This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Left to right, top level: Nick Reed, Richard Brown, Tom Bancroft (c), Andy Smith, Lawrence Isaac, Christian Wilcox, Ben Wilson (GK) L to R, lower level: Matt Tanner, Jame Bancroft, Jack Horton, Jamie Impey, Louis Tanner, Lee Davison, Sean Meikle.


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aturday 26 February saw Abbots take on bottom of the league Wheathampstead


Reserves. The game was only just given the go ahead due to a terribly water-logged pitch, however this wasn't manager Mark Smith's only concern. Goalkeeper Ben Wilson's shoulder had failed to recover after a minor altercation with a night club bouncer, meaning Mark had to again call upon Richard Brown to fill in in-between the sticks. Nevertheless, this didn't interrupt the impressive run Abbots have been on since the start of the year. Abbots went 1-0 up early through a routine


goal from Andy Smith, before Jack Horton set-up Sean Meikle to make it 2-0. Andy Smith added a third before half time to put the game beyond doubt. The second half saw more of the same, with Abbots comfortably in charge despite a rapidly deteriorating pitch. Sean Meikle smashed home his second and Abbots' fourth before Neil Gray scored a debut goal to round off proceedings and seal a valuable 5-0 win. March 5 saw Abbots host Harpenden Rovers in


a crucial game at the top of the table. Despite taking a two goal lead through Lee Davison and Andy Smith, both put on a plate by Sean Meikle, Abbots went into the break at 2-2 having conceded twice before half time. However, we restored the two-goal lead through goals from Andy Smith and Sean Meikle. The 4-2 final score lifted Abbots into second in the league after five wins on the bounce. March 12 saw Abbots travel to


Wheathampstead for the second game between the two sides in three weeks. The first half proved to be a much closer affair than the


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game two weeks before, however Abbots Langley's quality prevailed when Matt Tanner expertly slotted home right on half time. That goal knocked the wind out of Wheathampstead's sails and Abbots proceeded to add three more goals to the tally through Lee Davison, Jack Horton and Andy Smith. While Lee's and Jack's goals were well taken and composed, Andy's was somewhat lucky and maybe fortunate not to have been given as an own goal. The final score of 4-0 took Abbots, for the first time this season, to the top of the league. Finally, on 19 March, we faced our toughest


test of the season to date when facing Philippine FC in the Webster Cup Quarter Finals. Philippine FC are 5th in Divison 1, two divisions above Abbots, and to make matters worse, Abbots were missing five first team players. Great work by new signing Luke Butler on his Abbots debut earned Abbots a penalty, which was duly dispatched by Andy Smith. Philippine didn't seen to be able to cope with the high tempo set by Abbots and soon found themselves 2-0 down after Jamie Impey bundled in his first Abbots goal from a Matt Tanner corner. After half time, Philippine seemed to sense the danger they were in and took the game to Abbots, only to leave themselves exposed and when Andy Smith headed home an exquisite Neil Gray cross, Abbots had booked themselves a semi-final date against Wellington Arms. Special praise from manager Mark Smith went to Richard Brown and James Bancroft for filling in at centre back during the 'injury crisis' and shutting out Philippine FC.


By Andy Smith


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