Congleton Town FC

Congleton Town FC
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  • U15B lost 0-1 vs Hartford
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Rovers 'v' Hartford 21.10.18

(Mark Arneil 22/10/2018)
Rovers travelled to Hartford for the second time this season, this time with a cup semi-final awaiting the winner. On a warm, sunny morning the away side nearly made the brightest possible start straight from kick-off with Riley putting Negus through, forcing the home no1 into a good save. Wedgbury, reacted quickly and cleverly pulled the ball back to the edge of the area for Riley, whose goal bound strike was again saved by the excellent keeper.
However this was about as good as it got for Rovers in the first half as they failed to settle and allowed Hartford to take an early lead and take control. The visitors were not showing their usual high standard in terms of attitude and effort, and struggled to get hold of the game. The first changes saw F Evans and Simpson replace Sharp and Hopkins.
Rovers briefly threatened with a Negus effort and Riley brought another save from the faultless keeper, but it was the home side who had the better of the first half. The introduction of Simpson was now producing a more composed performance, but Just as Rovers were looking to get to half-time with a one goal deficit, the home forward broke through to give them a second, no more than they deserved.
After some encouragement from the management during the interval, the visitors started the second period much more positively, soon threatening with a free-kick and corner. Sharp and then F Evans in goal and their back four in front of them looked much more solid and the whole teams attitude was better. Hopkins and Moreno were now part of the action, replacing Edwards and Arneil. The midfield of J Evans, Statham and Simpson were snapping into every challenge and looking for those decisive through balls into the front players. A neat interchange between Moreno, Simpson and Wedgbury released Riley, who leading from the front produced a bursting run past three defenders and cross which couldn’t quite be converted by J Evans or the on rushing Negus.
Soon after Riley showed the determination required from Rovers when he didn’t give up when closing the keeper down and the ball rebounded off his backside into the net to make it 2-1. Game on.
Rovers began to play better football but were finding the home side hard to break down, who were still a threat when going forward. It made for an entertaining game for a neutral, with the goal keepers on both sides pulling off some outstanding saves.
As time was running out Rovers pushed for an equaliser and Braisby saw a superb effort from outside the box come back off the crossbar. Despite their efforts, It wasn’t to be for Rovers and the score line failed to change with Hartford ending victorious.
Rovers can take heart from their second half performance, with a much improved attitude and commitment. The lads will know what is required from the start next week.
Hartford 2-1 Rovers.

Roy of the Rovers - Matthew Simpson