Opening Day Defeat
Tadley-Calleva fell to an opening day defeat away to Sheerwater after a four minute period right at the start of the first half saw the hosts go 2-0 up.
On seven minutes, an attempted block from centre half Andrew Charsley was adjudged to have hit the defenders arm and a subsequent penalty was awarded.
The Sheerwater forward, Liam Avery, stepped up and slotted the ball calmly into the bottom left corner to give his side the lead against the run of play.
Three minutes later, Tadley gifted their hosts a second. A ball through to the goalkeeper seemed fairly routine until a failed clearance gifted Sheerwaters’ Rodrigues a chance, who took it wide to create the angle and finished his chance well into a gaping net.
A real shock to many in attendance as Tadley seemed to have been dominating the game, creating chances but unable to convert.
The remainder of the first half continued in much of the same vein, with Tadley continuing to press and create chances but with Sheerwater defending resolutely.
Half time – Sheerwater 2-0 Tadley-Calleva
Tadley came out for the second half with intent and almost immediately got their rewards when Kalum Cousins broke through the defensive lines but saw his effort saved by the feet of the goalkeeper, the rebound fell to Jack French on the edge of the box who’s effort was also blocked.
French was given another crack at the whip ten minutes later as he was released by Cousins on the left hand side of the 18 yard box, he beat his man well but could not direct his shot goalwards and saw his effort hit the side netting. It just wasn’t happening for Tadley.
Manager Joe Lawler made a double substitution on the 58th minute and impact was made immediately.
Tadley were awarded a free kick about twenty yards from goal and up stepped Alex Miller. With little shock to anyone in the Tadley contingent, Miller struck the ball past the wall, past a melee of players and past the goalkeeper. Tadley clawed back a very well deserved goal.
They kept pushing and pushing but to no avail.
With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Tadley felt that they should have been awarded a penalty when Sheldon Wright once again drive into the box. The home goalkeeper came out and seemed to take the forwards legs from underneath him, however play was waved on and Sheerwater kept their lead.
The kitchen sink was now being thrown at the home defence but more often than not, play broke down on the edge of the area.
With the continuation of the visitors pushing players forward, Sheerwater were able to break away, drive into the Tadley eighteen yard box and square a ball over to the penalty spot where it was tapped in, wrapping the game up for the home side.
Despite very large areas of control and possession, Tadley ultimately lost the game by not taking chances. A disappointing start to the season but one Tadley will no doubt bounce back from.
Final score – Sheerwater 3-1 Tadley-Calleva