Saturday 17 December 2016


Attendance - 30 

It was Division One v Premier Division in the Spartan South Midlands League Challenge Trophy as Arlesey Town Reserves played host to Hadley. 

Going into the game the management of Hadley will know they have under-achieved this season winning just three of eighteen games played. They did have a fantastic run in the Emirates FA Cup to the Third Qualifying Round beating Brantham Athletic, Hertford Town, London Colney and Kings Langley before gaining a highly creditable 0-0 draw at Vanarama South side Eastbourne Borough and eventually losing 1-4 in the home replay at Brickfield Lane in front of 297 people. Just Ivan Machado and Charlie Mann remained in the starting XI from the Eastbourne Borough replay in this game and it was Machado who was the stand out player for me. I have seen him play a number of times now and I think he has the game to play at a higher level of non-league football. He can hold the ball up well, is a big powerful player who can run at defenders, has a good touch and a clear eye for goal. 

The game was without a goal until around twenty minutes to play when Hadley ran in three well taken goals against a spirited Arlesey side who themselves have been struggling towards the bottom end of their division. 

One game in the Premier League on Wednesday saw a midfielder thread a delightfully weighted pass from the left hand side of the penalty box through to a centre-forward to score from a tight angle - For this game Bilal Sanchez was Paul Pogba and Machado was Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Hadley's first goal was very similar to Manchester United's winner against Crystal Palace - some may argue it was better? Have a look at the video to see what you think? 

Machado was involved again in the third goal when an impressive interchange of passing between him and Teddy Stacey saw the later drive home a shot from the edge of the box. 

In between those goals centre-forward Chinua Phinn-Archer was quicker to the ball, when the Arlesey keeper spilled another great shot from Stacey, to score from close-range. 

It could of been different for the home side as when it was 0-0 their young centre-forward Charlie Scott was one-on-one with the goalkeeper only to beat - His shot was well saved. 

One player who stood out for Arlesey was Pierre Marcel-YamFam who was playing at right-back and got forward many times with some impressive pacey runs - I think if he played further forward on the right wing with a strong defensive minded right-back behind him it would really benefit him and his club. He has only recently joined the Bedfordshire club where he was a substitute for the first team versus Beaconsfield SYCOB on Saturday 10th December - He has also played in Spain for 'DC Ronda' and in Gibraltar for 'FC Brittania XI'. 


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