7-up tastes sweet for Blues
Spartan South Midlans League Premier Division
Saturday 12th November 2016
Hertford Town 7(3) Colney Heath 0(0)
(Summers 10’, Sharman 36’, 42’, Wade 56’, Light 75’, Palmer 82’, Tutalamo 88’)
The strength-in-depth of the current Blues squad was amply demonstrated with this impressive victory over mid-table visitors, Colney Heath. Seven unanswered goals, on a day when five first-team regulars were all forced to sit out the game with one-match suspensions, were the reward for a fine performance that ranks alongside the best so far this season.
Manager Gavin Kelsey was forced to make four changes to the side that started the previous Saturday’s victory at Hadley and was justifiably pleased when his shuffled team took the game to their opponents from the very first whistle. And once Mark Summers had given the Blues a tenth-minute lead, three more points to close the gap on the league leaders, London Colney, never looked in doubt.
Unfortunately for Mark, though, his goal came at a price. Running onto keeper Jayden Purdue’s long kick upfield, Mark capitalised on a square back four to volley the ball home from 15 yards but, in doing so, his foot came into painful contact with a defender’s studs. Mark soldiered on until half-time and later discovered that he had broken a bone in his foot and will be out of action for at least six weeks.
By the time that he had departed the action, defender and skipper, Ollie Sharman, had secured a three-goal lead for the Blues with two headers in the space of six minutes, both from pin-point Ricky Light corners.
The three goals they had to show for their first-half performance were no more than they deserved. Tommy Wade was a constant threat up front and could count himself unfortunate not to have found himself on the scoresheet but it was only ten minutes into the second half before he added a fourth, starting and finishing a move with Ricky Light. Receiving the ball with his back to goal, Tommy laid the ball out to Ricky on the left and then ran into the box to head home Ricky’s perfectly-placed cross.
Shortly before this Ricky Light had struck the bar with a fierce 20-yarder after Brett O’Connor had mesmerised the Heath defence with his intricate footwork before back-heeling the ball into Ricky’s path. This was only one example of the problems that Brett caused for the visitors in a truly outstanding performance.
Ricky Light added the fifth when he moved onto Adam Murad’s defence-splitting pass and slotted home after taking the ball around the advancing keeper.
The sixth came with eight minutes of normal time remaining and it was a debut goal for 19-year-old defender Dan Palmer. Ricky Light was again the provider with another pin-point corner that Dan headed against a defender before heading home the rebound.
Stevie Tutalamo then added his name to the list of Blues goalscorers when he notched number seven with a clean strike from the edge of the box after Phil Lowen had squared the ball to him around the edge of the box.
Post-match debates after the final whistle had been blown came up with a wide range of nominations for the man-of-the-match tag and it was easy to see why. There were arguments in favour of all the Blues players because they all played well and, in truth, it would have been unfair to single out any one individual.
Next up for the Blues are Oxhey Jets at Hertingfordbury Park on Tuesday 15th November.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Ollie Sharman, Ed Taylor, Matt Thomson, Jack Bartlett, Dan Palmer, Ricky Light (Joe Othen-Price 82’), Phil Lowen, Mark Summers (Adam Murad 46’), Tommy Wade (Stevie Tutalamo 65’) and Brett O’Connor.
Sub not used: Jonah Evans.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Photos © 2016 Alfred Field
Video © 2016 Nathan Hobley