Slow Start Costs Us in The Capital
We travelled to Raynes Park off the back of 5 wins in 5 and looking to extend our good run of form against a Raynes Park Vale side who, in the league, held a 100% record, winning 4 from 4 and conceding only 2 league goals.
It was first Tadley start for Brody Peart as he came straight into the starting 11 whereas fellow new signing Joe Cummusky took his place on the bench.
The hosts got us underway and came straight out of the blocks, looking to attack aggressively and really bring the game to Tadley. On only the 3rd minute of the game, a counter attack from Raynes Park Vale forced goalkeeper Craig Atkinson into some early action who pushed the ball behind for a corner. The centre halves came up from the back, and as the corner came in from the left, it was met by the head of Jordan Stepney at the back post who put the ball back across the box and into the far corner of the Tadley goal. The hosts took an early lead.
They didn't waste anytime in looking for another either. From the restart, Tadley looked to play forward with a good passage of play until a crossfield ball was miscontrolled, taken on the right hand side by the hosts and played back into the middle. It was quickley met by Raynes Park Vale's second goal scorer who placed the ball past Atkinson. Raynes Park Vale raced to an early 2-0 lead.
It could have been 3 on the 9th minute but for an absolutely outstanding save by Atkinson, something we're getting acustom to this season from our number 1.
Tadley started to grow into the half and with a chance on 15 minutes falling to on form goalscorer Ben Wright, felt they could have been back in the game. The effort from Wright was met by a fantastic save from the hosts goalkeeper who managed to put the ball behind.
This looked to give us confidence and as the half went on, the game looked to become more even with both sides creating some good half chances.
Our best cahnce of the half came just before half time on 41 minutes when a fantastic passage of play allowed for Kalum Cousins to pick the ball up just inside the 18 yard box He turned, took his shot and missed the target by the most narrow of margins.
Tadley were to rue that shot off target when 2 minutes later Tadley lost possesion through a quick thow in. Raynes Park picked it up in the middle of the par, played a ball through the heart of the defence into Watson who put it past Atkinson to give the hosts a comfortable 3-0 lead at half time.
Tadley start the second half quickly, aggressive in their press and up for making amense from the first half. With Brett Denham coming on at half time, we were looking to play the ball in behind to generate some goalscoring chances. We didn't have to wait long. A ball through the middle was picked up by Denham who used his strength well to retain possesion, find some space and get a shot away. Much like Cousins at the end of the first half, narrowly missing the target.
Arguably our best chance of generating a comeback came on the 55th minute when a corner from the left hand side was met by Brad Neal who saw his effort come bck off the crossbar.
From this point in the match, the possesion was largley shared in the middle of the park with both sides creating small phases of great play in order to muster up a half chance. The best of these chances came for Raynes Park who played a great ball down the right hand side, back across the middle and the ball was again in the back of the Tadley net. This time, the assistant refrees flag was raised and the score remained at 3-0.
The game started to fizzle out after this point. With the hosts happy to retain their 3 goal advantage and subsequent clean sheet, and Tadley looking fatigued and demoralised, there were no real chances of note and the game came to a slow ending.
Tadley beaten in the end by a very well organised and talented team who will no doubt be there or there abouts at the end of the season.
Speaking to Newbury Today, manager Ben Dillon had the following to say after the game.
"The weekend was very very tough, we had a few missing. Raynes PArk are a really good side, we started slow and they started fast. There are some positives to take from the game. We conceded goals from individual errors that we have not been making. Apart from that we did not give away many chances and defended well. We regrouped second half and matched them. It was a tale of 2 halves, we were much livelier, more switched on"