Blues are SO close to notable victory
Tuesday 26th September 2017
Enfield Town 1(0) Hertford Town 1(0) (Enfield won 9-8 on penalties)
The Blues came within a few seconds of claiming what would have been the highly prized scalp of Premier Division Enfield Town, when they conceded a last minute equaliser and then exited the competition 9-8 on penalties.
Neither side was at full strength but the Blues’ can be proud of their performance in pushing their higher-league opponents so close to defeat. Taking the lead through a Daniel Bond goal in the 55th minute, a rare moment of confusion in the Blues defence cost them a 90th minute equaliser and took them into the inevitable lottery of a penalty shoot-out.
And, after seventeen almost flawless kicks, the Blues were dealt a final cruel blow when Brett O’Connor’s effort hit an upright.
The first half was a hard-fought affair with the Blues generally on the back-foot for the opening twenty minutes or so. They gradually grew into the game, however, and began to put together some dangerous attacks on the break. The home side were being restricted to shots from distance while, at the other end, shot narrowly wide when put in by Tommy Wade.
Half-time arrived with the score-sheet still blank, with very few chances having fallen to either team. The Blues had coped well with the pressure that had been put upon them and had, for their part, played some decent football themselves.
The second half saw the hosts come out the stronger and within four minutes of the restart Simon Dent had pulled out two very good saves to prevent them opening the scoring.
The Blues were then forced into changing their line-up when injuries to Dan Ferrigno, Ricky Light and Tommy Wade necessitated three substitutions before the 52nd minute had elapsed. They took time to adjust and were indebted to another good save from Simon Dent for keeping them in the game.
Once they had settled, they began to increase their pressure on the home side succeeded in taking a 57th minute lead. Ben Andreos intercepted a pass near the halfway line and set Daniel Bond free on goal. And, despite the attentions of the chasing defenders, Daniel drew the keeper and coolly slotted it by him for the opening goal.
Enfield understandably raised their game in search of an equaliser but the Blues held firm and caused problems of their own with two confident claims for penalties going unheeded. Another fine save from Simon Dent in the 88th minute looked to have won the tie but then a last-minute scramble in the box stole victory from their grasp.
The tie would then be decided on penalties and then with Joe O’Brien, Daniel Bond, Charlie Ruff, Matt Thomson, Ben Andreos, Jay Lovell, Dan Palmer, and Ollie Sharman having ‘equalised’ from the spot, Brett O’Connor was denied by a post. The Blues can take heart from their performance, though, and can now look forward to Saturday’s local derby with Ware in good heart.
Team:, Simon Dent, Ollie Sharman, Luke Foster, Matt Thomson, Jay Lovell, Dan Palmer, Ricky Light(Brett O’Connor 50’), Joe O’Brien, Daniel Bond, Tommy Wade(Ben Andreos 50’) and Dan Ferrigno(Charlie Ruff 52’).
Subs not used: Sam Heatley & Alex Ward.