Experimental Blues side just lose out
Spartan South Midlands Premier Division Cup Q/F
Tuesday 14th February 2017
Hoddesdon Town 1(0) Hertford Town 0(0)
Mindful of the need to rest key players and playing time to others that had missed out in recent weeks, Blues Manager Gavin Kelsey made eight changes to the team that had played four days earlier. He gave starts to a number of members of this season’s successful U25 Development League squad and, despite their relative inexperience, the largely experimental side gave a good showing against a full-strength Hoddesdon team and can perhaps count themselves a little unlucky to come out on the wrong side of a narrow single-goal defeat.
They were not helped by this cup tie being also a local derby and, by the end of it, they certainly knew that they had been in a hard game. In truth, there was little by way of goalmouth action with maybe only two chances falling to either team. The difference was that the home side took one of theirs and the Blues didn’t.
Perhaps understandably the Blues had a shaky first five or ten minutes but, once they had settled, it could be argued that they were the better team for the remainder of the half. Ben Andreos grazed the bar with a drive in the 43rd minute and with the whistle approaching, Jay Lovell had a superb 20-yarder beaten away by the home custodian.
These efforts bode well for the second half but the play turned out to be very scrappy and they struggled to match their efforts in the first. The game descended into a form of stalemate but the deadlock was broken with twenty minutes remaining when the hosts’ Louis Rose turned well in the box and fired low past Jayden Purdue.
The Blues worked hard to get back into the tie and came close to taking it to a penalty shoot-out when debutant Mason Todd had a good chance to equalise with seven minutes remaining. The chance went begging, though, and with it went the Blues’ chances of progressing to the semi-final of the competition.
The Blues will now return to league action when they travel to Watford to play Sun Sports on Saturday.
Team:, Jayden Purdue, Ollie Sharman, Jay Lovell, Sam Ruff, Mark Twumasi, Dan Palmer, Stevie Tutalamo, Phil Lowen(Matt Thomson 88’), Ben Andreos(Mason Todd 80’), Dan Ferrigno and Jonah Evans(Dylan Plati 71’).
Sub not used: Joe Othen-Price.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Video © 2017 Nathan Hobley