Takeley extend unbeaten run after derby day win
TAKELEY’S six-game unbeaten run continued in Saturday’s derby clash with 10-man Stansted, as they ran out comfortable 3-1 winners.
Boss Steve Castle believed the game was closer than the scoreline suggested, however, and was frustrated that his side let the hosts back into it in the second half.
“I’m really pleased we’ve kept the unbeaten record going but was annoyed we didn’t go on and kill the game off once we got the second goal just before half-time,” he said.
“I had to remind the players the game lasts for 90 minutes and not 45 because had Stansted made it 2-1 it may have been a closer affair.”
Two first half strikes from marksman Joe Eubell set the in-form side on their way after Stansted had been reduced to 10 men.
Defender Charlie Simpson was given a straight red for dissent, just seconds after the visitors had been awarded – and subsequently missed – a penalty, when Simpson was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.
James Whitbread was the man who spurned Takeley’s golden opportunity to open the scoring, as he smacked the penalty against the crossbar and Eubell was unable to keep the rebound down.
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The target man could have made it a first half hat-trick later though, after a clever touch and turn saw him through on goal with only the keeper to beat, but he smashed the ball just over the bar.
Although Takeley always seemed to have a higher gear if needed, Stansted refused to make it easy for their high-flying visitors.
Despite being two goals down at half-time, the Airportmen took the game to Castle’s side in the second period, and the visitors began to look a little ragged and nervous.
Graham Turner looked ever dangerous down the right hand side of midfield for Stansted, as the home side came close to halving the deficit on more than one occasion.
Castle said the dip in concentration had not gone unnoticed and warned his players about the need to finish games off.
As it was, Takeley made the game safe with 20 minutes to go when James Thomas finished off a smart move with a neat left-foot finish.
Stansted refused to give up, however, and got the goal their efforts deserved with eight minutes left.
Striker Hamed Bugera flicked the ball over the head of a Takeley defender and beat keeper Ronnie Yates to the ball to toe-poke it into the empty net.
Despite the late consolation, Castle was pleased with the effort of his players and praised them for trying to play nice football in difficult conditions.
“The pitch was not conducive to a free flowing game but we showed glimpses of getting the ball down and knocking it around.
“We are now six games unbeaten, which is an impressive statistic, and there’s no reason why we can’t push on now,” he added.
Takeley play Burnham Ramblers on Saturday at Station Road, kick off 3pm.