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					             AMERSHAM TOWN 0 HODDESDON TOWN 5
               Spartan South Midlands League, Division One
                                 Tuesday 20 April 2010


Steve Cawley scored an impressive hat-trick as Hoddesdon romped to an emphatic victory
at Amersham on Tuesday evening. After the visitors took the lead from the penalty mark
with eighteen minutes gone, they never looked in danger of relinquishing their lead and
could have scored many more goals from clear chances created.

Once again Geoff O’Vell had a strong squad of players on duty, the only notable absentees
were Adam Arnold, Nick Newbury and Nicky Winger, so Damien Thomas slotted alongside
Steve Magona in central defence. Ben Darwin also made a welcome return to the side.

The signs for Hoddesdon were good very early on in the game when, in the opening
minute, Ben Darwin broke down the left and rather wastefully fired a volley over the
Amersham crossbar. Five minutes later, Tom Welch released Tony Neilson down the right,
and he too put his shot over the home crossbar.

The hosts were failing to make any impression on their visitors, Hoddesdon were soon in
control of midfield and were running the game. In the tenth minute, with a great piece of
skill, Steve Cawley broke through the packed midfield before finding Ben Darwin whose
pass was a little too heavy for the Hoddesdon forwards. The Lilywhites continued with their
early onslaught, but each time they made an opening, the final execution was found

Just before the quarter hour mark, Lee Tombs out-jumped a couple of Amersham
defenders to head down a long clearance from Steve Magona. He then latched onto the
ball before racing into the penalty from where he hit it just wide of the target. A great piece
of football two minutes later should have resulted in a goal after Kevin Metivier set up an
attacking move from deep inside his own half. His accurate pass up the left allowed Tony
Neilson the time to knock a pass through to Tony Cookey whose deft chip over the ‘keeper
dropped agonisingly over the crossbar by a couple of inches. The pattern of just failing to
hit the target continued a minute later when Tony Neilson hit a great cross-field pass to find
Tony Cookey on the left, and Cookey’s fine effort also cleared the crossbar.

With so many chances having been created inside the opening twenty minutes, it was
beginning to look as through Hoddesdon were going to have an unproductive evening.
Finally the deadlock was broken after eighteen minutes of play when a long kick from Allan
Buck was superbly controlled by Lee Tombs inside the Amersham penalty area, and when
Tombs tried to get round his marker he was tripped. TONY NEILSON stepped up to take
the penalty and he smashed the ball into the back of the net, giving the ‘keeper no chance.
18 minutes, 0-1. Hoddesdon had been running Amersham ragged in the early exchanges,
and the opening goal was no more than they deserved.

The first time the home side came anywhere near threatening the Hoddesdon goal was in
the twenty-fourth minute when Fitzroy Williams picked the ball up on the right and fired it
against the Hoddesdon crossbar from twenty yards. By now, the Hoddesdon play was
starting to become sloppy with too many free kicks being awarded against them by a
pedantic Referee who was not allowing play to flow.
Just before the half hour mark, Tom Welch set off on a run on the right that was to take him
some fifty yards from one half to the other, but having got himself into a shooting position
he dwelled on the ball for too long, allowing a defender to get in a block and concede a
corner. Having consistently pressed their hosts for thirty-three minutes, Hoddesdon finally
scored the second goal they had been threatening. Again it came from a slick piece of
football as Kevin Metivier first of all found Ben Darwin with a great pass from the right, and
then Darwin’s neat pass allowed STEVE CAWLEY to race into the penalty area and slide
the ball into the net. 33 minutes, 0-2.

Throughout the first half Hoddesdon had restricted their hosts to just a couple of half
chances, and the home side had also hit the visitors crossbar. Just before the interval,
Hoddesdon should have extended their lead when Tony Neilson hit another delightful
cross-field pass from the right to find Tony Cookey on the left. Both players had been
tantalising their opponents for forty-five minutes down the two flanks, and on this occasion
Cookey’s chip into the area was met by Lee Tombs who put his headed effort just wide.

Hoddesdon went into the half time interval very satisfied with a comfortable scoreline, but
they knew they needed to increase the tempo a little more and look after the ball better
than they had done at times in that first half.

Ten minutes after the break, Lee Tombs picked up the ball just inside his own half and set
up Steve Cawley on a run that took him the best part of fifty yards. Deep inside the
Amersham penalty area Cawley crossed the ball into the middle and into the path of Tony
Neilson who was unable to control it on the hard surface a few yards in front of goal. A
minute later, Neilson turned provider when he hit a superb pass from the left and into the
path of BEN DARWIN who beat the ‘keeper all ends up with a terrific volley from fifteen
yards. 55 minutes, 0-3.

Just past the hour mark it was Hoddesdon’s turn to hit the woodwork when Steve Cawley
set up Tony Neilson for a shot that smacked against an upright and was cleared away.
Whilst Neilson was showing terrific skill in setting up chances, he had definitely left his
shooting boots at home! In the sixty-fifth minute Geoff O’Vell started to ring the changes a
little when he replaced Tony Cookey with Craig Hinton. Two minutes later, Steve Cawley
once again went on a mazy run from midfield and showed terrific skill just outside the
penalty area until he was brought down. Tony Neilson took responsibility for the resulting
free kick but blazed the ball over the crossbar.

As the game went into the final quarter, Geoff O’Vell introduced fresh legs into the game as
he replaced Lee Tombs with Jason Sorial. By now, the Amersham defence was being
pulled all over the place by the Hoddesdon midfield and forwards, and STEVE CAWLEY
was thoroughly enjoying the freedom he was being given. In the seventy-fifth minute, he
cleverly exchanged passes with Tony Neilson and from fifteen yards chipped a delightful
finish over the ‘keeper and into the back of the net. 75 minutes, 0-4.

Immediately after this fourth goal, Colin Metivier replaced the lively Tony Cookey, and
Metivier was soon in action as he latched onto the ball on the edge of the Amersham
penalty area and fired in a shot the ‘keeper couldn’t hold. Jason Sorial was following up the
rebound, but under pressure he squeezed the ball just wide. Three minutes before the end
of normal time, Metivier once again tried to get on the scoresheet from eighteen yards, but
this time his effort went just wide of the target.

As the game started to go into time added on, Amersham were anxious to hear the final
whistle, but Hoddesdon, and in particular Steve Cawley, were not yet finished. Tom Welch
set up STEVE CAWLEY for his hat-trick with a great pass from midfield, and from fully
thirty yards Cawley volleyed an unstoppable effort past the ‘keeper and into the net. The
finish was certainly near the top of goals-of-the-season, and was a fitting way for
Hoddesdon to end their scoring for the evening. 90 minutes, 0-5.
Hoddesdon had overrun Amersham all evening, limiting them to very few sights of their
visitors’ goal. Steve Cawley and Ben Darwin had been totally dominate in midfield, and
Hoddesdon’s wing play through Tony Cookey, Tony Neilson, Jason Sorial and Colin
Metivier had been too much for the home full backs. The football from the Lilywhites was at
time awesome, and the whole squad of fourteen players used deserved a piece of the
man-of-the-match accolade. In the end it went to hat-trick hero Steve Cawley, now
Hoddesdon’s leading goalscorer with twenty-seven so far this season, not bad for an
attacking midfield player! His overall performance was closely followed by that of Ben
Darwin who has been out for the past few games, but certainly made an impression in this
one. Next up for Hoddesdon is a League game at Sun Postal Sports on Saturday 24 ,
followed on Monday 26 by a Herts Charity Shield semi-final tie against Oxhey Jets to be
played at Broxbourne Borough’s ground. Also in midweek is a trip to Brache Sparta on
Thursday 29 , and the final League game of the season is at Tokyngton Manor on
Saturday 1 May. Just one week later the Division One Cup Final between Hoddesdon
Town and London Colney will be played at Royston Town’s ground, with kick off at 3 pm.

Hoddesdon Town 20 04 10
Allan Buck, Kevin Metivier, Mark Dawson, Damien Thomas, Steve Magona (C), Tom
Welch, Tony Neilson (Colin Metivier, 75) Steve Cawley, Lee Tombs (Jason Sorial, 70), Ben
Darwin, Tony Cookey (Craig Hinton, 65)

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