First Team v Metropolitan Police Bushey, 19 Aug 2006 (League)
Buntingford Won 4-1
Town got their competitive season off to the most perfect of starts with a top drawer performance against Met Police.
Everything about the showing was pleasing to watch with long periods of possession and a desired work rate that was too much for the visitors to cope with and on another day the tally of goals could easily have been doubled with the number of chances Town created.
Town got off to the best possible start, taking control from the first whistle and took the lead in the third minute when Mark Wright won the ball on the right wing and carried the ball into the area before squaring for Luke Robins to fire into the empty net from eight yards.
Met Police reacted well and created their best chance moments later when a neat passing move ended with a curling sixteen yard strike that rattled the face of the Town crossbar.
Town though always looked threatening in attack.
Mark Wright and Ashley Townsend were a constant handful in attack and Luke Robins and Tom Malins’ pace out wide was always too much for them to handle.
It was Robins and Malins who began taking the brunt of some exceedingly poor tackles in the period after Town doubled their lead on 13 minutes.
A simple but effective move down the left ended with Robins crossing for Mark Wright to cushion a neat 8 yard header into the bottom right hand corner.
The referee then began to take centre stage, dealing with the frustrated visitors’ approach play that saw 3 first-half yellows and one deserved red in the 40th minute, all for reckless fouls and, to be honest, the red card count could and should have been more.
Even after the second goal Town may have extended their lead further with Matt Turl unlucky to head against the post on twenty minutes from a Tom Malins free kick.
A number of corners and free kicks littered the visiting penalty area but despite a number of scrambles and near misses Town were unable to extend their lead before the interval.
The home side got off to the perfect start within the first sixty seconds of the restart when they went three goals up.
Tom Malins won a fifty-fifty in midfield and released Matt Turl who delicately chipped the keeper from twenty yards for a fine finish.
Police reduced the deficit five minutes later when Town keeper Damion Williamson was harshly adjudged to have pushed a forward after a weak back header from Chris Hardy and the resulting penalty was converted in off the left upright.
On 55 minutes though Police were reduced to nine when Tom Malins was deliberately kicked whilst running over the half way line and Town were able to keep ball for the majority of the remaining time and also lower the pace of their game to a degree.
With the added space all over the pitch Buntingford created some excellent chances.
Ashley Townsend was twice thwarted by goalkeeping blocks, Luke Robins had an effort scrambled off the line and a number of other efforts were wasted to a degree.
Ashley Townsend did complete the scoring with ten minutes remaining with a deserved goal after racing onto a though ball and angled his shot past the oncoming keeper.
Paul Attfield commented:" We’ve taken our pre-season form into this first game and played with great confidence and composure at a pace that was enjoyable to see.
The tactics employed by Met Police was surprising as well as exceedingly frustrating but our youngsters didn't become intimidated and only worked harder which was also pleasing.
It is obviously very early days but this squad of players are very determined to be successful and if we can maintain the levels set in the last 3 to 4 weeks we will be a difficult team to beat".