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Match Report versus Egham Town (16/4/22)

By Danny Dolan

Egham Town 1 Tadley Calleva 1

On the back of a fantastic 4-0 away win at Wembley last Saturday, we arrived at high flying Egham Town with several enforced changes to the squad. With Craig Atkinson injured, young goalkeeper Joel Halliday from Basingstoke Town Academy was included in the starting line-up. Two youngsters, Josh Lambden & Mikolaj Watroba, from our Reserve side were also included in the squad. Skipper Tom Walsh was out injured and with Jacob Rolfe unavailable, Aiden Harris was asked to fill in at left back with Marc Vockins taking the right back slot. Jordan Goater also made a return to the starting line-up in midfield.

Tadley began the match the brighter of the two sides and Ben Wright almost opened the scoring after 4 minutes when he tried an audacious chip from over 25 yards. Unfortunately, he failed to fool home keeper Michael Edegbe who saw it all the way and stepped back to comfortably clutch the ball out of the air. On the 10 minute mark, a terrific 'rabona' pass from Wright, just inside the Egham half, split the home defence to find young Brody Peart breaking through the line. It was only a last ditch tackle by Egham's Reece York that prevented Peart from opening the scoring for the away side. It was all Tadley in the opening 15 minutes and Wright was unlucky to see his 25 yard shot crash off the bar with Edegbe well beaten. Egham eventually got themselves into the game and Brandon Trujillo found space on the edge of the Tadley box before trying to slot the ball inside of the near post. Fortunately, it was well saved by Halliday who managed to push the ball round his post for a corner. It was now the home side who were having a period of pressure with some good build up play through the midfield up to the hard working Brendan Matthews. It was down to a terrific tackle from Andrew Charsley that thwarted Trujillo for a second time after he was cleverly put through by Adam Matthews. Egham's closest effort in the first half came from a free kick wide on the left. Ezekiel Williams whipped in a fantastic curling ball which found Trevan Robinson in the box, but his first time volley was superbly saved by Halliday. A very impressive save as it was struck from only 8 yards out. Halliday managed to get down low to make the save and smother the ball to avoid any potential follow up. Tadley stood firm for this 10 minute spell of pressure and were soon back on the front foot for the remainder of the half. A Brody Peart shot from fully 30 yards looked to have broken the deadlock, but his fierce drive was expertly pushed onto the bar by keeper Edegbe to prevent a certain goal. The final opportunity in an entertaining first half again fell to Tadley, but yet again the impressive Edegbe was in the right position to push Brad Neal's header over the bar from a Callum Cleary cross. The teams went in on level terms thanks to some outstanding saves from both keepers. However, it would be fair to say that the home side would have been the much happier based on the number of chances that Tadley had created. (HT 0-0)

Tadley opened the second half in similar fashion to the first and really should have taken the lead in the opening minute. This time it was Peart breaking down the right hand side easily outstripping full back Ryan Phillips to cross for Callum Cleary. However, Cleary couldn't quite manoeuvre his feet quickly enough and the ball spun high into the air from 4 yards out with the goal gaping. On 55 minutes, the home side were awarded a very contentious penalty. Trevan Robinson played a 1-2 across the 18 yard box, Andrew Charsley was subsequently penalised for what appeared to be a very good tackle on Robinson. Tadley's protests fell on deaf ears and Matthews stepped up to make it 1-0 from the spot sending keeper Halliday the wrong way. Going behind had a visible impact on the visitors and the home side began to create the majority of the second half chances. Ousman Darboe had to be replaced by Brett Denham after he had picked up a head knock and on 62 minutes Tadley made a further double substitution with Kalum Cousins and Josh Lambden replacing Brody Peart and Jordan Goater. The next best opportunity for Egham fell to full back Phillips who saw his sweetly struck left foot shot deflected wide for a corner when it looked to be heading for the inside of the far post. With time running out and the home side happy to hold onto their single goal lead, Tadley made their final substitution on 84 minutes. Mikolaj Watroba replacing Marc Vockins and switched to a back three. The move paid off as, in the 89th minute, Jack French played in Ben Wright who smashed the ball home from 12 yards with a low left foot drive to equalise. The referee added a further 8 minutes to the 90 and with the home side visibly frustrated at losing a late goal, plus a claim for a second penalty being denied, Dan Brown was sent to the sin bin for dissent. However, most watching would agree that a share of the points was probably the fair result. (FT 1-1).

Joint Manager Ben Dillon said after the game "We missed a lot of chances today, but also rode our luck at times. We went flat for a period after the penalty decision, but picked up the pace again in the final 20 minutes. I think it's a good point for us and I am especially happy for the young lads who all played their part today".

Tadley are on the road again on Tuesday to face Southall at the Robert Parker Stadium, Stanwell, kick-off 7.45pm

Tadley Calleva: Joel Halliday, Marc Vockins (sub 84' Mikolaj Watroba), Aiden Harris, Brad Neal (C), Andrew Charsley, Jordan Goater (sub 62' Josh Lambden), Brody Peart (sub 62' Kalum Cousins), Ousman Darboe (sub 55' Brett Denham), Jack French, Ben Wright, Callum Cleary

Photo courtesy of @vinnywhufc (Groundhopper)


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