Monmouth Town 3 Garden Village 2
ON an autumnal afternoon at the Sportsground, Monmouth Town welcomed bottom of the table Garden Village who had only picked up one point in eight games and were looking for a much needed win.
The Kingfishers on the other hand were looking to build on last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Ton Pentre and climb the table, growing in confidence.
Town boss Andrew Smith made three changes to the side which drew one all against Ton Pentre the previous week, bringing in Kazeem Kareem for Joe Loftus, striker Richard Greaves while switching youngster Mitchell Palmer to left back.
It was the visitors who started the brighter of the two sides, having an early chance with striker Craig Mathews being denied by the leg of home ‘keeper Keiron Blackburn. Village continued on the front foot, missing a golden chance with their striker through on goal only to put it wide.
Andrew Smith’s men grew into the game having a number of attacks but failing to find the finishing touches. However, against the run of play, Town striker Nick Harrhy put Richard Greaves in one on one with Village keeper Luke Fleming and Greaves calmly slotted home to put the Kingfishers one up.
Soon after, Richard Greaves could have doubled his tally but his header lacked the conviction of his earlier finish. Greaves was instrumental in the second goal though, playing a wonderful one two with Harrhy who slotted the ball into the top corner.
The Kingfishers quickly found themselves a third, with centre back Ben Evans putting a looping pass into Elliot Ford who squared it to Greaves for a tap in.
The visitors had a good chance on the half hour mark but were denied by a spectacular tip round the post by Blackburn. The visitors got one back in the fortieth minute when Blackburn’s save was cleared by Jack Alderdice only to find Village midfielder Ryan Thomas whose shot took a wicked deflection and flew in.
Village ended the first half as they started, having numerous attacks that ultimately didn’t lead to anything. The half time whistle went and the Kingfishers led Garden Village by three goals to one.
Both teams started the second half positively and an early free kick was saved comfortably by Keiron Blackburn. Shortly after, Sam Palmer put an inviting ball in for Town target man Richard Greaves whose header was cleared off the line. Greaves continued to trouble the Canaries defence having another free header which hit the bar and a turn and shot which also clipped the woodwork.
Against the run of play, Village won a penalty after Rob Laurie failed to clear and his hashed attempt hit his arm to concede a bizarre penalty. The visitors converted to set up a nail biting last 20 minutes.
Smith decided to bring the experienced Alex O’Leary on at left back, replacing Mitchell Palmer giving the team a bit more experience and discipline as well as bringing on the exciting prospect Jac Hardman.
The Canaries put the pressure on Andrew Smith’s men, missing a golden chance when ex Town centre half Dan Barnard headed onto the bar. However, the Kingfishers, sponsored by South Hereford garages, held on and claimed all three points.
Manager Andrew Smith said after the game “although it’s a win I was disappointed with the way we ended, after going three up early on, we should be killing teams off and being more ruthless in games like that”.
The Kingfishers are away to Goytre United next week looking to build on their performance and grow in confidence.