(A) Wembley

Leverstock Green kicked off 2018 with another three points as they came away from a trip to Wembley F.C. with a 2-1 win in Saturday’s SSML Premier Division fixture. It wasn’t one of the better performances in their recent run of form, but the side showed the character and discipline to get the result.

The Green side had a very good start to the match, with Ross Adams hitting a shot wide of the post with just 15 seconds played. With just over a minute played Curtis Donaldson was put clean through and looked set to score, but home keeper Frankie Atwell did well to turn Donaldson’s shot round the post.

Green keeper Matt Evans was brought into action in the 6th minute, tipping a shot on the turn from Zaied Sabti over the bar. Two minutes later Donaldson went close again as he hit a thunderbolt of a shot from the edge of the box which rattled the crossbar, and again a minute later when a curled effort was turned round the post by Atwell.

For the rest of the half, though, it was Wembley who had more of the ball. In the 17th minute a shot from Jonathan Iley wasn’t held by Evans, but Evans got up quickly to block the follow-up effort from Calvin Osborne. Five minutes later a run from Calvin Kasirye set up Adrian Dinham for a shot across goal which was deflected wide. Dinham had another good chance when he was set up by Ethan Tyrer in the 30th minute, but hit his shot wide, and in first half stoppage time Evans had to turn a shot from Iley round the post.

As has been the case several times recently, Leverstock got a crucial goal quickly in the second half. With less than two minutes played, a poor kick-out from Atwell put his side in trouble, and Matt Bateman picked up the ball and hit a well-placed shot from the edge of the box into the corner of the net to put Leverstock into a 1-0 lead.

Bateman could have added a second on 53 minutes when he ran onto a great ball from Reynaldo Carbon and pushed the ball past Atwell, but before he could direct the ball towards the empty net Tyrer came in with an excellent sliding tackle to clear the ball wide. On 62 minutes Carbon was looking dangerous as he made a run into the box, until he was tripped by Donnell Castro-Jervier. The referee pointed to the penalty spot, and although the home side protested vigorously to the officials, the decision stood and Curtis Donaldson netted the spot kick for the second Leverstock goal.

There was almost a third goal a minute later when Carbon put over a cross which Tyrer slid in to clear only just wide of his own goal. Bateman went close again as he tried to score from a very narrow angle but the ball drifted just wide of the far post.

Wembley continued to press over the remaining minutes and played the ball around the box well, but Evans and his defence stood firm and dealt with the danger. There was a glimmer of hope for the home side when Sabti got up to direct a downward header into the corner of the Leverstock net deep into stoppage time, but there was no time left after the restart for them to test the resolve of the Green defence any further.

Next Saturday Leverstock have another away game as they visit Silver Jubilee Park to face Edgware Town for the fifth time this season.


(A) Wembley

A goal in the last minute of stoppage time meant that Leverstock Green came away from an eventful match at Wembley with nothing. The Green side had come from behind twice to eventually lead 3-2, but were unable to hold onto the result despite playing against ten men for the whole of the second half.

Wembley took the lead in the 11th minute of Saturday’s SSML Premier Division game, after a rash challenge from Karl Thomas gave away a free kick just outside the penalty area. Zaied Sabti’s curler over the wall was tipped onto the post by Green keeper Mark Berg, but the home side were quicker to react to the rebound, with Adrian Dinham netting the loose ball.

Leverstock hadn’t had much of a look-in over the opening half-hour, but they were back level when Curtis Donaldson intercepted the ball on the halfway line, and had the freedom of the entire Wembley half as he ran through all alone to shoot past home keeper Przysmslaw Mifrzwa, who got a hand to the shot but couldn’t keep it out.

Wembley could have gone back in front two minutes later when Dinham was through on goal, but shot over the bar. Leverstock went close on 39 minutes when Donaldson curled a free kick into the box, but Jack Watts didn’t get quite enough on his header to divert it inside the post. Wembley regained the lead in the 42nd minute when the Green defence couldn’t clear their lines from a corner, and Jermaine Heron eventually bundled the ball home.

There was almost an immediate response from the Leverstock side as Jonathan Lacey was through on goal, but Mifrzwa saved Lacey’s shot with his boot. However, Wembley were in trouble again in first half stoppage time when Mifrzwa was stranded on the edge of the box as Lewis Bowers headed the ball over him. Lacey chased the ball in, but was prevented from scoring by a push in the back from defender Adam Humphries. The referee pointed straight to the spot, and also showed Humphries a straight red card. Lacey ensured that Wembley got the full punishment as he netted the spot kick to send the sides into the break level at 2-2.

Half time saw three substitutions made, two by Wembley and one by Leverstock, with Danilson Vicente replacing Thomas. Leverstock almost struck in the opening minute of the half as Lacey was through on goal, but Mifrzwa saved, and also kept out a follow-up effort from Vicente. A further change saw Kendall Allen injured full-back Casey Linsell on 50 minutes. Two minutes later Berg made a good save to keep out another Wembley free kick.

Leverstock had another good chance on 63 minutes when Bowers was through on goal and tried to lay off to Vicente, but the ball just ran away from him. However, a few seconds later a pass from George Biggadike put Lacey through, and Leverstock’s top scorer made no mistake as he slotted home his 22nd goal of the season to put his side in front for the first time.

Wembley were denied an equaliser on 69 minutes when Watts put in a good tackle on half-time sub Joe Wright, who was through on goal. However, Wembley kept up the pressure, and two minutes later Wright got up at the near post to meet a corner with a header that looped back into the far corner of the net.

The game was still level at 3-3 as the game went into stoppage time.There was controversy as Bowers was clean through and set to score but flagged offside despite the ball having clearly come to him off the boot of a Wembley player. The decision affected the concentration of the Green side, and with the game in the last of the indicated four additional minutes, they gave the ball away near the halfway line. Wembley pushed forward in numbers, and as the ball was put across the face of goal, it was the other half-time sub Conor Carroll who applied the finishing touch to ensure that his side took all three points.

It was a highly disappointing end to a frustrating afternoon for the Leverstock side, but they will hope to get back to winning ways on Tuesday night when they host Oxhey Jets.