Cockfosters 1 Hashtag United 2
Essex Senior League
Saturday 17th October
Hashtag United leapfrogged Cockfosters into top spot after a hard-fought 2-1 win at Chalk Lane which was as tight as the scoreline suggests. After a goalless first half, the Tags then scored twice inside seven second half minutes. Fosters pulled one back ten minutes from time via substitute Ned Clarke, but the Tags were not to be be denied a very important win against the side that had started the contest leading the table themselves.
There was not too much goalmouth action in the first half. Quite frankly both teams were cancelling each other out and it was quite niggly at times, with every single ball in every area of the pitch being keenly contested. As a result there were fouls galore, hard challenges and little goalmouth action, but still a compelling contest to watch as both teams attempted to get a foothold in the game.
A Hashtag freekick was headed away by Josh Fajobi, while at the other end a cross was met by a Ryan Wade header which was kept out by Tim Pitman getting down low to tip the ball away. The hosts managed to get another ball into Hashtag’s box, a Marcus Crowther cross not being dealt with by the Hashtag defence offered up an opportunity of sorts, but no home attacker was able to get a shot off and eventually Hashtag were able to clear their lines and get the ball out of their box.
Brad Robinson wasn’t being overworked in the Cockfosters goal; the odd cross, a couple of free kicks and one charge off his line to hook a ball clear. George Smith and Jesse Lassen both rifled well-off-target efforts as the half wore on. Then just before the break Reece Mosanya managed to work his way into the Hashtag box before putting in a decent cross into the middle, but once again no Cockfosters player was able to unleash a shot. What had been a useful looking delivering after a decent burst of speed from Mosanya just faded away.
Harry Honesty launched a run into the Cockfosters box early in the second half, but Matt Thomson put in a solid challenge to end it.
But the Tags had started the half with purpose and duly took the lead in the 51st minute. Smith acted as provider, playing a ball into the path of Albert Keith who drew Robinson off his line, before coolly slotting the ball past him to the delight of the Hashtag fans behind the goal.
That was the first clear-cut chance of the game and Hashtag took it. In the 58th minute a Lassen freekick swept into the box, coming to Harry Honesty who unleashed a rocket that smashed into the roof of the net. Two chances, two goals, Hashtag were now in a good position against the league leaders and they almost scored again when another Lassen freekick darted into the danger zone and was narrowly headed over by Tom Anderson.
Marcus Crowther had a free kick headed away, while Carl Mullings had a shot saved by Pitman, but that was as good as it got for the hosts upfront. At one point during the second half every time Cockfosters tried to go forward they found themselves up against a wall of yellow shirts.
However the hosts managed to pull one back in the 80th minute when Pitman appeared to spill the ball which Ned Clarke fired home. It gave his side a possible lifeline, but the Tags defended in numbers and also launched a few counter-attacks which saw shots from Smith and Sanraj Gill blocked, while Robinson had to show safe hands to save a Lassen freekick right under his crossbar. The final chance went the way of the hosts, a George Beattie freekick that was only a whisker away from being the equaliser.
Hashtag had shaded a very tight game by being well organised, but more importantly were clinical when it mattered and were worthy winners. Still plenty to play for of course but Hashtag United will be there and there abouts come the business end of the season as they are very hard to beat.
Cockfosters: Brad Robinson, Luke Marshall (Prince Madu 34′), Marcus Crowther, Matt Thomson (Capt), Danny Haigh, Josh Fajobi, Rueben Campbell, Sam Berry (George Beattie 65′), Carl Mullings, Ryan Wade (Ned Clarke 63′), Reece Mosanya.
Scorers – Ned Clarke (80′).
Hashtag United: Tim Pitman, Ryan O’Rawe, Reece Hewitt, Tom Anderson, Albert Keith (Josh Osude 78′), Lee Hursit (Samraj Gill 75′), George Smith, Harry Honesty, Kris Newby (Capt), Jess Lassen, Daniel Smith.
Scorers – Albert Keith (51′), Harry Honesty (58′).