Brett’s brace helps extend Blues’ run
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Saturday 28th January 2017
Hertford Town 2(1) Edgware Town 0(0)
(O’Connor 22’, 79’)
Two goals from Brett O’Connor helped secure a victory for the Blues that saw them extend their recent unbeaten run to eight games. Their opponents, Edgware Town, were well-organised, though, and, on a pitch that was tending to cut up after the recent frosts, they showed the sort of resilience that earned them a goal-less draw with the Blues, earlier in the season, in the return fixture.
With memories of that result still fresh in their minds, the Blues clearly understood the importance of an early goal. And the way they set about their task from the very first whistle, clearly demonstrated their determination. The Blues dominated the early exchanges to such an degree that the visitors were finding it almost impossible to cross the halfway line. In spite of that, however, they defended well and it wasn’t until midway through the half that the Blues opened their account.
It was Tyler Hatherly who unpicked their defence when he burst in from the left between two defenders and made his way to the dead-ball line before pulling the ball back across goal. Tommy Wade attacked the near post and managed to flick the ball to the back post with his heel, for Brett O’Connor to bundle home, under pressure from the keeper.
Despite the Blues’ dominance, there was enough evidence in the way that the Wares were playing to suggest that a single goal advantage might not be sufficient. The Blues pressed forward for a second but they were unable to find the final pass in the last third that would achieve it. The closest they came was in the closing minutes of the half when Mark Summers ran onto Jayden Purdue’s long clearance only to be pulled back on the edge of the area. Tyler Hatherly’s resulting free kick grazed the base of the far post, narrowly eluding the lunge of Mark Summers.
The second half followed much the same pattern as the first, with the Blues enjoying the majority of the possession but finding it difficult to break down the visitors’ defence. The introduction of substitutes Matt Thomson, Connor Scully and Ben Andreos lifted the tempo, though, and it was Connor who opened the defence up with a raking pass out to Brett O’Connor, in space on the right flank. Brett attacked the first defender, cut inside him on the edge of the box, and placed a perfect shot into the far bottom corner of the goal.
With only a little over ten minutes remaining, the points were effectively ‘in the bag’ and the game was played out with no further incidents.
Another bumper attendance of almost 300 braved the elements – including a very heavy hailstorm – to give their valuable support throughout.
Next up for the Blues is a South Midlands Challenge Trophy tie at home to local rivals Hoddesdon Town on Tuesday 31st January.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Ollie Sharman, Ed Taylor, Phil Lowen(Matt Thomson 63’), Glenn Draper, Jay Lovell, Brett O’Connor, Ricky Light, Mark Summers (Ben Andreos 75’), Tommy Wade and Tyler Hatherly(Davy Edmee 82’).
Sub not used: Dan Palmer & Jack Bartlett.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Photos © 2017 Dan Sinclair
Video © 2017 Nathan Hobley