A good day for the Blues
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Saturday 26th November 2016
Leverstock Green 1(1) Hertford Town 2(2)
(Wade 1’, Taylor (pen) 45’)
A hard-earned victory, on a day when the league leaders, London Colney, lost at home to Cockfosters and third-placed Welwyn Garden City dropped two points at Holmer Green, was just the boost the Blues were looking for in their quest for league honours. But the three points that the Blues picked up did not come easily; the Blues were made to work very hard for them.
Leverstock Green is never an easy place to go in search of points and kicking up the slope is always an especially difficult task. A goal uphill with barely 30 seconds on the clock was therefore the perfect start the Blues. Virtually straight from the kick-off Tommy Wade forced a home defender into losing possession of the ball to him and then advanced to the edge of the box before striking to ball low into the goal off the inside of a post.
The scene was set for another dominating first half display but any hopes of that were soon dispelled when the hosts came back hard at the Blues and competed for possession strongly all over the pitch, giving the Blues very little time on the ball.
The Blues were having the better of the exchanges, though, and with almost fifteen minutes gone, Ricky Light was a little unlucky not to double their advantage, when he ran at the home defence and unleashed a fierce 20-yarder that thudded into the keeper’s chest.
The game suddenly turned soon after, however, when Green’s Tremayne Charles cut in from the right, skipped past three tackles and levelled the scores with a superb strike into the far corner that gave Jayden Purdue no chance of a save.
The game was no being contested more evenly and play became a little scrappy – largely due to neither side being able to find time on the ball. Tommy Wade looked to have restored the Blues’ lead, half-way through the half with a fine looping header from Matt Thomson’s free kick but, unfortunately, he was deemed to have strayed offside.
The scores were still level as half-time approached but, in the dying seconds of the half, Dan Ferrigno showed outstanding ball skills when he completely bamboozled a defender on the right-hand side of the box and was felled for an undisputable penalty.
Ed Taylor stepped up the convert from the spot but the home custodian made a valiant effort to save, getting his fingertips to the ball but not enough to keep the ball out.
A half-time lead having kicked up the slope, was probably more than manager Gavin Kelsey could have hoped for at the start and he will have used the break to impress upon his team that they should take full advantage of their efforts during the second half.
And, while they never really looked in danger of being pegged back, they also found the home side in resilient mood and, as a result, the game fell into a form of stalemate. There was very little goalmouth action to speak of, with only the late dismissal of Ed Taylor probably the only real talking point. Ed had been booked for a missed tackle in the first half and was guilty of a similar offence in the last minute of the second but, instead of picking up a second yellow card he was shown a straight red.
It was too late for it to matter, though, and the Blues duly completed a very satisfying victory on a day when most of their other challengers dropped points.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Ollie Sharman, Ed Taylor, Matt Thomson, Glenn Draper, Jack Bartlett, Adam Murad (Stevie Tutalamo 80’), Dan Ferrigno, Ricky Light, Tommy Wade (Ben Andreos 83’), and Brett O’Connor.
Sub not used: Jay Lovell, Dan Palmer & Joe Othen-Price.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Photos © 2016 Alfred Field
Video © 2016 Nathan Hobley