The Blues finish on a high note
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Saturday 29th April 2017
Berkhamsted 0(0) Hertford Town 1(0)
A twelfth goal of the season for Phil Lowen, six minutes from the end of normal time, helped seal a 28th league win for the Blues to complete a successful, if not a little disappointing, league campaign as runners-up.
In the final reckoning the Blues finished only five points behind the champions, London Colney, and will inevitably point to a drastic drop in form in March as where their title challenge faltered. Only five points were taken from five very winnable games and a season which had seen the Blues permanently playing catch-up lost momentum and the gap was never closed.
For various reasons the Blues fell behind on games compared with London Colney and a points gap was opened up that ultimately proved to be decisive.
The Blues can, however, be proud of their season and must now look to strengthen the squad for the next campaign and build on what they have achieved in this. The double-winning success of the Blues’ under-25 Development Squad will stand the club in good stead for the future with a number of very promising players now ‘waiting in the wings’. Four of those players – Jonah Evans, Luke Foster, Joe Othen-Price and Dan Palmer – featured in this victory at seventh-placed Berkhamsted, and all gave a good showing.
On paper, Phil Lowen’s late goal earned what appeared to be a narrow victory but, in truth, the win was well-deserved and the margin of victory could easily have been greater. Twice the Blues hit the woodwork and, on at least three other occasions, they were denied by excellent saves from Carl Tasker, in the Berkhamsted goal.
The late winning goal therefore came as something of a relief; Tyler Hatherly’s right-wing cross being headed home at the far post by Phil Lowen who had stolen unmarked into the box. This was no more than Phil deserved after it was he that had earlier hit the base of a post with a 25-yard drive, and the bar with a header from ten yards out. He had also been denied by a superb double save from Tasker in only the eighth minute.
All-in-all a good performance in a very entertaining game that brought a fitting end to a very good season.
Team:, Jamie Jackson, Ollie Sharman, Jay Lovell, Matt Thomson, Glenn Draper, Dan Palmer, Davy Edmee(Connor Scully 78’), Phil Lowen, Joe Othen-Price(Luke Foster 87’), Tommy Wade and Tyler Hatherly(Jonah Evans 89’).
Subs not used: Alex Ward and Eddie McLoughlin.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Video © 2017 Nathan Hobley