Honours Even at Barlows Park - TCFC 1-1 Camberley Town
The shares were spoilt on a bitterly cold night at Barlow's Park as second half goals from Jack French and Gianluca Botti saw Tadley-Calleva and Camberley Town play out a one all draw in front of a crowd of eighty-seven spectators.
A win for the hosts would have seen them draw level on point with Farnham Town with three games in hand and boost their chances of a top five finish. A target which now looks slightly out of reach.
The first half started quick and with both sides looking to throw caution to the wind and take control of the game and as a result we didn't have to wait long until the first chance of the game. Tadley were caught on the ball in the middle of the park which allowed Camberley to break forward and find star man Botti on the edge of the box. His effort was struck well but whistled past the far post and out for a goal kick. A wake-up call for Tadley inside five minutes.
The hosts responded with a chance of their own just five minutes later. Darboe picked up the ball deep inside Camberley Town's half and threaded through the most intricate of passes to Kalum Cousins, coming in from the right. He struck the ball well, but the goalkeeper was equal to his effort and pushed the ball behind for the first corner of the evening.
The first ten minutes were showing signs of a promising, entertaining half but as it continued, it was anything but. As the weather started changing from a still, dry evening to a wet and windy Barlows Park, the match turned with it.
It turned into a scrappy affair with neither side being able to take the game by the scruff of the neck and take control.
The best chance however came on twenty-six minutes when Ben Wright found strike partner Kieran Rodgers. Rodgers drove through The Krooners defensive line and struck a powerful shot low, and across the goalkeeper. Much like the chance from Cousins previously, Camberley number one Owen Crawford made a fantastic point blank save to keep the scores level.
Both sides went into half time looking for some inspiration for the second forty-five and level with no goals.
The second half started similar to the first. That was until a fantastic passage of the play down the right-hand side from Tadley saw Fragata and Walsh link up. Captain Tom Walsh drove down the right-hand side and moments before the by-line cut the ball back inside to Jack French. The midfielder cut inside his man and took a right footed shot which made it's way past the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner.
A goal for Tadley out of nowhere which sparked a rejuvenescence within the hosts ranks and confidence started to flow.
The hosts were starting to take control of the game and just six minutes later so another wonderful opportunity go agonisingly wide of the post.
The ever-lively Kieran Rodgers positioned himself well on the edge of the box as the ball came back out from the eighteen-yard box. With the most nonchalant of efforts, he managed to bend the ball round a defender and towards goal, Crawford, in the away teams' net was rooted to the spot and fortunately for him the ball fell just millimetres the wrong side of the post for Rodgers.
A battle between Tadley centre-half Brad Neal and Krooners star-man Gianluca Botti continued to heat up with both putting their bodies on the line in a calm tempered but committed manner.
With twenty minutes to go, Camberley Town started to grow into the game and were throwing caution to the wind to salvage a good away point.
It paid off for The Krooners as Camara picked up the ball out on left and made a run horizontally across the Tadley box, he managed to play a pass through the back line and found none other than Botti who took a touch and almost instantly after provided an excellent finish, low into the bottom corner giving Atkinson no chance.
The final ten minutes were cagey with no side wanting to end up on the back of a late winner and as a consequence the final stages petered out with little to no action.
A point apiece which keeps Tadley eight and Camberley thirteenth.
Tadley may have felt aggrieved to concede a goal against the run of play in the second half but on balance of the game in full, and with minimal chances from both sides you'd have to say a draw is the correct result.