SPEC 0 North London Raiders B 0
MSFL new boys SPEC and Premier Division newcomers North London Raiders B played out a well-contested and hard fought goalless draw on a mild evening under the Borehamwood FC 3G pitch floodlights.
The first half saw the Raiders boys have the majority of possession. L'Orange used the ball effectively to create space down the wings with the front man dropping deep to collect the ball in 'the hole' and give the SPEC defence something to think about.
However, marshalled by a commanding Laurence Rosenthal, the Bananas defence held strong and dealt with all that was thrown at them, even managing to play the ball out of defence nicely to their deep lying midfield trio.
Raiders were almost made to pay for their toothlessness in the final third when SPEC winger Craig Cohen cut in from the byline to unleash one of his famous right foot firecrackers that rattled the underside of the bar -leading to a heated debate from the touchline between Gray and Tyler about the importance of goal-line technology.
The rest of the half was played out at a high tempo with plenty of gusto.
The second period followed the same pattern as the first. Raiders were strong on the ball and testing the imperious Michael Rhodes in the SPEC goal a few times but ultimately, they were unable to find a way past 'the Spider'.
SPEC again looked dangerous on the counter with Bookatz relishing the space that opened up towards the end of the match.
With SPEC also unable to find a way past Raiders stalwart David Simnock, and the Raiders strikers giving Tom Daly a run for his money for a place in the London 2012 diving team, the match ended a fair 0-0.
Both teams will come away from the match with positives. Raiders will be delighted to have another 90 minutes fitness under their belt and will no doubt be pleased with their ball retention.
Laurence Conway's fourth division Bananas will feel encouraged to have pushed a Premier team all the way - sending out a clear message to their Division Four rivals with three games played (two wins and a draw) and 0 goals conceded against teams in higher divisions.
However, Conway will make sure that SPECs feet are kept fully on the ground as there is still a lot of work to be done.