled, the returning Sott Kinge made an excellent last ditch tackle to deny an almost certain goal.

An even, but less than entertaining half of football ended level.

The home side came flying out of the blocks in the second half & should have taken the lead with two golden opportunities within the first ten minutes. Guildfords Regragui found himself granted with clear cut chances that, fortunately for Tadley, he was unable to convert. The first forcing another good save from Atkinson while the second was dragged wide of the near post.

As the fog started to roll over the hills and onto the lowered pitch at the Guildford Spectrum, Tadley made a double substitution in an attempt to strengthen the midfield. Darboe & Costello entered the field of play.

Less than a minute later, the double change looked to be an inspired one. Kieran Rodgers broke into the box, looking to round the keeper and score himself however he was forced wide but able to put a cross into the middle of the 18-yard box which was met with by the head of the onrushing Scott Costello. Costello’s header nestled in the back of the net, sparking celebrations from both the long stand running along the changing room side of The Spectrum & the Tadley players.

Guildford came back at Tadley and again, arguably had the better of possesion while they went in search of their second equaliser of the afternoon. On 75 minutes, the home crowd thought they had indeed pulled level when a corner was swung into the box, dropping in the six-yard box where a scramble ensued. Fortunately for Tadley, the referee had already blown for a foul on Goalkeeper Atkinson before the ball entered the net and a free kick was awarded.

Moments later Atkinson pulled off yet another save to deny a certain goal.

Tadley needed a third to be comfortable, cue Alex Miller. A long clearance found it’s way to Kieran Rodgers just inside his own half, he twisted and released Alex Miller in acres of space. Miller drove the ball forward, causing the home goalkeeper to close him down, away from his goal. Sensing the oncoming keeper, Miller scooped the ball over his opponents head, lobbing the Guildford shot stopper and dropping the ball into the back of the net. A superb finish to give Tadley a late two goal cushion.

Tadley, and Costello were not finished as they continued to look to inflict late pain on their hosts.

Darboe played a lovely crossfield ball to Batchelor who threaded a pass through the Guildford lines and into Costello. With one touch he completely took his defender out of the game, and with the second slid the ball past the goalkeeper with the outside of his right boot to secure his second and Tadley’s fourth of the afternoon.

A much needed three points for the Barlows Park side in a game which could have gone either way midway though.


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