Unlucky thirteen for Blues
Spartan South Midlans League Premier Division
Saturday 10th December 2016
Hertford Town 0(0) Cockfosters 2(1)
The Blues’ twelve-game unbeaten league run came to an abrupt halt at the ‘unlucky’ thirteenth attempt. In front of a large crowd, the Blues put in a good attacking performance full of good football but, regrettably, failure to make the most of opportunities in front of goal and two defensive lapses, at times of dominance, cost them dearly.
The visitors, Cockfosters, are enjoying a run of good form that has taken them up to third place in the league. They recently won at league leaders London Colney and were therefore always likely to present the Blues with a difficult challenge. That having been said, the Blues had much the better of the territorial action but, on the day, came up against a very well-drilled and determined defence and an attacking threat that could never be ignored.
The opening exchanges, though, gave no hint of anything other than a seventh successive league victory. The first five minutes saw Matt Thomson twice denied by first a good block and then a good save, a three corners resulting from a spell of extreme pressure. The visitors were clearly ‘under the cosh’ but then, entirely out of the blue, they took a 19th minute lead. A long cross-field ball out of defence found Ben Hart out on the right flank and his low driven cross was clinically finished at the far post by Ioannis Varouxakis.
The remainder of the half belonged mainly to the Blues but the goal had clearly dented their confidence and, despite many good pieces of attacking football, the sharpness in front of goal, that had served them so well in recent weeks, was not in evidence.
The half-time break seemed to have a positive effect, however, as the Blues again laid siege on the Fosters’ goal. Adam Murad was foiled by a fantastic save with less than two minutes gone when he ran onto Phil Lowen’s chip and only a few minutes later Phil himself had a good effort blocked when set up be Matt Thomson, who was having an excellent game in the centre of midfield.
Dan Ferrigno was the next to threaten when his run into the box might easily have been rewarded with a penalty and soon after the same player had a goal-bound shot blocked after a good run by Tyler Hatherly.
Further chances fell to Brett O’Connor and Ricky Light but, as the half wore on it began to look increasingly likely that this was not to be the Blues’ day. And then, in the seventh minute of time-added-on, the seal was finally put on a disappointing defeat when the visitors broke away up an unguarded right flank and added a second and decisive goal.
As disappointing as this loss will be to them, the Blues will not have to wait long before they get the opportunity to put themselves back in positive territory. They are due to host league leaders London Colney on Tuesday in what can only be described as a genuine ‘six-pointer’.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Ollie Sharman (Ben Andreos 80’), Jay Lovell, Matt Thomson, Glenn Draper, Dan Palmer, Adam Murad (Tyler Hatherly 59’), Dan Ferrigno (Ricky Light 71’), Phil Lowen, Tommy Wade and Brett O’Connor.
Sub not used: Jonah Evans & Mark Summers
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Video © 2016 Nathan Hobley