Off-colour Blues show their determination
Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
Monday 2nd January 2017
Hertford Town 2(0) Broxbourne Borough 1(0)
(Lovell 61’, Andreos 71’)
On a day when two of their closest promotion rivals, London Colney and Welwyn Garden City, both lost, the Blues grafted their way to three priceless points against a Broxbourne Borough team whose performance belied their lowly league status.
On paper this should have been a comfortable victory but the reality was very different. After a first half in which the Blues had created a number of half-chances but been unable to score, the game was turned on its head when the visitors grabbed a goal barely two minutes into the second.
In front of a bumper Bank Holiday crowd of 330 the Blues had pressed forward for the majority of the first forty-five minutes and put their visitors under a lot of pressure but they had failed to turn any of their opportunities into goals. Despite playing well, they were a long way from their best form and the Borough were showing enough to suggest that they posed a threat that could not be ignored. Their goal in the 48th minute only served to emphasise the point and, for the first time in the game, the Blues could be under no illusion that they were facing an uphill task to capture all three points.
The Blues needed to find an extra gear and they did so by showing a level of determination and inner resolve that will serve them in the months to come. They upped their game and within the space of the next ten minutes they came close to scoring on no fewer than three occasions. Chances fell to Mark Summers, Matt Thomson and Jay Lovell but, although none were taken, the Blues only had to wait until the 61st minute for an equaliser.
It came from the head of central defender Jay Lovell from a corner that Tyler Hatherly had delivered perfectly into the heart of the Borough area. Only three minutes earlier, in identical circumstances, Jay had headed over the bar but, given a second opportunity, he made no mistake, heading firmly into the roof of the net.
It was now virtually one-way traffic but with nothing being able to be taking for granted as the visitors were always looking as if they could punish any over-commitment on the Blues’ behalf.
That threat were effectively extinguished, though, nineteen minutes from time, when Ben Andreos got onto the end of Matt Thomson’s well-directed free kick to head firmly past the visitors’ stranded custodian.
The remaining minutes were played out comfortably by the Blues but, although Dan Ferrigno and Adam Murad both had efforts saved,
There was no addition to the score. The highlight of this period came with the introduction of substitute Mark Twumasi who was returning to action for the first time since picking up a serious injury in a pre-season friendly.
In the fullness of time this day might well be seen as pivotal in the Blues’ season. Three hard-earned points on an afternoon when two promotion rivals tripped up might prove to be very valuable.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Ollie Sharman, Ed Taylor, Matt Thomson, Glenn Draper, Jay Lovell, Brett O’Connor, Phil Lowen(Dan Ferrigno 65’), Mark Summers (Adam Murad 71’), Ben Andreos(Mark Twumasi 83’) and Tyler Hatherly.
Sub not used: Dan Palmer & Jack Bartlett.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Photos © 2017 Dan Sinclair
Photos © 2017 Alfred Field
Videos © 2016 Nathan Hobley