Blues are forced to settle for a point
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Saturday 25th March 2017
Hertford Town 1(0) Holmer Green 1(0)
(Wade (pen) 65’)
The Blues’ poor run of results continued with this hard-fought draw against a visiting Holmer Green side that was clearly inspired by the Blues’ highest attendance of the season. 569 fans turned out for a charity day in the memory of young Laurie Carroll, who played for Bengeo Tigers and they stayed on to give their support for the Blues.
Unfortunately, the Blues were unable to find very much of this season’s form and were forced by their very hard-working visitors to settle for a single point that sees them fall further behind the league leaders, London Colney.
And matters could have been worse had Holmer Green not blasted a first-half penalty high over the bar and out of the ground.
For the first thirty minutes of the game possession was hotly contested and as a result there were very few opportunities to score. The Blues had slightly the better of the exchanges and both Ricky Light and Tommy Wade had shots blocked inside the box but it wasn’t until the 34th minute that their first real chance arrived. Sam Ruff and Tyler Hatherly combined to set up Brett O’Connor but his close-range effort was well-saved by the visiting custodian and the ball cleared off the line by a covering defender.
At this stage the Blues were gaining the upper hand and soon after Ricky Light was through on goal and won an aerial challenge with the Green keeper who had come out of his area to meet him. The ball broke loose to Tommy Wade but his first-time volley dropped agonisingly the wrong side of the bar.
With an opening goal for the Blues looking likely, disaster almost struck two minutes before the break. A counter-attack by the visitors caught the Blues off-guard and Glenn Draper’s challenge in the area was punished by the award of a penalty kick which – fortunately for the Blues was wasted.
The Blues came out for the second half with positive intent, forcing an early corner and going close in the 53rd minute when Brett O’Connor’s shot went just past a post.
But, typical of the way things have been going for the Blues recently, it was the visitors who took the lead. On the hour a good run from midfield by James Burrell found space on the left and his 20 yard strike gave Jamie Jackson no chance as it buried itself in the bottom corner of the goal.
The Blues were now well and truly up against it and it was to their credit that they raised their game and found an equaliser only five minutes later. Mark Summers’ run into the box was desperately foiled by a late tackle and, from the resulting penalty, Tommy Wade sent the keeper the wrong way with a cool finish.
The remainder of the game was spent with the Blues pressing forward in search of a winner but, despite a lot of promising attacks, it wasn’t until deep into time added-on that they created a really good chance. Jay Lovell’s long throw and Tommy Wade’s flick-on found Ed Taylor unmarked at the far post but, disappointingly, Ed’s firm header went straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.
The Blues had, therefore, to settle for a draw and must now wait ten days before their next opportunity to press home their claims when they will host Tring Athletic on Tuesday 4th April.
Team:, Jamie Jackson, Ollie Sharman, Ed Taylor, Sam Ruff(Mark Summers 64’), Glenn Draper, Jay Lovell, Brett O’Connor, Connor Scully(Dan Ferrigno 68’), Ricky Light(Matt Thomson 84’) and Tyler Hatherly.
Sub not used: Dan Palmer & Phil Lowen.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Video © 2017 Nathan Hobley