Football: Penfold show of fource
DAVE RYAN reports STANSTED 4 (T Mercer, S Thomas, D Bailey, S Rodwell) HODDESDON TOWN 0 STANSTED manager Alan Penfold paid tribute to his young side as they powered their way into the East Anglian Cup second round with a comfortable victory. We played re
DAVE RYAN reports
STANSTED 4 (T Mercer, S Thomas, D Bailey, S Rodwell)
HODDESDON TOWN 0
STANSTED manager Alan Penfold paid tribute to his young side as they powered their way into the East Anglian Cup second round with a comfortable victory.
"We played really well. It wasn't just a good result, it was a good game of football," he said after Tuesday's win.
"I was a bit concerned that we hadn't played for a month. We've been training but it's not the same."
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The Airportmen, second-bottom in the Essex Senior League, have seen several senior players leave the club in the last month.
The strike-force of Michael Begg and Leon Antoine have left Hargrave Park and keeper Steve Wright has also moved on, but Penfold remains positive about his side's chances.
He said: "We had a look at a few young players as some of the others have decided to go. If those players were as good as they think they are we wouldn't be where we are in the table.
"If they want to go, that's their decision. We've tried to persuade them otherwise in the past, but we might as well be near the bottom and building for the future than being in the same position with so-called superstars in the team.
"It's a happy dressing room, everyone who's here at the moment wants to be, and it's nice not to be getting phone calls after the game from players talking about leaving."
The victory was built on some excellent defensive work by the hosts, with cousins Shaun and Stuart Rodwell outstanding.
It left goalkeeper Wes Jackman with little to do in his first game back with the Airportmen.
The home side started well against a side seventh in the Spartan South Midlands League Division One, and took the lead in the fourth minute thanks to a well-placed free-kick from veteran Tony Mercer.
The lead was doubled on the half-hour mark when Sean Thomas broke through Town's offside trap before slotting past the advancing Rob Abrahams.
The victory was wrapped up 10 minutes into the second half when Danny Bailey powered home a free-kick from the edge of the box.
The Airportmen completed their biggest victory of the season when Shaun Rodwell converted Tony Murphy's pass for his first goal of the campaign.
Stansted: W Jackman, Shaun Rodwell. G Bennett, J Wellbrook (T Murphy), Stuart Rodwell, C Nolan (R Sandiford), D Bailey, M Ramsey, T Davis, S Thomas, T Mercer (TJ Adedeji). Unused sub: A Doverstone, D Nolan.
n The Airportmen play their first league game for five weeks on Saturday when they host a Southend Manor side two places ahead of them in 13th place.
n Mel Ramsey's second-half goal helped Stansted Reserves to a 1-1 home draw against Concord Rangers on Saturday, as they collected only their fifth point of the campaign. They continue their Essex & Herts Border Combination campaign on Saturday with a trip to mid-table Basildon.