(A) Hadley

Leverstock Green’s run of league wins came to an abrupt end on a murky night at Hadley as they were well beaten in Wednesday night’s SSML Premier Division game. It was a disappointing performance from the Leverstock side, who have yet to pick up a single point from their away games in the league.

There could have been an early lead for the Green side when Matt Bateman was clean through in the 5th minute, but his shot was saved by Hadley keeper Davis Boateng. Instead it was the home side who opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Zaine Gangadeen got past Ross Adams down the right and put over a cross which Shane Wood should have cleared, however Wood let the ball get away from him, and Lewis Francis pounced on the mistake to drill an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net.

However, three minutes later the scores were level as Bateman went on an impressive solo run down the right before cutting into the box and slotting the ball past Boateng. A defender slid in to try to clear, but could only help the ball into the net. Leverstock had their tails up now, and went close again in the 22nd minute when Chinua Cole made a run into the box and put over a cross, but David Lawrence’s looping header was saved by Boateng.

Two minutes later, a quick Hadley break seemed to have been stopped as Cole won the ball from Francis inside the box, however Cole then slipped over leaving Francis with the goal at his mercy to fire home his second goal and put Hadley 2-1 up.

On 28 minutes Bateman hit a free kick just wide, and on 37 minutes Leverstock had the ball in the net again after a spell of pinball inside the box, but it was disallowed for offside. The game still looked in the balance at this point, but Hadley struck a decisive third goal in the 41st minute as a long-range strike from Cameron Ferguson took a deflection off a Leverstock defender which sent it looping over Caolan Doyle-Creamer into the top corner of the net.

A goal before half time would have put Leverstock back in the game, and they looked set to get it a minute before the break as Bateman was clean through again, but Boateng used his legs to keep out Bateman’s shot.

3-1 was not an insurmountable deficit for the Green side to pull back in the second half, but they never looked like making a dent in the score. Doyle-Creamer’s save to turn a shot from Gangadeen round the post in the 58th minute was one of several impressive stops by the young Leverstock keeper which kept Hadley from running away with the game. A rare mistake at the back from Hadley gave Reynaldo Carbon the chance to pull a goal back in the 72nd minute, but he shot wide. Two minutes later a simple passing move from Hadley resulted in Justin Thompson converting a cross from close range for a 4-1 lead. Jermeel Jno-Baptiste added the 5th goal in the 87th minute, netting the rebound after Doyle-Creamer had done well to save his first effort.

Leverstock have no game this Saturday due to their scheduled opponents Colney Heath being involved in the FA Vase. Their next game is at home to Hoddesdon Town next Tuesday night.

vs

(A) Hadley

Leverstock Green probably deserved the win on the balance of play and chances created, but they had to be content with a 1-1 draw from¬†Wednesday night’s trip to Hadley for their penultimate SSML Premier Division game of the season. The result extended Leverstock’s unbeaten run to seven games, four of which have been drawn.

After a quiet opening to the game which produced little in the way of chances, the Green took the lead in the 17th minute. Curtis Donaldson won the ball and passed it to Jonathan Lacey, who shot home from the edge of the box for his 30th goal of a remarkable season.

However, Hadley were level three minutes later. A cross from the right found Laste Dombaxe in the box with his back to goal, but despite having defenders around him, he was able to feed the ball to David Martinez, who was wide open to slot home past Liam Jahn.

Leverstock almost went back in front immediately as Lacey was through on goal, but this time he was denied by keeper Charlie Mann. A minute later Oliseh Okwudi was in with a good shooting chance, but hit it over the bar. Hadley could have gone in front two minutes before the break when the Green defence was cut open by a pass that put Samuel Odusoga through on goal, but Jahn came off his line and was able to get a crucial partial block on the shot, and Karl Thomas cleared away the danger.

Hadley’s Connor Bolton brought a save out of Jahn with a shot in the 57th minute, but most of the chances in the second half were created by Leverstock. On 62 minutes Donaldson almost caught Mann out with a quickly-taken free kick that was heading for the top corner, but the keeper was able to get across and tip the ball over.

Four minutes later Brima Johnson made inroads into the Hadley half before finding Lacey, who juggled the ball a few times before lobbing it to the far post, where Donaldson headed over the bar. On 76 minutes a pass from Donaldson put Lacey away down the left to send a ball fizzing across the face of goal. Ross Adams came sliding in to meet it at the far post, but couldn’t keep it under the bar. A similarly presentable, but difficult chance was created two minutes from time as Lacey whipped another cross into the box.¬†This time it was Donaldson who slid in but put the ball over the bar from six yards out. In the first minute of stoppage time a Dombaxe shot from distance along the ground could have caused problems, but Jahn gathered it safely.

Leverstock sit in 11th place in the table, and a draw from their final game at home to 12th placed Crawley Green on Saturday would be enough to confirm a top-half finish.

vs