|Sat 18th Nov||3:00 pm||SSML Premier Division||2017/18|
Leverstock Green continued their rise up the table as a 5-3 win over third-placed Biggleswade F.C. took them up to 8th in the SSML Premier Division. This impressive result was Leverstock’s seventh win from their last ten games and their third league win in a row.
Top scorer Matt Bateman was unavailable for this one, but with last season’s sixty-goal partnership of Curtis Donaldson and Jonathan Lacey starting, there was no shortage of firepower in the Green line-up. There was a near-miss in the opening minute when David Lawrence put the ball over the bar, and in the 5th minute Lacey played a one-two with Lawrence before having his shot saved by Daniel Green in the visitors’ goal. Green was in action again three minutes later when Ross Adams won the ball in a tackle and exchanged passes with Lacey to go clean through, but his shot was kept out by the keeper’s legs.
Leverstock were worth a goal and it duly arrived in the 10th minute. Chris Marsh played a pass to Lacey, who with defenders between him and the goal had plenty to do, but Lacey rode a couple of challenges before striking home a shot from the edge of the box to open the scoring.
At the other end three minutes later Leverstock keeper Reuben Rabstein did well to keep out a free kick from George Riley. Seconds later the Green were attacking again and Lacey was only denied by a last-ditch challenge. Leverstock doubled their lead in the 16th minute as Chris Marsh floated a free kick into the box, Lawrence headed the ball across goal and Shane Wood came in to shoot home the second goal. In the 23rd minute it became 3-0 as Wood hurled a long throw into the Biggleswade box, and the ball looped off the head of one of their defenders and over Green into their own net to put the Leverstock supporters in dreamland.
The visitors had been disappointing up to this stage but having gone 3-0 down they finally started to play like a team challenging for promotion. In the 29th minute Lee Northfield set up a clear shooting chance for Alex Marsh – one of two players on the field with that name – but Rabstein pulled off a good save. Six minutes later Marsh got on the end of a free kick from Riley with a header, but didn’t get a strong enough touch to divert it inside the far post.
Another long throw from Wood caused more chaos in the Biggleswade box in the 37th minute, but both Lawrence and Lacey had efforts blocked in the ensuing scramble. An unfortunate moment for Rabstein gifted the visitors a way back into the game five minutes into the break. Biggleswade skipper Adam Hunt floated a cross into the box, and Rabstein seemed unsure whether to catch it or punch it, and in the end did neither as he palmed the ball into his own net.
That goal gave the visitors some hope of a comeback going into the second half, and those hopes grew within thirty seconds of the restart as they pulled another goal back. A pass from Hunt found Tom Cookman on the edge of the box, and a slip by Wood left Cookman with the chance to shoot home and reduce the arrears to 3-2.
With left back Taishan Griffith causing a lot of problems down the Leverstock flank, the Green lead looked somewhat precarious for a while, however Wood and his defence soon got their solidity back and settled down. The Leverstock side regained a two-goal cushion in the 67th minute as Lacey pushed forward from the halfway line and exchanged passes with Adams before producing another great finish, turning a defender in the box before shooting home the fourth Green goal.
Lacey went close to a hat-trick on 74 minutes when Donaldson set him up for a shot that deflected off a defender and hit the post before rebounding back into Green’s arms. Rabstein produced another great save to tip a shot from Justin Leavers over the bar a minute later. The action continued to go from end-to-end as a pass from Lawrence found Donaldson, whose shot was grabbed out of the air by Green.
Ten minutes from time the visitors went close again as Riley hit a free kick just over the bar, and two minutes later a cross from Griffith found Ryan Inskip, but he headed straight at Rabstein. Leverstock needed another goal to ensure the points, and it came in the 83rd minute. Alex McCarthy’s pass found Lacey out wide, and Lacey went on a great run to the bye-line before squaring for Adams to shoot home the fifth goal from close range.
Even then the scoring was not over as Marsh scored for Biggleswade in the 90th minute to pull the score back to 5-3, but that was as far as it went as Leverstock were soon celebrating the win over their biggest scalp so far on their run of form.
Leverstock are back in action on Tuesday night with a home game against Hadley – the only team to have beaten them in the last ten games.
|Leverstock Green||(3)||5||Lacey 10, 67, Wood 16, OG 23, Adams 83|
|Team: 1. Reuben Rabstein, 2. Alex Marsh (14. Luke Nugent 83 mins), 3. Brima Johnson, 4. Shane Wood, 5. Liam McCrohan, 6. Alex McCarthy, 7. Ross Adams, 8. Chris Marsh (15. Chris Gosling 59 mins), 9. David Lawrence (12. Reynaldo Carbon 81 mins), 10. Curtis Donaldson, 11. Jonathan Lacey. Subs not used: 16. Casey Linsell, 17. Scott Bonner.|
|(1)||3||Rabstein og 40, Cookman 46, Marsh 90|
|Team: 1. Daniel Green, 2. Adam Hunt, 3. Taishan Griffith, 4. Conor Inskip (12. Joel Ives 40 mins), 5. David Lenton (15. Darren Woodend 75 mins), 6. Nathan George, 7. Alex Marsh, 8. George Riley, 9. Tom Cookman (14. Justin Leavers 64 mins), 10. Lee Northfield, 11. Ryan Inskip. Subs not used: 16. Pat McCaffrey, 17. Tom Coles.|
|Leverstock Green Football Club|