Blues gain their revenge
Spartan South Midlands League Challenge Trophy
Tuesday 21st February 2017
Hertford Town 2(1) Hoddesdon Town 0(0)
(Lowen 42’, 66’)
Facing close rivals, Hoddesdon Town, in a cup tie for the second time in a week, the Blues turned the tables on their opponents by avenging their defeat of seven days earlier with this fully-deserved victory.
Two fine goals from Phil Lowen – one in each half – separated the sides but enough chances fell to the Blues for them to make the margin of victory more emphatic.
Once again the difference in styles between the two teams was very apparent and although the Blues looked dangerous when going forward, they also took a time to settle defensively. The game was played at a frantic pace and there was no quarter given in the tackle.
For twenty minutes the game was end-to-end stuff but, as the game wore on, the Blues gradually began to get the upper hand. Tyler Hatherly twice went close to scoring and, with the pressure mounting on them, the visitors started to show signs of frustration. And matters boiled over in the 25th minute when a coming together of the players on the right side of the Hoddesdon defence resulted in their Bradley Fraser being shown a straight red card for violent play.
Down to ten men, the visitors were clearly up against it, and once Phil Lowen had opened the scoring shortly before half-time, the Blues rarely looked threatened again. Two fine saves from Hoddesdon’s custodian, Harry Smart, denied first Tyler Hatherly from a free kick and then Phil Lowen from his follow-up in the 35th minute but, soon after, Phil’s stooping header from ten yards found the bottom corner of the goal. The goal came courtesy of a neat cross from Brett O’Connor after he received the ball from Ed Taylor on the left flank and taken the ball past the full back to the dead-ball line where he picked out Lowen with his pull-back.
The opening minutes of the second half saw the Blues playing some fine football and taking control of the game. Tommy Wade had a decent effort saved as the game reached the hour mark and looked to have been fouled in the area six minutes later as he shaped to shoot again. The ball, though, broke to Phil Lowen and he gave the keeper no chance with a clinical finish.
The contest was now effectively over and all that remained was for the referee to punish a succession of rash tackles with a host of yellow cards. The Blues picked up four yellows but were outnumbered by the visitors’ six yellows and a straight red.
The Blues will now play hosts to Berkhamsted in the last sixteen of the competition with the winners already knowing that they will visit Division Two side Thame Rangers in the quarter final.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Ollie Sharman, Ed Taylor, Sam Ruff, Glenn Draper, Jay Lovell, Brett O’Connor, Phil Lowen(Mason Todd 81’), Dan Ferrigno, Tommy Wade(Ben Andreos 71’), and Tyler Hatherly.
Sub not used: Jack Bartlett, Mark Twumasi & Matt Thomson
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Video © 2017 Nathan Hobley