|Tue 21st Nov||7:30 pm||SSML Premier Division||2017/18|
Leverstock Green extended their winning run to four games and moved up another place to 7th in the SSML Premier Division with a 4-2 win over Hadley at Pancake Lane on Tuesday night. Hadley had been the only team to have beaten Leverstock in the previous ten games, but there was no repeat of that night’s performance as the Green side turned in another excellent display for a win that was perhaps more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.
There was a scare in the opening minute when Hadley hit the post after a cross from the left wasn’t dealt with, but it was Leverstock who got the early goal. There was an element of fortune about it, as Chris Marsh floated in a cross from the left edge of the penalty area that was intended for David Lawrence, but the ball drifted off course and caught Hadley keeper Tom Le Tissier off his line, sailing over his hands into the net with just two minutes on the clock. Although Marsh has many assists this season, this was the first time he had found the net himself.
Liam McCrohan came closest to extending the Leverstock lead in the 24th minute when he got on the end of a Marsh corner with a header that was saved by Le Tissier, and two minutes later Lawrence hit a shot just wide. A somewhat harsh handball decision against Scott Bonner presented Hadley with a penalty five minutes before the break, and David Laird made no mistake from the spot to level the scores.
Leverstock went close to regaining the lead in the last minute of the half as Marsh played an exquisite ball through to Matt Bateman, but Bateman’s clipped effort came back off the post.
Four minutes into the second half Leverstock were back in front. A corner from Marsh was not dealt with by the Hadley defence, as Shane Wood firstly had a header at the far post that was blocked, and then lobbed the ball back across goal where Bateman came in to nod home from close range.
There could have been another goal within a minute as Chris Gosling’s pass put Adams through on goal, but a defender got back to block his shot. Hadley could have struck back on 62 minutes when the Green defence was caught out by Alfie Bartram’s ball from the back to put Jake King through, but he hurriedly hit his shot wide.
Three minutes later Leverstock were attacking again as Bateman had the ball and made a powerful run down to the bye-line before squaring for Ross Adams to finish from close range for a 3-1 lead, scoring in similar fashion to his goal in Saturday’s game.
On 72 minutes a well-worked goal made it 4-1 to Leverstock. Alex McCarthy started the move, finding Bateman who in turn fed Alex Marsh down the right. Marsh’s cross was missed by Adams, but the ball went to Bateman, who calmly turned and stroked home a shot from the edge of the box for his second of the night, taking his tally for the season into double figures from just 13 appearances. Casey Linsell should have made it five on 77 minutes but he headed over the bar from Lawrence’s cross.
The points looked safe, but with 8 minutes left Hadley were given a faint glimmer of hope when a challenge from Linsell resulted in the referee awarding another penalty, and Lewis Francis netted the spot kick to pull the score back to 4-2.
The referee hadn’t finished yet, awarding another penalty three minutes later, this time to Leverstock for handball in the box. Bateman stepped up to complete his hat-trick, but it was not to be as his spot-kick hit the bar and went over. With skipper Wood carrying an injury over the closing minutes the Green side were content to hang onto their two-goal lead and register another win.
Next up for Leverstock is a visit to fifth-placed Hoddesdon Town on Saturday.
|Leverstock Green||(1)||4||C.Marsh 2, Bateman 49, 72, Adams 65|
|Team: 1. Caolan Doyle-Creamer, 2. Alex Marsh, 3. Brima Johnson, 4. Shane Wood, 5. Scott Bonner (12. Curtis Donaldson 57 mins), 6. Liam McCrohan, 7. Ross Adams, 8. Chris Gosling (14. Alex McCarthy 66 mins), 9. David Lawrence, 10. Chris Marsh (15. Casey Linsell 71 mins), 11. Matt Bateman. Sub not used: 16. Luke Nugent.|
|Hadley||(1)||2||Laird 40 pen, Francis 82 pen|
|Team: 1. Tom Le Tissier, 2. Marvin Birch, 3. Alfie Bartram (15. Andrew White 78 mins), 4. Tom Milton, 5. Paul Wright, 6. Beau Shulman (16. Lewis Francis 70 mins), 7. Justin Thompson, 8. Harry Sedgley, 9. David Laird (17. Kerkstun Macpherson 66 mins), 10. Jake King, 11. Cameron Ferguson. Subs not used: 12. Sam Lyon, 14. Jonathan Davite.|
|Leverstock Green Football Club|