Leverstock Green’s winning run came to an end at six matches, and they suffered their first league defeat in two months in Saturday’s visit to Biggleswade United, one of only two matches in the SSML Premier Division to survive the weather. The home side were well-deserving of their win, being much the better side and playing some excellent passing football around the penalty area which the Green side could not cope with.
Scott Dash was without several key players for this game, including Curtis Donaldson, Jonathan Lacey, Scott Bonner and Brima Johnson, although new signing Jack Waldren from Kings Langley made his debut in the starting line-up. The Leverstock side certainly made a good start to the game, with Ross Adams hitting a dipping shot just over the bar in the third minute after an exchange of passes with David Lawrence. In the 7th minute a poor clearance by the home keeper gave the ball to Waldren, who delivered a great cross for Matt Bateman to send a header into the top corner of the net and give Leverstock a 1-0 lead.
However, the lead was short-lived, with Biggleswade’s Nick Elliot going down in the box under challenge from Luke Nugent three minutes later. The referee pointed to the penalty spot, and Abraham Eze netted the spot kick to level the scores in the 11th minute.
A further blow occurred three minutes later when skipper Shane Wood picked up an injury and was unable to continue. Curtis Bird replaced Wood in what was now a very young back four. A moment of hesitancy in the defence allowed Eze to score his second goal in the 17th minute as he nipped in to get on the end of a ball across the box and shoot into the top corner of the net for a 2-1 Biggleswade lead.
Leverstock pushed for an equaliser, with Bateman having a header saved in the 23rd minute and Chris Marsh hitting a chip just over the angle of post and bar a minute later. The turning point of the game came three minutes before the break when it looked as though Leverstock did have an equaliser, as Marsh swung in a free kick and Bateman came in to head home, but a questionable offside flag from the linesman cut short the celebrations. Within seconds the ball was at the other end and Eze beat two defenders before slipping the ball past Matt Evans to complete his hat-trick and send his side into the break with a 3-1 lead.
Biggleswade continued to impress with their passing football in the second half, and only a series of excellent saves from Matt Evans prevented them from increasing their lead. Leverstock didn’t look like getting back into the game until they pulled a goal back in the 77th minute. Waldren’s corner found Ross Adams sliding in with an effort which took a big deflection on its way into the net, and put the game back in the balance at 3-2.
However, they were only back in the game for three minutes, as Lee Bilcock slid in at the far post to meet a cross in the 80th minute to put Biggleswade 4-2 up, and a minute from time a solo run and shot from Charisma Agyemang completed the rout at 5-2.
The Leverstock side will look to bounce back from this defeat with next Saturday’s visit to Holmer Green.