Saunders frustrated as Rams fail to make dominance count

Howard Neighbour. Picture: Neil Marshall
Howard Neighbour. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Petersfield Town conceded two second-half goals as they tumbled to defeat at the hands of Arlesey Town at Love Lane in Southern League division one central on Saturday.

The 2-1 loss was a third disappointing league defeat in the space of seven days for the Rams.

Howard Neighbour had headed the home side into a first-half lead.

But two goals in the space of eight minutes midway through the second period turned the game in Arlesey’s favour.

Rams manager Ian Saunders was at a loss to explain the disappointing home defeat.

‘We completely dominated the first 45 minutes in the worst wind I have ever seen at our ground,’ said Saunders.

‘Despite the conditions, we still got the ball down and played.

‘Our goal came from our first bit of quality.

‘And we had another couple of good half-chances to score again.

‘We just couldn’t convert our superior possession into further goals.

‘When Arlesey scored their first goal it rocked our confidence and took the wind out of our sails.

‘All of a sudden we became frantic in our play.

‘And then we started 
giving the ball away far too cheaply.’

The opening goal arrived when Oliver Bailey got to the byline and pulled the ball back for Neighbour to fire home.

Bailey, Neighbour and Dave Gerrard all missed out with further chances.

And five minutes before the half-time break, the hosts were indebted to goalkeeper Anthony Ender, who kept them in front with a great save.

The Rams maintained their dominance until the hour mark when Arlesey suddenly turned the game on its head.

A soft free-kick found its way through the Rams defensive wall into the net and soon afterwards Arlesey added a second.

‘It has not been the best of weeks results-wise,’ said Saunders.

‘We were awful at Fleet in midweek but played well in our two home games.

‘The players are continuing to work hard but we don’t seem to be getting that little bit of luck you sometimes need.

‘We just don’t seem to be able to keep a clean sheet at the moment.

‘I have no doubts that it will click again soon and then we can get ourselves on a decent run.

‘Our aim remains to consolidate our position at this level.’