|Sat 16th Sep||3:00 pm||SSML Premier Division||2017/18|
Having dropped back down to zero points following the removal of Sun Sports from the SSML Premier Division table, Leverstock Green got back off the mark again on Saturday with a very hard-fought point from a 2-2 draw with Wembley at Pancake Lane.The visitors will feel that they had more than enough chances to have won the game, but Leverstock hung on and eventually found the goals to come from behind twice.
With skipper Shane Wood out due to the effects of a dead leg, Scott Dash brought in recently-signed twins Curtis and Mitchell Bird, previously with Luton Town Cedars, to play in the centre of defence, and they both acquitted themselves very well on their debuts.
Wembley had the first effort on goal with Alex Witham hitting a shot from the edge of the box just over the bar in the 4th minute. Three minutes later Leverstock went close when Ross Adams slid in to meet a cross from Sam Nair, but just failed to connect with the ball. In the 15th minute a free kick from Nair just eluded Curtis Bird at the far post.
For the rest of the half it was the visitors who were in control. In the 29th minute Zaied Sabti struck the bar from a free kick just outside the box. Five minutes later Charlie Weir rose unchallenged at a corner but headed over the bar. In the 37th minute Tresors-Jordy Mumbiny hit a shot just wide. For all their pressure Wembley didn’t force Green keeper Reuben Rabstein into a save until a minute before the break when Richard Brown hit a shot on target.
The second half started in similar fashion with Wembley pushing forward in numbers, while also making it difficult for the Leverstock forward line by closing down very quickly. Wembley finally took what for them was an overdue lead on the hour, as Alex Witham hit a shot from the edge of the box which beat the partially-unsighted Rabstein into the bottom corner of his net.
However, Leverstock finally started pressing their opponents and winning the ball in midfield, and began to play their way into the game. In the 70th minute Liam McCrohan did very well to get to the bye-line and pull the ball back into the penalty area. Ross Adams helped it on towards the far post where substitute Nick Jackson came in to sidefoot home the equaliser.
Parity was short-lived, however, as within a minute Wembley were back in front at 2-1, again through Witham who found the space on the left edge of the penalty area to hit a shot across goal and into the opposite corner of Rabstein’s net.
Leverstock were not be denied, though, and in the 77th minute from a disputed free kick near the left touchline, Chris Marsh curled in a cross which went all the way through to the Wembley keeper, who could only parry it away, and Curtis Bird pounced to shoot home the loose ball for a debut goal to level the scores at 2-2.
The game could have gone either way from that point, but in the end Leverstock were grateful to come away with a point from a game in which they had spent a lot of time on the back foot. The point keeps them off the bottom of the table, but they now take a two-week break from league action, with two cup games to come. The first of them is next Saturday when they travel to Leighton Town in the second qualifying round of the FA Vase.
|Leverstock Green||(0)||2||Jackson 70, C.Bird 77|
|Team: 1. Reuben Rabstein, 2. Liam McCrohan, 3. Luca DeMare (15. Reece Fallon 84 mins), 4. Curtis Bird, 5. Mitchell Bird, 6. Chris Marsh, 7. Ross Adams, 8. Jonathan Lacey, 9. Reynaldo Carbon (12. Roy Byron 61 mins), 10. David Lawrence, 11. Sam Nair (14. Nick Jackson 57 mins). Subs not used: 16. Louie Leong, 17. Shane Wood.|
|Wembley||(0)||2||Witham 60, 71|
|Team: 1. Grigori Zulmatashuli, 2. Toby Webb, 3. Jonathan Iley (16. Adam Murad 87 mins), 4. Wayne Walters, 5. Richard Brown, 6. Iyres Mohammed, 7. Zaied Sabti (15. Callum Kasirye), 8. Tresors-Jordy Mumbiny, 9. Lawrence Olorunfemi (14. Adrian Dinham 63 mins), 10. Alex Witham, 11. Charlie Weir. Subs not used: 12. Conor Carroll, 17. Ethan Tyrer.|
|Leverstock Green Football Club|