The Blues make a positive start to the new campaign
Bostik League North
Saturday 12th August 2017
Brentwood Town 2(2) Hertford Town 2(0)
(Edwards 75’, Sharman 77’)
Two second half goals, in the space of two minutes, ensured that the Blues made an encouraging start to life at Step 4 in the National Football Pyramid. Whilst it could be viewed that the Blues deserved more from their trip to Brentwood Town, their comeback from being two goals down at half-time will have had all the hallmarks of a victory.
The Blues had probably enjoyed more than their fair share of possession in the first half but had been given a taste of what their step up to the Bostik League was going to be like when they were twice punished for defensive lapses that they would possibly have got away with in the Spartan South Midlands League. They conceded goals to two quick breaks; the first from Matthew Price, five minutes after the start, and the second from Harrison Georgiou, five minutes before the break.
Whilst it would be true to say that the Blues were not at their best, it would also be fair to say that they did not deserve to be two goals behind. In between the two goals, the Blues had created a number of promising opportunities but had lacked the necessary finishing touches where they were needed. A good move in the 8th minute, involving Ricky Light and Daniel Bond, had finished with Tyler Hatherly shooting narrowly over the bar from the edge of the box, while two free kicks in close succession from just outside the box, had both come to nothing.
But, as the half wore on, the Blues were gradually looking the better team and chances were being created. Daniel Bond – making his debut for the Blues alongside Jason Beck, Charlie Edwards, Charlie Mann and Michael Toner – came close in the 33rd minute when his goalbound shot was save by the keeper’s legs and Brett O’Connor had a decent header saved soon after.
Having failed to equalise, though, the Blues then conceded a second goal and despite Daniel Bond and Jason Beck both going close with headers in the five minutes of the half that remained, it was a clearly despondent Blues team that exited for their half-time break.
The Blues did not drop their heads, however, and they started the second half in a positive mood. Only four minutes in, Ricky Light fastened on to a through-ball and rounded the keeper before pulling the ball across goal but, unfortunately, there was nobody there to take advantage.
Chasing the game, manager Gavin Kelsey then gambled by going three at the back and playing Ben Andreos up front with Bond. The additional forward began to pay dividends and pressure on the home goal was building. The breakthrough came with fifteen minutes remaining. Jason Beck’s powerful downward header was saved at the expense of a corner and, when that corner was only partially cleared, Charlie Edwards fired a low shot through a sea of legs into the back of the net.
Their tails were up and less than three minutes later Ollie Sharman ghosted onto the end of a Tyler Hatherly cross to power a perfectly placed header past the stranded keeper for a well-deserved equaliser.
This stung the hosts into action and they then picked up their game and enjoyed their best spell of the match. They almost grabbed a winner with five minutes remaining when they called Charlie Mann into action but he spread himself well and saved the day for the Blues. Shortly after this, Brentwood’s Georgiou was shown a second yellow card for a blatant dive and their treat was effectively over.
In the dying seconds, Jason Beck rounded off a fine performance with a header that was cleared off the line and the Blues were left highly pleased with their share of the spoils, in the knowledge that they can look forward positively to the new season.
Team:, Charlie Mann, Ollie Sharman, Jay Lovell, Michael Toner(Charlie Ruff 75’), Glenn Draper(Dan Ferrigno 75’), Jason Beck, Brett O’Connor, Charlie Edwards, Daniel Bond, Ricky Light(Ben Andreos 56’) and Tyler Hatherly.
Subs not used: Dan Palmer and Matt Thomson.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
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