Blues on a new high
Bostik League North
Saturday 21th October 2017
Hertford Town 4(1) Brentwood Town 0(0)
(Light 45, Toner 62, Summers 74, Edwards 86)
The Blues moved up to a season-high league position of 9th with this emphatic victory over an in-form Brentwood Town. A winning margin of four clear goals was also a season best and was especially pleasing in that it showed strength of character in bouncing back from the heavy midweek defeat at Heybridge Swifts.
Four different scorers, a clean sheet and many good performances throughout the team will been exactly what manager Gavin Kelsey was looking for. A goal for Mark Summers on his return to the club and a fine performance by striker Tommy Wade who, although he didn’t get his name on the scoresheet, was at the heart of almost all of the Blues’ attacks.
The visitors came to Hertingfordbury Park undefeated in their last six games and for the opening minutes they gave a good account of themselves. They pulled a good save out of Charlie Mann in the 12th minute, but that was to prove to be the turning point in the game. From this moment onwards the Blues grew in stature and the Essex side came under increasing pressure, which was characterised by their frequent concession of free kicks for which they picked up three yellow cards in quick succession.
A superb fingertip save from their keeper prevented Michael Toner from opening the scoring in the 14th minute by deflecting the ball onto the bar; his fierce 15-yard volley came at the end of some outstanding build-up play.
Ricky Light was the next to come close when his driving run from the halfway line ended with a good effort that was unfortunately deflected for a corner.
Despite being on top, however, the deadlock had not been broken. Injury time was being played and just when it seemed that the teams would go in at the break on level terms, the Blues grabbed an all-important lead. A corner was conceded on the left and Ricky Light swung his kick high under the Brentwood bar where the visiting keeper was only able to help it into the net.
Once they had survived two early scares, soon after the start of the second half, the remainder of the game belonged to the Blues. A cross into the Hertford area, four minutes into the half, was deflected onto a post and a 30-yard shot, two minutes later, was well saved by Charlie Mann. That was effectively the end of the Brentwood threat, though, and barely a hour had elapsed when the Blues doubled their tally. Matt Thomson’s free kick to the back post was headed back across goal by Tommy Wade where an unmarked Michael Toner volleyed home from the edge of the six-yard box.
Twenty-five minutes remained when Tommy Wade came close to adding a third but, with only the keeper to beat, he slipped at the vital moment and his shot went wide of the post.
Any lingering hopes that the visitors had of a comeback were effectively dispelled soon after when they were reduced to ten men with the dismissal of their Daryl Robson for a second yellow card. The stage was therefore set for former-Blue, Mark Summers, to come off the bench and add a third with virtually his first touch when he took full advantage of a keeper error to slot the ball home fifteen yards.
The Blues biggest win of the season was then wrapped up in the 85th minute when Charlie Edwards headed home another excellently-taken free kick from Matt Thomson.
Team: Charlie Mann, Ollie Sharman, Luke Foster, Matt Thomson, Michael Toner, Dan Palmer, Ricky Light (Daniel Bond 81’), Charlie Edwards, Charlie Ruff (Mark Summers 73’), Tommy Wade (Charlie Cole 78’) and Brett O’Connor.
Subs not used: Davy Edmee and Ben Andreos.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Video © 2017 Nathan Hobley