No hangover for the Blues
Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round
Saturday 19th August 2017
Hertford Town 4(2) Hadleigh United 1(0)
(Bond 2’, 68’, Beck 45+1’, Ruff 74’)
Showing no signs of suffering any form of hangover following Tuesday’s disappointing defeat at the hands of Bury Town, the Blues proved themselves too strong for their Eastern Counties League opponents, Hadleigh United. Two goals from Daniel Bond and one each for Jason Beck and Charlie Ruff ensured that the Blues progressed to the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup where they will meet fellow Bostik League North side, Grays Athletic.
If there were any doubts about the way in which the Blues would perform, they were soon put to rest when, in only the second minute of the game, Daniel Bond moved onto a fine defence-splitting pass from Matt Thomson and slotted coolly past the keeper to give the Blues an early lead that they would not relinquish.
It was just the boost they needed and for the next twenty minutes or so they created enough opportunities to at least double or treble their tally. Tyler Hatherly’s free kick aimed at the far post in the 4th minute led to claims for handball when a shot was blocked on the line and soon after Tommy Wade’s ball across the goal narrowly escaped Bond’s lunge and came back off the inside of the post, only to be scrambled to safety. And less than a quarter of an hour had elapsed when Dan Ferrigno was put in on goal by Brett O’Connor but his low drive passed the wrong side of the post.
The Blues were dominating the game but, with 25 minutes having been played, they still had only a single goal to show for their efforts and then, as often happens, the visitors began to grow into the game. Their first serious effort on goal was a fine 20-yard volley that required a smart tip-over from Blues custodian, Charlie Mann.
The play then gradually drifted into a form of stalemate but, just as it appeared the Blues would take their one-goal advantage into the break, Jason Beck rose high at the back of the box to power an unstoppable header into the top corner of the net.
The second half saw the Blues tending to sit on their lead and almost inevitably they were made to pay when Dan Palmer was adjudged to have handled a dangerous free-kick aimed at the far post. Hadleigh’s skipper, Ben Elliott, took responsibility from the spot and duly drilled the ball past Charlie Mann to bring his side back into contention with half-an-hour remaining.
Any hopes they had were soon extinguished, however, when two Blues substitutions both made immediate impacts. Coming on in the 67th minute, Ricky light took less than a minute or so to find a perfect pass to set up Daniel Bond for his second goal of the game and restore the Blues’ two-goal advantage, and then Charlie Ruff, coming on in the 74th minute scored the Blues’ fourth with his first kick of the game, latching onto a loose ball following another good effort from Bond.
The result was now no longer in doubt and all that remained was for third substitute, Michael Toner to have a ‘goal’ disallowed for offside and then a shot blocked on the line after he had received a ball from Daniel Bond and rounded the keeper.
Team:, Charlie Mann, Ollie Sharman, Jason Beck, Matt Thomson, Dan Palmer, Dan Ferrigno(Charlie Ruff 74’), Brett O’Connor, Charlie Edwards, Daniel Bond, Tommy Wade(Ricky Light 67’) and Tyler Hatherly(Michael Toner.78’).
Subs not used: Glenn Draper, Jonah Evans, Simon Dent and Ben Andreos.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Photos © 2017 Wendy Mason
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Video © 2017 Sharon Vanner