(A) Hoddesdon Town

Starting XI:
Patrick Singfield
Fletcher Hedge
Sergeis Stremilov
Luke Durrant
Kane O’Neil
Lee Birch
Tom Clilverd
Matthew Hall
Alec Wallace
Ash Ingham
Kiri Georgiou

Substitutes (all used):
Jake Devereux
Bryce Barnes-Garner
Mason Brand
Callum Elmer
Lucas Preston

Goalscorer:
Sergeis Stremilov

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(A) Hoddesdon Town

Leverstock Green completed a 100% November with five wins from five league games, moving up to sixth place in the SSML Premier Division with a hard-fought 2-0 win at fifth-placed Hoddesdon Town. Two second-half strikes sealed the points, with both Jonathan Lacey and Matt Bateman scoring for their fourth straight appearances.

The first half was a tight affair, with Leverstock creating the better of what few chances there were. In the 12th minute Bateman played a pass through to Lacey, whose shot took a wicked deflection off a defender’s legs but landed just wide. Three minutes later a pass from David Lawrence gave Bateman a run at goal, but his shot went across goal and wide.

The best chance was in the 27th minute when a pass from Chris Marsh put Lawrence through, but keeper Harry Isham saved with his legs, and neither Lacey or Lawrence could get on the end of the rebound. Four minutes later Scott Bonner headed over the bar from a Marsh corner. At the other end, Hoddesdon had a few efforts on goal during the half, but none of them on target.

Skipper Shane Wood, who was struggling with injury at the end of Tuesday night’s game, only lasted 33 minutes of this one, with Liam McCrohan taking his place and giving another assured performance.

The game was goalless at half time, but Hoddesdon had their first effort on target in the opening minute of the second half, with Caolan Doyle-Creamer having to save a shot from the edge of the box. However, it was Leverstock who broke the deadlock with a goal in the 48th minute, a dazzling effort from Jonathan Lacey, who was surrounded by three defenders on the edge of the box, but wriggled past all of them before calmly slotting the ball past Isham for his 11th goal of the season.

Leverstock threatened again on the break in the 53rd minute with Ross Adams running clear down the left, but his eventual effort was somewhere between a shot and a cross that went across goal and wide. Curtis Donaldson came off the bench on 56 minutes, and two minutes later played an audacious lofted pass through to Lacey, who hit a first-time volley but was unlucky to see it come back off the post.

The woodwork was struck for the second time in the 82nd minute as Bateman robbed defender Bradley Fraser just outside the box and drove a shot which came back off the same post that Lacey had hit. Two minutes later Doyle-Creamer had to save a shot and a header from close range as the home side continued to press for an equaliser. However, in the 86th minute Reynaldo Carbon played a ball over the top to put Bateman through on goal, and while the Hoddesdon players and bench shouted for an offside flag that never came, Bateman ran on to sidestep Isham before slotting home the crucial second goal to seal the points.

It was a well-deserved win and clean sheet for the Leverstock side which keeps their excellent run of form going. On Tuesday night they take a break from league action when former Levy player Lee Bircham brings his Bovingdon side to Pancake Lane for a St Mary’s Cup first round tie.

 

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(A) Hoddesdon Town

Leverstock Green suffered their second cup exit in a week as Hoddesdon Town put five goals past them, all in the second half, in Tuesday night’s Challenge Trophy second round tie at Lowfield. After a good first half display from the Green side, Hoddesdon found the target with some fine long-range strikes which turned the match firmly in their favour.

Leverstock had the better of the chances in the first half. In the 10th minute a pass from Luke Preedy put Ross Adams through on goal, but a too-heavy first touch saw the ball run through to home keeper Harry Isham. Two minutes later Chris Marsh threaded a pass through to Matt Bateman, but his shot went across goal and wide. In the 15th minute Bateman was through again and took the ball round Isham, but with an empty net to slot the ball into he pulled his shot wide. Hoddesdon’s best effort of the first half was a shot from Tom Cowell which brought a good save out of Green keeper Charlie Hoskins in the 28th minute.

There was another promising moment for Leverstock in the opening minute of the second half as a cross from Adams took a deflection and forced Isham into an acrobatic save to keep it out. However, four minutes into the half, it was Hoddesdon who broke the deadlock, as the loose ball from a challenge inside the penalty area ran into the path of Harry Bushell, who met it with a rasping strike from the edge of the box that gave Hoskins no chance.

Leverstock were still in the game at this stage. Brima Johnson twice went close to an equaliser, firstly in the 51st minute shooting wide after an interchange with Bateman, and then two minutes later when another deflected cross brought another acrobatic save out of Isham. However, seconds later Hoddesdon were at the other end, and a cross from the left was met with an unchallenged glancing header inside the six-yard box from Louis Rose to double their lead.

The game was put out of Leverstock’s reach by two more long-range strikes in the 66th and 70th minutes, both from Tom Cowell. The first was a rasping drive through a crowd of players after a corner had been cleared to the edge of the box, the second a shot which took a deflection and looped over Hoskins into the net.

The one bright point of the game was the return from injury of Casey Linsell, who came on as a substitute in the second half. There might have been a consolation goal on 76 minutes when a shot from Bateman wasn’t held by Isham, but a defender came in to the clear the loose ball just ahead of Linsell. Kyle Johnson swept home a fifth goal in the 79th minute against a Green side that by now was looking dispirited, but that was the end of the scoring.

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(A) Hoddesdon Town

Leverstock Green’s five-match winning run came to an end at Hoddesdon Town in Saturday afternoon’s SSML Premier Division fixture. Two first half goals were enough for Hoddesdon to continue their own winning run and condemn Scott Dash’s side to their seventh league defeat of the season.

Leverstock started the match brightly and could have gone in front in the 5th minute. A great ball from George Biggadike gave Jonathan Lacey a run at goal. Lacey’s shot was blocked, but the rebound fell to Karl Davidson, who steered the ball wide of the goal. Lacey was through again in the 10th minute from a Zak Howells pass, but home keeper Harry Smart did well to dive at Lacey’s feet and claim the ball.

Within a minute Leverstock were behind after Davidson had been caught in possession in his own half. Matty Turpin played the ball through to George Hunt, who squared across goal for Jordan Watson to score from close range.

Leverstock had to make a change in the 31st minute as Shane Wood, who himself hadn’t been considered fit enough to start the game, replaced the injured George Biggadike. Hoddesdon were waiting to take a corner as the substitution was made, and when the corner was taken Joss Lillis slotted the ball home at the near post to put Hoddesdon into a 2-0 lead.

The game was still evenly-contested and continued to be in the second half. In the 53rd minute Liam Jahn had to tip a shot from Jason Brown over the bar after several chances to clear the ball had been missed. A goal would have put Leverstock back into the match, and they came very close to that on 62 minutes. Lacey started the move before Ben Darby took over and played a great pass to put Davidson through. From a narrow angle Davidson put the ball across goal where Curtis Donaldson came in with a diving header but didn’t quite get enough of a contact on it to divert the ball inside the post.

That proved to be Leverstock’s best chance of the game, and in the closing minutes it was Hoddesdon who looked more like adding to their lead as they created a number of good chances, but some good saves from Jahn ensured that the score remained at 2-0.

Next Saturday Leverstock host Welwyn Garden City in an all-SSML tie in the second round of the Buildbase FA Vase.

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