Arlesey off the mark with first victory

Arlesey Town. Picture: Guy Wills.
Arlesey Town. Picture: Guy Wills.

Arlesey Town finally secured their first Southern League East victory - and the 2-0 success came at fellow strugglers Fleet on Saturday.

Although the home side won the toss, they elected to play up the steep slope and it was Arlesey that used this to their advantage.

With several players missing there were three new names on the teamsheet for the Blues along with Ash Farooqui plus Yemi Adelani, who scored on his debut last week.

Arlesey started much stronger than they had done in recent weeks and absorbed any attacking options from the home side.

On 18 minutes Rafe Goodman delivered a good pass that found Taylor Rhiney on the edge of the box, he brought the ball down and controlled it well before beating two defenders and slotting it past the diving keeper for the opener.

Arlesey were well on top as crosses came in and the keeper did well at the feet of Adelani. With half an hour gone Goodman found Adelani in the box and he made a great turn and rifled the ball past the keeper for 2-0 and his third goal in two games.

The visitors kept up the pressure down the slope and the keeper did well again at Adelani’s feet but it finished 2-0.

With the home side attacking down the slope in the second period it was the preverbial ‘game of two halves’. But Arlesey defended well with new centre half Hamilton Bunga prominent along with Joe Steele.

The pitch also seemed to be working for the home side as it did some very strange things to the ball, one shot bounced viciously right in front of Bart and looked to have popped over him but he managed to claw it away.

Arlesey introduced another new player in Fabian Brown-Johnson and soon after Rhiney broke up the hill but the ball seemed to get slowed down in the grass and his shot was saved by the keeper.

Again Fleet pushed forward but the feeling was that Arlesey had enough in the tank to keep them at bay as they defended a series of corners well.

Manny N’Daw, also making his debut, worked hard on the wing to break out when he could. Although Fleet were attacking Arlesey had another great chance as Adelani found Brown-Johnson, but his shot was not good enough.

Arlesey visit AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Saturday and host Bedford Town on Tuesday, both in the league.