On an inclement day in Royal Hertfordshire, Hertford Town’s award-winning groundstaff were severely put to the test to prepare The Park ready for the visit of 8th placed Holmer Green in a league clash during a weekend which saw almost half the fixtures called off due to the excessive rainfall during the previous 48hrs.
To be fair, the pitch actually looked fantastic prior to the game and the officials even apologised pre-match for the damage that they knew would be inflicted upon the glorious but rain-soaked carpet in the 90 minutes to come.
The Blues lined up in a more solid, familiar 4-4-2 formation on Saturday with Lewis Donovan dropping back to left-back without losing any of his attacking verve, even chipping in with an assist of his own. Ant Anstead departed for Wodson Park in the week and we were still without the injured Charlie Smith (knee). A formidable starting 11 was also backed up with an incredibly strong bench demonstrating the strength in depth we now have this season.
Hertford Town started with real vigor and got their just rewards on 10mins when Leigh Rose opened the scoring with his 17th of the season following yet another Hatherly assist. Lou Rose doubled the advantage just 9mins later after the visiting ‘keeper saw red for tripping Jordan Watson in the box and the resulting penalty was swiftly dispatched sending the substitute ‘keeper the wrong way. Leigh Rose then scored a 20yrd screamer before a neat half-volley in the box from skipper, Sam Ruff made it four. Lou Rose tapped in for five before Holmer Green scored a consolation goal just before the HT whistle. Hertford Town went into the break 5-1 up and cruising as our local rivals who had their games called off could only look on in appreciation of the complete domination of The Blues during the 1st half.
Holmer Green started the 2nd half with their third ‘keeper of the game but he couldn’t stem the blue tide of attacks and indeed goals as Watson scored a rare header at the far stick followed by his 2nd goal of the season from Willow. The Blues still found time to miss a penalty via Lou Rose which would have sealed yet another hat-trick for the Rose clan this season.
So a 7-2 home win, 170 in the crowd despite the weather and now 4th in the league, just 5 points behind league-leaders AFC Dunstable (with a game in hand) who were beaten 2-1 at Berko today.
Huge thanks to all the fans who stayed behind to pay respect to the memory of ex-player, Dick Hagger following Hertford Town’s 7-2 victory over Holmer Green today. His family and friends really appreciated the minute’s applause and the genuine sentiment from the crowd he used to love playing in front of. Each and every one of you are a credit to the club. RIP Dick.
Post-match our Head-Groundsman had this to say regarding the pitch and his recent Volunteer Groundsman Of The Year award…
“This award is important because it recognises the improvements made by me, Col, Brian and The Mudlarks guys but even more important than that is the fact that it will open up doors for the club to receive new grants so that we can improve even further on the work we’ve already completed and build on for the future. We will not get complacent… this is just the beginning!”
The Gaffa was also a happy chappy after the game and had this message for the fans…
“I’m really pleased for the players today. I felt that that was one of the best 1st half performances since I arrived at the club. I changed the formation today and played 4 at the back and felt we had Holmer Green on the back foot right from the start. We are so strong going forward with all of the attacking options we have at our disposal. Plus, we had great support again today. The players love the noise from the fans and the support that you give to them. Thank you to all of our fans and keep on coming!”
Meanwhile, in the clubhouse, Adam Lawton was presented with the Player Of The Month for October. Well done Adam!!!
We now have three consecutive away games before returning to The Park for our next FA Vase game vs Barking FC on the 21st of November. Hopefully the pitch will have recovered in time after being shown some serious love in the meantime!
See the match page for stats, photos and videos.