Stalemate at The Park
Bostik League North
Saturday 7th October 2017
Hertford Town 2(1) Mildenhall Town 2(0)
(Toner 43, 71)
A match between two of the promoted clubs, both sitting in mid-table with the same number of points, was always a good bet to end in a draw and, so, on the face of it, Saturday’s 2-2 result appeared to go much as might be expected. In reality, other than the outcome, very little about the game went as might be expected.
Looking to bounce back quickly from their midweek defeat at Bury Town, the Blues were looking for a positive start but, for no apparent reason, their normal energy seemed to be absent with the result they found it difficult to get a foothold in the game. Their visitors capitalised on this and enjoyed the better of the opening twenty minutes or so. The high point of this period saw them put together a very good attack in the 6th minute, which cut the Blues open and only a good save from Charlie Mann prevented them taking the lead.
They then hit the bar in the 22nd minute, following a good free kick into the box.
By this stage the Blues had put in one of their poorest performances of the season but they gradually they rallied and after going close in the 31st minute they took the lead two minutes before the break. It was Jay Lovell’s long throw-ins that began to cause Mildenhall problems and it was from one of these that Michael Toner opened the scoring by squeezing a loose ball home at the far post.
In truth, the half-time lead slightly flattered the Blues but after a few minutes of the second half they looked to have stepped up their game such that they would go on to a valuable victory. They dominated the opening twenty minutes twice went close to doubling their lead. Ollie Sharman headed Matt Thomson’s free kick narrowly wide in the 54th minute and Michael Toner had a good effort well saved in the 64th.
It was at this point that the day started to go wrong for the Blues. The visitors were offering no real threat but they were given a lifeline in the 67th minute when they were surprisingly awarded a penalty for what many observers saw as a player ‘diving’!
Shaun Avis took full advantage from the spot but only five minutes later Michael Toner doubled his tally to restore the Blues’ lead. He met another long throw from Jay Lovell and headed firmly into the back of the net from the edge of the six-yard box. Soon after Jay Lovell, himself, went close when he headed wide from a Matt Thomson free kick
Once again the Blues seemed destined for victory but this was plucked away from them when they lost concentration when a head injury to Matt Thomson, which left him prone on the ground, went unheeded by the referee and his assistant and, in the confusion, Mildenhall’s Jake Chambers shot low into the net with a snap-shot from 25 yards.
Only ten minutes remained and in that time no further chances fell to either team and the game ended in the draw that many would have predicted at the start.
Team:, Charlie Mann, Ollie Sharman, Luke Foster, Matt Thomson, Michael Toner, Jay Lovell, Ricky Light, Charlie Edwards (Joe O’Brien 81’), Daniel Bond, Tommy Wade and Brett O’Connor (Cameron Currie 68’).
Subs not used: Dan Palmer, Dan Ferrigno and Glenn Draper.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Video © 2017 Nathan Hobley