Blues close the gap again
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Tuesday 7th February 2017
Tring Athletic 1(0) Hertford Town 3(2)
(o.g 5’, Summers 45’ & 78’)
The Blues closed the gap on league leaders London Colney to two points with this impressive victory at in-form Tring Athletic. Two goals from Mark Summers helped secure all three points from a team that, if it wins its games in hand, could move up into third place.
Right from the off it was apparent that the Blues meant business. They played with an intensity that penned the hosts in the own half for almost the whole duration of the first forty-five minutes. Playing with the advantage of the slope the Blues might easily have gone into the break with a four or five goal lead but as it was the home side stuck to their tasks and came close to keeping the Blues’ tally down to only one. Had they done so the second half might have been interesting but with the half-time whistle approaching, a fine defence-splitting pass from Tyler Hatherly set Mark Summers free and his cool finish calmed any nerves the Blues might have had in kicking up the slope in the second period.
The Blues went ahead in only the fifth minute when Jay Lovell’s long throw deceived the Tring keeper such that he was only able to help it into his own net. This was the only real blot in the keeper’s book, though, as he then pulled off a number of fine saves to deny the Blues the second goal they play merited. He and his fellow defenders managed to block good goal-scoring opportunities for Brett O’Connor, Tyler Hatherly, Mark Summers and Tommy Wade and, as the half wore on, it began to appear that the Blues might have only a single-goal lead to show for their domination.
The game was in the last minute of the first half when Tyler Hatherly picked the ball up on the right-hand side of the mid-field and cut inside before releasing Mark Summers with a perfectly weighted reverse pass. Mark took the ball in his stride and stroked it low past the advancing keeper to secure a two-goal half-time lead that always threatened to be decisive.
The hosts had more of the possession in the second half but it was still the Blues who looked the more likely to score. And so it proved. The third goal took a while in coming, however, and there were only twelve minutes remaining when Mark Summers doubled his tally by finishing off a really excellent spell of football with a stunning 15-yard strike with his left foot. The move began when Ed Taylor won a vital header to get the ball to Brett O’Connor on the left flank.Brett then exchanged passes with Ricky Light before the latter squared the ball to Mark Summers who had made a good run across the defence. Meeting it first time, Mark drove the ball high into the roof of the net, giving the keeper absolutely no chance of a save.
The game was now effectively won but the hosts grabbed a late consolation goal from the penalty spot when Ollie Sharman was perhaps harshly judged to have fouled a player just inside the area.
The Blues can now look forward to another hard challenge this coming Saturday when they will host Biggleswade United – another in-form team with games in hand to achieve a top-six finish.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Ollie Sharman, Ed Taylor, Matt Thomson, Glenn Draper, Jay Lovell, Brett O’Connor(Connor Scully 87’), Ricky Light, Mark Summers(Ben Andreos 83’), Tommy Wade(Phil Lowen 87’) and Tyler Hatherly.
Sub not used: Jack Bartlett.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Video © 2017 Nathan Hobley