Following our League Challenge Cup fixture abandonment due to a frozen pitch at HT last week, we tried again to complete our quarter-final at Berkhamsted’s Broadwater Stadium on Tuesday. This fixture was again called off early on Tuesday afternoon as the officials had deemed the pitch to be unfit to play which prompted The Gaffa to explain his frustration with postponements at this time of the season and the resulting fixture pile-up that inevitably arises every April. Read the full interview with The Hertfordshire Mercury HERE.
The SSML moved very quickly to reschedule and replaced our league fixture with Berko on Saturday with the cup game.
With both Rose brothers suspended and James Ewington cup-tied, The Blues lined up with Bradley Fraser surprisingly occupying the No. 10 shirt and Joe Pearce replacing him in the heart of the visiting defence. Oni Thomas also made a rare start as Hertford Town held out for 73mins before four late Berko goals in 12 minutes decided the tie in the home side’s favour. The rearranged league fixture away at Broadwater has yet to be rescheduled but we’ll update the fixture list accordingly once it has been confirmed by The SSML.
One highlight from a very chilly day in west Hertfordshire was the HTFC debut of 17-yr-old Charlie Ruff who took to the field alongside Hertford’s youngest ever player Mattie Crook as second-half cameos from the bench. If you haven’t seen Sam’s younger brother play, keep an eye out for him as he has the exciting potential to be a fantastic player for the club for many seasons to come.
On Tuesday, Hertford Town FC were invited to send players to Stevenage FC’s Broadhall Stadium to show support for a joint project between The Herts FA and Hertfordshire Constabulary to stamp out homophobic abuse in football. Captain Sam Ruff and Vice-Captain Louis Rose joined Watford FC’s Heurelho Gomes alongside players from Stevenage FC, Boreham Wood, Hemel Hempstead and Hitchin Town to show support for this fantastic joint initiative with the full backing of The FA as part of the “Kick It Out” campaign for more respect for all participants at all levels of the game. The day was a great success and you can watch the video HERE which also includes an item on the BBC’s “Look East” programme.
Hertford Town’s General Manager, Loucas Xenophontos was quoted as saying…
“Homophobia has been prevalent at football matches and in the game generally. At Hertford Town FC we are creating a community football club where everyone in the community is welcome. We recently started an inclusive football team for adults with learning disabilities and it is amazing to see people enjoy taking part in a team sport that they have previously felt excluded from. We are really pleased that The Herts FA have invited us to be part of the LGBT campaign as we can also see a similar need.”
On Saturday afternoon, whilst our lads were away at Berko, The Park was chosen to host the FA’s Inter-League Cup semi-final between the SSML Division 2 representative side and West Yorkshire’s finest. A fantastic afternoon of football was enjoyed by all and the SSML team eventually prevailed, winning the tie 3-2 in regulation time. The defeated Yorkshiremen stayed on well into the night, enjoying the special hospitality that you’ll only find here at The Park. They enjoyed their day out in our county town so much and were so impressed with our facilities that there was even talk of a pre-season friendly later in the year! We wish them all well and were glad they enjoyed their day out in Hertford.
We’d also like to congratulate all of the boys who represented the SSML so successfully, making it through to the final where a place in European competition awaits the eventual winners of this competition. We look forward to hosting more events like this in the future and also like to extend our immense gratitude to all the volunteers who helped out on Saturday to make this the success that it was and to show our visiting guests exactly what we’re all about as a club… we couldn’t have done this without you!!!
Next up for The Blues is a visit to the resurgent London Tigers in the league on Tuesday night at 7:45pm before we return to The Park on Saturday at 3pm when we host Broxbourne Borough in yet another tasty local derby where we’ll be welcoming back ex-Blues Ryan Wade and Georgie Laffar. All HTFC squad members should be fit and free from suspension so get down to the ground early for this clash as we’ll also be showing the potential Premiership title-deciding North London derby between Spurs and Arsenal from 12:45pm on the big screens in the clubhouse during Audrey’s Happy Hour at the bar from 1-2pm. Shelagh’s Meals will of course be open to satisfy any tummy-rumblings with Hertford Porker bangers, Pukka Pies and her amazing burger specials.
The Player Of The Month vote is also now open for February so place your vote HERE to make your selection. The winner will be announced following Saturday’s game against Broxbourne Boro.