The FA Cup and the FA Vase have always been the highlights of our season (especially since struggling with league form) but it’s not just our love of football, it’s the coach trips, singing, imbibing and camaraderie. Ask anyone that has been on one of our trips and they will verify, the unity we have as a club carries us through the season. You can’t put a price on that… well, maybe a fiver for the coach and the entry fee to the ground…
And so to our first match, the God of football had drawn us away to a familiar foe in Haringey Borough, a regular opponent in the Spartan Prem until they were laterally moved to the Essex Senior League last season. As it turned out they finished 2nd in the division so we were expecting a tough game and the nervousness was apparent on the coach to Coles Park – White Hart Lane.
Any apprehensions were put to bed from the start as Hertford scored within 17 seconds of the kick off – but it may have had something to do with the numerous glasses of dutch courage quaffed before a ball was kicked. So soon did we score that only a handful of our fans were behind the goal by the time the ball hit the net but cheers still rang out on two sides of the ground.
So what happened? Haringey kicked off and lost possession almost instantly, Leigh Rose put Jordan Watson through on the left who swung a cross onto Kardan Campbell’s bonce, past the keeper into the top corner. A superb start to allay our fears and put the hosts on the back foot from which they struggled to recover from.
That’s not to say Haringey didn’t have any chances, it was more they were profligate in front of goal and the referee was unforgiving. A case in point was when our keeper Ini flattened the Borough winger in the box, we couldn’t see if he got a touch on the ball but the player stayed down, the ref played on.
Aided by the wind Haringey found their keeper’s kicks troubled our back four, often bouncing outside the area and leaving a battle for air superiority that Bradley Fraser and Tommy Wade usually won. The Borough still managed to carve a couple if decent chances but their shooting failed to test our big man between the sticks.
Just before half time Hertford applied the pressure winning a corner, which didn’t come to much but a lobbed ball back into the area found the Borough keeper stranded in no-man’s-land and Louis Rose on hand to head into the vacant goal. Cue ugly scenes of celebration from the Blues fans behind the goal. A heart warming exchange of love between players and fans and a lot of flesh jiggling around in the background…
Hertford took a two goal cushion in at the break but we sensed that another goal would be needed to take the tie beyond Haringey.
Half Time: Haringey Borough 0 – 2 Hertford Town
The second half seemed a bit easier for the Blues, it was their turn for ‘wind aid’ and it did look at times to trouble the home team. The Borough’s goal kicks weren’t as distressing and at times were almost a hindrance to them when they hung in the air, barely making it over the half way line.
After the highlight of our barmaid Audrey losing her drink running into the path of a wayward Blues shot, we managed to score our third, much to the dismay of Loucas (Audrey’s husband) who was rushing to buy another drink.
The goal had shades of offside about it although watching the Youtube video it may have been onside. Kardan Campbell was coming back from the left wing and found the ball cleared to him from Tommy Wade by the half way line. Looking up and seeing no flag he chipped a delicious cross to Leigh Rose who volleyed past the keeper. 3-0 and we felt safe.
Haringey kept pressing and created a couple more chances, missing the target but they did eventually get the ball in the Hertford goal although it was disallowed for offside.
As the match fizzled out there were a couple more chances for Hertford, a Jordan Watson header and TJ shot but they didn’t have enough on it to trouble the keeper.
Full time and the songs continued into the clubhouse, I’m pretty sure we outstayed our welcome but we would like to thank everyone at Haringey Borough for their hospitality, it was a pleasure to frequent the new clubhouse and we wish them well for the season ahead.
Onwards and upwards to the Preliminary Round tie at home to Great Wakering Rovers, bring your friends and family!
Full time: Haringey Borough 0 – 3 Hertford Town
Match report by Dan Sinclair
Photos © 2014 Dan Sinclair
|Tegana James (TJ)||Sub|