Leverstock Green battle hard to edge past Stotfold

Chad Pinching got the winning goal for Leverstock Green. Picture (c) Alan Lee
Chad Pinching got the winning goal for Leverstock Green. Picture (c) Alan Lee

Goals from Billy Smith and Chad Pinching earned Leverstock Green a 2-1 win at Stotfold in Saturday’s SSML Premier Division game.

It was an evenly-contested match throughout, with chances for both sides.

In the eighth minute, Stotfold went close when Aaron Browne was denied by a save by Kieran Jimmy.

A minute later at the other end, an excellent ball from Callum Wright put Nathan Jellow through on goal, but he shot over.

Jellow had another chance in the 17th minute after a run from Tommy Walsh set him up, but his shot was saved by keeper Adam Harpur.

The opening goal came in the 27th minute, and it came from a huge kick from Jimmy which landed on the edge of the Stotfold box.

Harpur came out to collect it, but Billy Smith got there first and took the ball past the keeper before slotting into the empty net.

It should have been 2-0 within a couple of minutes as Jellow went clean through, but shot wide.

Jimmy produced a fine save on 40 minutes, tipping a shot from Browne over the bar, and Stotfold were unlucky on 44 minutes when Carl Albon hit the post.

In the last minute of the half, Leverstock were denied what looked like a clear penalty when Pinching was brought down in the box, but the referee gave nothing.

The second half saw the home side on top in terms of possession and chances. Sean Herr went close with a near post header from a corner on 69 minutes, and two minutes later Luke Adams hit an air shot when presented with a chance inside the six-yard box.

Leverstock had some promising moments on the break, but didn’t create any chances until the 83rd minute when Billy Smith took off from his own half and showed great skill to beat a couple of defenders before laying off to Pinching, who beat a defender before firing home the goal which put his side 2-0 up.

That should have been enough to seal the points, but Stotfold produced a stirring late rally.

In the 87th minute a corner was allowed to drop inside the six-yard box, and Herr stabbed the ball home to put his side back in the game at 2-1.

They went very close to equalising in the second minute of stoppage time from an overhead kick from Ryan Ellis which had Jimmy beaten but drifted inches wide of the post.