EGHAM TOWN 4 PETERSFIELD TOWN 1
By Tempest Ward
On song Egham go a-Capela
EVO-STIK SOUTHERN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE CENTRAL
SATURDAY 2 APRIL 2016
EGHAM TOWN 4 (1) PETERSFIELD TOWN 1 (1)
Egham Town: Chris Moore (39), Goldy Capela 2 (64, 85), Bajram Pashaj (74, pen) : Lewis Hyde (7)
Egham Town faced Petersfield Town with their last six games showing a record of WWLLLL, the exact opposite of the run which took the Hampshire side to second place in the form table. Egham had lost the first match at Love Lane by the only goal in October. That was the first reverse in Gary Meakin’s reign as Egham boss so it was perhaps fitting that this win ended the worst run with him in charge.
This game certainly tested Egham’s mettle. The pleasing thing was that even though they went behind to a preventable goal this time they dug in, shut out the opposition and by dint of sheer hard work and, particularly in the second half, some pretty decent football and a magnificent debut by a young striker, won through.
The Egham line-up showed Chris Moore making his first start in Egham colours and Ollie Jones on the right side of midfield. Moore, it must be said, was carrying some weight (pot, kettle) when he made his goalscoring debut at North Greenford United but has clearly worked on that while still being able to show his professional level pedigree with his touch, passing and general reading of the game. The influential Bajram Pashaj was in from the start again after coming off the bench at Ware. The Sarnies had no game on Easter Monday thanks to Storm Katie and it looked like it helped. From the start Egham created a half chance for Chris Henry, who shot wide, and after three minutes Petersfield keeper Luke Eaton was forced into action when Hassan Sulaiman, Jones and Moore combined for Pashaj to have a go. The trouble was that the Rams took the lead with their first chance. From a corner, the Egham defence left Lewis Hyde free to trot up from the back and tuck a header inside the near post. Andy Todd nearly took advantage of some nervous passing between Egham keeper Jamie Norris and skipper Luke Neville but soon the home side started finding their way back into the game. Jones and Moore combined for Henry, who perhaps should have shot first time because his second effort all but cleared the trees at the Jungle End. An Egham line-up with leading scorer Brendan Matthew on the bench were giving their supporters something to smile about with their domination of possession. Neville hit the top of the net with a looping header then got in the way of Todd’s shot after the Petersfield centre-forward had taken advantage of a rare slip by Reece Yorke. The pressure told when Henry went round Olly Searle and knocked in a pass that split the defence and found Moore unmarked and free to steer the ball in with his stomach.
Pashaj’s enterprising run from deep seven minutes into the second half gave notice that they were in a better frame of mind than for most of their last four games. That move gave Egham the impetus for their next attack, Jones squaring for Pashaj who hooked a shot over the bar from a difficult angle. Jones then gave way to one Goldy Capela. No, me neither. We do now. The young striker has played for East Grinstead (Ryman One South), moving there from Hendon, where he earnt some ecstatic reviews after a superb debut. He has also been on Dagenham and Redbridge’s books and last featured for Erith & Belvedere (Southern Counties East Premier). He looked the part immediately, trapping a Moore pass, beating his marker and firing in a shot that was just wide of the right post. A touch from Henry, Moore’s pass to Pashaj and a blistering shot warmed the hands of the visiting keeper, who dived to his left to save. When Pashaj’s corner came in there was a half chance for the Sarnies as the ball fell into a small patch of no-man’s land in the box, but from the next attack Egham got the goal they by now fully deserved. Ryan Parsons attacked from left, his cross was knocked on by Moore and Capela rose to head the ball home off the underside of the crossbar, just seven minutes after coming on. Things got better for Egham after 74 minutes when Henry waltzed into the box and found himself upended quite needlessly. Despite Eaton’s dance routine on the line Pashaj’s penalty kick was clinical. Petersfield were now a beaten team and were even more so when Pashaj took Wes Daly’s fifty yard pass in his stride out on the left wing before playing the perfect pass to Capela for the young hitman to cut inside one challenge and rifle a perfectly executed shot into the bottom right corner of the Petersfield net.
Egham still await news of which Tuesday will see them face Fleet Town at home. This Tuesday coming the Sarnies will be hoping to choke the Crows as Royston Town visit. They have already been to the Runnymede Stadium but the game was called off with half an hour to go due to a frozen pitch. Royston drew 0-0 at Bedford Town while Kings Langley won 3-1 at home to Uxbridge and thus reclaimed top spot. St Ives beat Ware 1-0 and AFC Rushden & Diamonds also won by the only goal in their trip to Leighton Town. St Ives are 4th, Rushden & Diamonds (who visit Egham Town on 16 April) fifth and just outside the play-off places are three more hopefuls. Egham travel next Saturday to 6th placed Chalfont St Peter (3-0 at Godalming Town) and just behind the Saints are Aylesbury (3-1 v Beaconsfield SYCOB) and Northwood, 2-1 winners at Potters Bar Town. In the other matches Hanwell and Fleet Town were goalless, Arlesey beat Barton Rovers 1-0 and Aylesbury United helped themselves to a 3-0 victory against basement club North Greenford United, who, with four games left, are nine points from safety. As they have to play St Ives and Kings Langley it is probably safe to say that they will in the Combined Counties League next season, perhaps swapping places with our neighbours Ashford Town (Middx.) now that Hartley Wintney have apparently failed a ground inspection for this level.
EGHAM TOWN: Jamie Norris, Hassan Sulaiman, Ryan Parsons, Reece Yorke, Luke Neville (captain), Wes Daly, Ollie Jones, Kurtney Brooks, Chris Moore, Chris Henry, Bajram Pashaj. Subs: Mitchell Gutteridge, Callum Webb (Henry, 82), Goldy Capela (Jones, 57), Jake Cass (Moore, 76), Brendan Matthew.