Biggleswade United returned from their first ever trip to Hadley’s new Brickfield Lane ground in Arkley with another three points on Saturday.
It was an evenly contested match that was high on quality and included five goals for the hardy, rain soaked crowd to coo about.
It also saw United claim their first league double of the season as Cristian Colas’ side took maximum points in the 2-0 home victory in the season opener at Second Meadow.
Their hosts have had a pick and mix first half to the season. An excellent FA Cup run saw them reach the third round qualifying eventually going out in a replay to National League side Eastbourne Borough.
However, they seem to be suffering a rather prolonged FA Cup hangover as league form tells a different story. Currently residing in the bottom third and without a home league win, they have yet to celebrate a house warming party nor bring cheer to their new found group of supporters.
However, on Saturday’s performance it is only time before their illustrious manager, former Spurs and Chelsea striker Micky Hazard, initiates the turnaround in the North London club’s fortunes.
United set out their stall as early as the very first minute when Matt Cooper burst forward and hit a 25 yard strike that just inched past the post and five minutes later Cooper again was denied by the glove of Hadley’s Charlie Mann.
Slowly getting in to their stride, Hadley managed to weather their guests’ early onslaught and a ten minute spell saw pressure applied at the other end of the pitch with United’s Martin Russell and Jordan Wright needing to take a firm grip on a Hadley strike duo of Hesham Benmansour and Ivan Machedo that has netted 21 goals this season.
However, it was United’s self-styled Frank Lampard in Nick Elliot that broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute scoring his ninth goal of the season from midfield.
But it was United striker Dave Iwediuno’s tenacity that earned the praise as he chased down a seemingly lost cause to pull the ball back from the touchline to Elliot who beat two defenders and finished by tucking the ball in to the net for 1-0.
The remainder of the half saw play swing from end to end with slick, controlled passing football that was a joy to watch for the spectators. United’s Tom Wyant maintained United’s lead with a reflex save from a Tyrone Mulholland header and his counterpart was called upon to deny Kane Farrell a goal from his free kick and Josh Sturniolo saw his effort turned around for a corner as the half time whistle blew.
The second period was only four minutes old when United failed to deal with a second consecutive corner and they were punished when Sam Lyon picked up the loose ball and stabbed home the equaliser past a justifiably frustrated Wyant.
The goal seemed to spur the home side on and United looked decidedly edgy for a ten minute spell with skipper Russell needing to take shake up his back line to prevent Hadley getting a second.
The introduction of substitute, Charlie Joy, to replace the tiring Sturniolo seemed to give United the extra legs to take the game to their hosts and in the 58th minute a long pass from Joy found Lusunga Ndovi on the opposite flank.
Nodovi cut in past his marker and sent over a perfect cross to Iwediuno but the United number nine headed in to Mann’s arms.
Three further efforts fell to United but it was Elliot again, somewhat fortuitously that struck for his and United’s second of the day in the 75th minute.
Collecting from Joy on the edge of the box he fired a low left foot strike that hit a Hadley boot sending Mann the wrong way and the ball in to the net for 2-1.
Four minutes later and having been on for only three minutes, Daryl Ngwala scored his first in a United shirt to make it 3-1. A Farrell free kick was chested down by Ngwala and in one movement the striker turned and volleyed past Mann from 20 yards out with one local supporter claiming it was the best goal seen at Brickfield Lane this season.
But the story didn’t end there. Hadley came back strongly and set United nerves jangling in the 85th minute.
Unchallenged in the middle of the park, Mulholland was able to cut through the United pack and took his chance from distance. This time it was a United boot that caught Wyant out as it ricocheted away from his reach to make it 3-2.
An under fire United held out for the remaining five minutes to secure the points and leave Hadley wondering how they rid themselves of the home ground voodoo.
Biggleswade United visit Southall in the League Challenge Trophy on Wednesday and host Tring on Saturday.