Sweet sixteen is a hit for the Blues
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Saturday 19th November 2016
Hertford Town 5(4) Leighton Town 1(0)
(Taylor (pen) 5’, Wade 20’, Lowen 39’, O’Connor 44’, Andreos 86’)
With this commanding win over lowly visitors Leighton Town the Blues secured their third win in eight days over the course of which they notched up an impressive sixteen goals. And if this was evidence of the flair that the Blues are showing in the attacking style of play, what is even more encouraging is that their sixteen goals were scored by no fewer than ten different players!
Another feature of all three of the past week’s victories was that each was effectively won in the first half. Half-time scores of 3-0, 4-1 and 4-0 have been the reward for high tempo opening spells which their opponents have failed to find any answers to.
It took only seven minutes for the Blues to open their account in Saturday’s game. Dan Ferrigno’s long ball out to Adam Murad on the right flank created the opportunity for Adam to cut in behind the visitors’ defence and into the box. He was well-placed to score but, before he could get his shot off, he was brought down for a stone-wall penalty. Ed Taylor took responsibility for the kick and made it seven for the season by sending the keeper one way and planting the ball in the opposite corner of the goal.
Leighton Town are under new management and they will have been pleased with the work-rate and commitment shown by their players. They pressed high and gave the Blues very little time on the ball. As a result the football played over the next fifteen minutes was quite scrappy. The Blues, however, were enjoying the better territorial advantage and were looking the more likely to score the next goal. It therefore came as no surprise when Tommy Wade doubled the Blues’ advantage. Brett O’Connor squared the ball to Matt Thomson who had found space just outside the box and he, in turn, split the Town defence with a superb pass to Phil Lowen. Phil took the ball in his stride, skipped past a tackle and pulled it across goal for Tommy Wade to strike home from a narrow angle off the inside of both posts.
The visitors seemed undaunted by the scoreline and continued to make life difficult for the Blues. They were making a decent fist of it until, only six minutes before the break, they lost possession to Phil Lowen near the half-way line and were helpless to prevent Phil spotting the keeper off his line and returning the ball high over his head into the unguarded goal from fully forty yards.
Five minutes later three-nil became four-nil. An excellent cross-field pass from Dan Ferrigno found Adam Murad out on the right and he took the ball to the dead-ball line before pulling it back to Brett O’Connor on the edge of the box. Brett brought the ball under control and then ‘picked his spot’ with a delightful shot into the far corner of the net.
It was perhaps unsurprising that, with the three points effectively in the bag, the second half lacked the sparkle of the first. The visitors continued to work hard for their new managers and earned themselves a deserved consolation goal with a 20-yarder in the 75th minute.
The Blues were clearly stunned by this goal and immediately lifted their game and restored their four-goal margin four minutes from the end of normal time. Ben Andreos ran beyond the visitors’ backline onto an Ollie Sharman ball into space and took the ball round the advancing keeper before stabbing it into the empty net.
The Blues will now travel to Leverstock Green on Saturday 26th November looking to extend their winning run and keep up their pressure on the league leaders, London Colney.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Ollie Sharman, Ed Taylor, Matt Thomson, Glenn Draper, Jack Bartlett, Adam Murad, Phil Lowen, Dan Ferrigno (Stevie Tutalamo 81’), Tommy Wade (Ben Andreos 68’), and Brett O’Connor (Tyler Hatherly 75’).
Sub not used: Jay Lovell & Dan Palmer.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Video © 2016 Nathan Hobley
Photos © 2016 Dan Sinclair