Shaftsbury were the visitors to Barlow’s Park as they faced a Tadley side looking to make it two home wins in a row. The conditions weren’t great as there was a strong wind but this didn’t affect the chances in this game. It only took seven minutes for the first shot of the game and it fell Shaftsbury’s way as they shot from just outside the area but Freddie Gee took it into his grasp well.
Shortly after, Tadley won a free kick on the edge of the Shaftsbury 18-yard box. New signing Luke Neller took the free kick and struck it well. The ball flew past the wall and the goalkeeper got a hand to it but the shot was too powerful for Hill in the Shaftsbury goal. Neller had made an instant impact on his debut after only 11 minutes.
Another new signing, George Hallahan, was in the action very early on as well. Adam Alliston picked the ball up in the midfield and drove forward. He slotted in Hallahan who released his shot, which looked to be flying straight in but the crossbar saved Shaftsbury. The ball did find its way into the Shaftsbury net again but Brett Denham was fractionally offside which meant it remained 1-0.
Tadley had a few more chances before the half was up from Hallahan, Nicholls and Walsh but none of them tested Hill in the Shaftsbury goal. The home side went into half time one nil up after a composed first half performance.
Shaftsbury kicked off the second half and within 60 seconds, they won a free kick outside Freddie Gee’s box. Two Shaftsbury players stood over the ball and Bevis struck it well. The shot whipped around the wall and nestled into the net. It was a bad start to the second half but with plenty of time left to get another goal. However, a few minutes later, Shaftsbury could have been 2-1 up as a poor pass left Gee stranded. Goalscorer Bevis managed to knock the ball around Gee but couldn’t direct the ball in.
Tadley then had a flurry of chances within a few minutes, the first coming from a Shaun Dallimore long ball. Brett Denham was on the end of the long ball who crossed for George Hallahan but his shot was blocked well by Shaftsbury. Then, 3 minutes later a great curling cross was flicked on by Brett Denham but his strike partner couldn’t get on the end of the flick on.
Once again, the trio of Neller, Denham and Hallahan were involved near the Shaftsbury goal. Neller played a brilliant pass over the top of the Shaftsbury back four, Denham poked his foot at it but Hill saved well. Luckily, Hallahan was on hand to tap home the rebound on his debut. Tadley now had nine minutes plus added time to see out the win.
The final moments included a Shaftsbury corner but it was well defended by the home side who were giving everything into seeing out this important game. Deep into added time Shaftsbury were awarded a soft free kick. The free kick missed everyone in the box but Gee was on hand to catch the ball well. The referee blew his whistle shortly after giving Tadley the 2-1 win.
Starting 11: 1. Freddie Gee, 2. Tom Walsh, 3. Kallum Thomas, 4. Andrew Charsley, 5. Shaun Dallimore, 6. Jake Nicholls, 7. Danny Vickers, 8. Luke Neller, 9. Brett Denham, 10. George Hallahan, 11. Adam Alliston
Substitutes: 12. Cameron George (on for Alliston), 14. Harry Pearson, 15. Shemar Pettet, 16. Connor Thorne (on for Hallahan), 17. Sean O’Brien