7-up for the Blues!
Spartan South Midlans League Premier Division
Saturday 15th October 2016
Holmer Green 0(0) Hertford Town 3(3)
(Sharman 6’, Murad 35’, Summers 44’)
The Blues recorded their seventh straight win with an impressive first-half performance at middle-of-the-table Holmer Green. By scoring three unanswered goals up the slope, before the break, they had built a virtually unassailable lead that they never looked like giving up.
Manager Gavin Kelsey has an unbeaten record at Holmer Green but it is never an easy place to go and he will therefore be very satisfied with taking all three points. The Blues’ first-half display ranked alongside some of the best so far this season and the three-goal lead that took, in no way flattered them – it could easily have been more.
A ‘training ground’ set-piece in the sixth minute, after a very bright start, set the Blues on the road to victory and they didn’t look back. Having won a succession of free kicks in their opponents’ half, they soon made one pay when Ollie Sharman found space to head home Matt Thomson’s well-delivered free kick from out on the left flank.
A rampant Blues then proceeded to press forward relentlessly, forcing a number of corners and creating a succession of good opportunities that they narrowly failed to turn into goals. Matt Thomson and Phil Lowen were dominant in the middle of the park and it was from Matt’s sweeping balls out to either flank that were giving the wide men, Adam Murad and Ricky Light, plenty of possession, allowing them to pose constant threats to the home defence.
Both Ollie Sharman and Ricky Light came close to scoring on two occasions each and Tommy Wade was within a whisker of turning Mark Summers’ cross-shot into an unguarded net. That none of these chances were turned into goals was largely due to the home side’s resolute defending but it appeared unlikely that they would hold out indefinitely and so it proved.
Ten minutes of the half remained when Adam Murad finally opened his account when Mark Summers outpaced his marker to latch onto Jayden Purdue’s clearance and cut inside before setting Adam up with a well-weighted pass across the box. Jayden had caught a rare Holmer Green corner and seen the opportunity to set Mark on his way with a fine kick from his hands.
Further chances then fell to Mark Summers and Tommy Wade in the 41st and 43rd minutes but it was the former who scored the all-important third in the 44th minute. Ollie Sharman and Tommy Wade combined well to release Ricky Light into the box and he drew the keeper before squaring the ball to Summers for a clinical finish.
With the job effectively done it was perhaps understandable that the Blues’ second half display wasn’t in the same class being much more economic in its effort. At no stage, though, did the three points look anything but safe although they were never allowed to relax by the hosts who were tireless in their efforts to salvage something from the game. They threatened once – midway through the half – when they struck the bar with a decent effort from the edge of the box but, other than that, Blues custodian Jayden Purdue was untroubled.
The Blues now travel to Edgware on Tuesday evening looking to extend their winning run.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Ollie Sharman, Ed Taylor, Phil Lowen, Glenn Draper (Jack Bartlett 67’), Jay Lovell, Adam Murad, Matt Thomson, Mark Summers, Tommy Wade (Brett O’Connor 74’) and Ricky Light (Tyler Hatherly 69’).
Subs not used: Lee Roberts & Ben Andreos.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Photos © 2016 Wendy Mason
Video © 2016 Nathan Hobley