|Jamal Crawford suffered a hamstring injury|
We seem to be having a tough time of it with injuries at the moment with a number of 2nd year scholars out of action. Josh Dolling, Hamam El-Fitouri and Vash Dixon were not in the match squad at all, but we did manage to have enough scholars to mean that today no U-16s were required.
The match kicked off in horrific conditions, with a driving wind and sideways rain into the face of our defence. Within the first 15 minutes only one chance was carved out by either team, as the Stanley 10 attempted to curl one up and over Tony Aghayere, but he got it wrong and it was a relatively simple take for the stopper.
Around 25 minutes in though we finally put in our opening salvo with a double opportunity. Andreas Bianga floated a delightful ball over the turning defence for Khius Metz to latch on to. He controlled and hit it but the keeper saved well with his legs. The ball stayed in the danger area though, being moved from right to left, and back again. A through ball ricocheted off a defenders leg and fell kindly to Nashé Chakwana unmarked in the box, but he mistimed his swing and the ball bobbled away to safety.
Our clear best chance of the match came not long after as a hooked volley shot in the Stanley box pinballed off several people, flashing up onto a Stanley arm. The ref gave a penalty, which was a very harsh call, and it certainly incensed the visitors bench – who spent much of the game barracking the man in black. Andy Nugent stepped up for us but his shot was too close to the keeper and he got a powerful block to repel the ball away. It created a dangerous Stanley break that resulted in a direct free kick on the edge of out box, however, when the shot came in it was tipped over by Aghayere.
Approaching the 40 minute mark Jamal Crawford saw his game end prematurely with a reoccurrence of the hamstring injury that has recently kept him out. He hobbled off to be replaced by Tyler Shrimpton. We had time for another good chance before the half ended as a lovely ball from Shaun Hobson was controlled on the chest of Metz, but his shot was again saved by the keeper. We were ending the half in the ascendancy and should have had the lead, but went into the break at 0-0.
We started the 2nd half in the same vein and Miles Fenton saw a curling effort saved. A Fenton free kick from the left wing was then swung in and it evaded everyone, just creeping past the far post.
Out of absolutely nothing Stanley broke up their left wing. A long ball was chased down by their pacey 11 and he crossed low into the box. The 10 had kept paced and slid in at the front post diverting the ball past a helpless Aghayere. With an hour played we now found ourselves chasing the game and Tommy Wood replaced Tunde Bayode.
Hobson again found Metz with a raking ball from the back and his instant control opened the defence, but his snap shot again found the keeper. Mark Haworth replaced a tiring Fenton for the last 20 as we made our final change, but we were unable to carve out much more. Metz beat his man to a Nugent ball up the line, and when he beat the marker and crossed it, he found the head of Shrimpton, but the winger misdirected the header back across goal and out.
With a minute remaining Accy put the icing on a snatch and grab with a wonderful strike. Their number 7 was being urged to retain possession and keep it simple, but he had other ideas as he moved to the right, cut onto his left and curled a beauty over Aghayere into the top corner. Suggestions from the side were that this has been the story of the season, with numerous chances crated and not taken, before we get punished for our profligacy.
Team:- Tony Aghayere, Billy Grogan, Andy Nugent, Lewis Norvock, Shaun Hobson, Andreas Bianga, Miles Fenton (Mark Haworth), Tunde Bayode (Tommy Wood), Jamal Crawford (Tyler Shrimpton), Nashé Chakwana, Khius Metz.
Sub not used:- Connor King.