Blues are dealt a cruel hand
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Tuesday 27th December 2016
Welwyn Garden City 1(0) Hertford Town 1(1)
With two minutes of time-added-on already having been played, the Blues were denied what would have been a highly creditable victory by an equaliser that owed more than a little to good fortune. Tommy Wade’s ninth-minute strike looked as if it was going to earn all three points when a free kick into the Blues’ area dropped into space and was, it was claimed, apparently swept past Blues keeper, Jayden Purdue, by the hand of Yasin Boodhoo.
Disappointed as they must have been, the Blues will probably reflect on the point gained as a good one in the circumstances. A visit to one of their main rivals for the title only two days after Christmas was always going to be a tough challenge. A large crowd of almost 400 and a heavy pitch also added a degree of difficulty that would need a lot of skill and character to overcome.
The Blues will probably also feel that the controversial equaliser should really have been just a consolation goal because, with the hosts pushing forward in search of a leveller, the Blues had a number of promising counter-attacks that should between them have produced a second, and decisive, goal.
The Blues got off to a very good start and put their hosts on the defensive from the very beginning. They were rewarded with a goal in only the ninth minute when Tommy Wade pursued a through-ball from Tyler Hatherly and planted it into the back of an empty net from 20 yards after having nicked it past the Citizen’s keeper as he came out of his box to challenge.
At this stage the Blues were playing some good football and looked likely to go on to an impressive victory. The Citizens responded with some heavy tackling, however, which regrettably brought injuries to key players, requiring their substitution and ultimately breaking the rhythm and fluency that the Blues had found.
Ricky Light had two opportunities to add a second but neither bore fruit and, as half-time approached, it was the hosts who were in the ascendency, applying aerial pressure from a series of set-pieces.
The second half followed a similar pattern with the Blues enjoying a lot of possession but being put under significant pressure whenever the Citizens had the opportunity to deliver high balls into the box. It was end-to-end stuff with the Blues defending stoutly and looking dangerous on the break but just when it seemed that Tommy Wade’s goal was going to be decisive a free kick was softly conceded near the right corner flag and this time it paid dividends with the very late and disputed equaliser.
The Blues must now wait almost a week before they get the chance to return to winning ways when they entertain Broxbourne Borough in the afternoon of Monday 2nd January 2017.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Ollie Sharman, Jay Lovell, Matt Thomson, Glenn Draper, Dan Palmer, Brett O’Connor, Dan Ferrigno(Phil Lowen 25’), Ricky Light(Adam Murad 69’), Tommy Wade(Ben Andreos ’) and Tyler Hatherly.
Sub not used: Ed Taylor & Mark Summers.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Photos © 2016 Dan Sinclair
Photos © 2016 Alfred Field
Photos © 2016 @MarkLongphoto
Videos © 2016 Nathan Hobley