Blues don’t quite pull it off
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Saturday 8th April 2017
London Colney 1(1) Hertford Town 1(1)
On the day when the Blues’ U25 Development Team celebrated their remarkable league and cup double by receiving their league trophy, the Blues’ first team travelled to league leaders London Colney knowing that they probably needed a win to keep their title aspirations alive. In the event they were held to a draw leaving their hosts needing to win two of their remaining four games to be champions.
Ordinarily a draw away from home against the long-time eague leaders would be considered a good result but the Blues will be disappointed, not only because really needed all three points but also because they will know they had chances to pull off a victory.
Mark Summers had two chances – one in each half – that on another day he might well have taken, while Colney, once they had equalised in the 34th minute, were generally restricted to shots from outside the box that didn’t really threaten.
The hosts started well and had a good opportunity to open the scoring as early as the third minute. They didn’t take, though, and the Blues immediately came back strongly. Matt Thomson’s sixth minute free kick into the heart of the Colney area caused havoc before the ball was eventually scrambled away but, given a second kick three minutes later from almost the same spot, Matt this time found the head of Ollie Sharman, who made no mistake from ten yards out.
The Blues were now on top and had further chances to add to their lead over the next twenty minutes; Ricky Light headed over the bar after Tommy Wade had flicked on Jay Lovell’s long throw in the 18th minute and then, a few minutes later, almost set up Tommy Wade with a surging run into the box.
The ascendancy was not to last, however, and the 34th minute saw the hosts pull out an equaliser that might ultimately define their season. A corner on the right brought out a fine save from Jamie Jackson at the expense of another corner and from this one Greg Shaw rose above the Blues defence to power his header into the back of the net.
The scores were levelled and the Blues were left searching for a second goal. And, after Jamie Jackson had done well to save Jack Woods’ 25-yard free kick, they almost found it when Mark Summers ran onto Tommy Wade’s flick-on and pulled out a fine near-post save from the home custodian.
Knowing that a draw would suit themselves more than the Blues, the second half saw the home side concentrating on denying the Blues any chances to retake the lead. They succeeded but not without some scary moments. Ricky Light and Tommy Wade both went close but the best chance fell to Mark Summers when, in the 74th minute, he saw his angled shot go agonisingly the wrong side of the far post.
And that was as close as the Blues came. The remainder of the game was a bit of a stalemate with the hosts ending the game with the point that they had been seeking from the start of the game. The title race is not yet fully run, though, and the Blues will now entertain Tring Athletic on Tuesday 11th April with the intention of keeping up the pressure on the league leaders.
Team:, Jamie Jackson, Ollie Sharman, Tyler Hatherly, Matt Thomson(Dan Ferrigno 88’), Jay Lovell, Dan Palmer, Brett O’Connor(Connor Scully 69’), Phil Lowen, Mark Summers, Tommy Wade and Ricky Light(Ennis Daly 90’).
Sub not used: Jonah Evans.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Video © 2017 Nathan Hobley