Eight changes – same result!
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division Cup
Tuesday 11th October 2016
Hertford Town 2(0) Oxhey Jets 0(0)
(Taylor (pen) 61’, Wade 69’)
For this cup tie, Manager Gavin Kelsey took the opportunity to test the strength-in-depth of his squad and made eight changes to the team that began Saturday’s two-nil win over Crawley Green. His reward was a second victory by the same score-line and progress into the quarter-final of the Dudley Latham Memorial Cup. What will be particularly pleasing to him is that the performance gave no clue to the number of changes he had made. He will also be pleased that the two 19-year-olds he included in the side, Jonah Evans and Dan Palmer, both had excellent games.
Given that the combination fielded had not played together before, it was perhaps understandable that they took a little time to find their rhythm going forward. They looked solid at the back throughout the tie but for the first 45 minutes they found it difficult to break down a resolute Jets defence. The half saw very little goalmouth action but those few chances that were created all fell to the Blues. The best of these came in the 19th minute when Ricky Light took Ben Andreos’ flicked header around the keeper only to find his goal-bound shot acrobatically turned over the bar by a covering defender.
The Blues had a number of free kicks around the box and corners to show for their efforts but no other clear-cut chances came their way.
The second half saw the Blues raise their tempo and they immediately looked more dangerous. Less than two minutes had elapsed when Ben Andreos was denied by a fine save from the visiting custodian and within the next ten minutes the Blues had forced three corners and seen Tyler Hatherly strike the underside of the bar with a fierce drive after he had cut inside from the right flank.
A nasty head injury forced the substitution Dan Ferrigno in the 58th minute. Dan had been had been playing very well but the introduction of Tommy Wade and the necessary change in shape had a positive effect and within three minutes the Blues had found the vital opening goal.
Ben Andreos appeared to be in the perfect position in front of goal to meet Lee Roberts’ cross from the left when an ill-judged barge in the back flattened him before he could get his head to the ball. A penalty was duly awarded and Ed Taylor stepped up to coolly convert his fifth in the past six games.
The second – and decisive – goal came eight minutes later when Tyler Hatherly attacked down the middle of the pitch from the half-way line and threaded a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Ben Andreos who clinically knocked the ball past the advancing keeper.
As the final minutes were played out further chances Tyler, Ben and Tommy Wade but their efforts were all saved and there was no addition to the score. The Blues will now travel to either Sun Sports or Hadley in the quarter-final.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Jonah Evans, Ed Taylor, Dan Ferrigno, Jack Bartlett, Dan Palmer, Lee Roberts (Adam Murad 73’), Phil Lowen, Ben Andreos (Tommy Wade 58’), Ricky Light and Tyler Hatherly.
Subs not used: Ollie Sharman, Jay Lovell &. Mark Summers.
Match Report by Ray Greenall