Blues are on a roll
3 on the bounce!
Bostik League North Division
Tuesday 27th March 2018
Waltham Abbey 1(0) Hertford Town 2(2)
This hard-fought victory at Lea Valley rivals Waltham Abbey chalked up a third win in the space of six days and lifted the Blues into the top half of the table with games in hand on some of the teams above them.
Two goals in a sparkling first thirteen minutes should have set the Blues on the path to a handsome margin of victory but missed chances and slackening off of tempo allowed the hosts to claw their way back into the game and bring them close to grabbing a share of the points.
A long throw from Jay Lovell in the opening minute of this encounter almost set up a goal for Luke Illsley when he had a header cleared off the line and a follow-up volley fly over the bar. Luke was not to be denied his second goal since joining the Blues for long, though. Less than six minutes had elapsed when a fine cross-field ball by Charlie Ruff picked out Charlie Cole, attacking down the left flank. Charlie Cole raced to the byeline and pulled the ball back to Luke Illsley where, ten yards from goal, he swept the ball under the Abbey keeper.
One goal soon became two, seven minutes later, when Charlie Ruff and Eman Osei combined to set up George Lutaaya for a shot. He effort was blocked, out to the edge of the box where Phil Lowen was on hand to fire the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
Two nil up and playing with genuine pace and understanding, the Blues looked to add to their lead. A 25-yard chip from Charlie Ruff went narrowly wide in the 17th minute; Eman Osei hit the bar from 30 yards in the 27th and Charlie Cole hit the post from the rebound immediately after. George Lutaaya then had a great opportunity to score or set up a goal from a quick break in the 29th minute when the Blues were three on one with the keeper to beat but, despite their superiority, the Blues were unable to find a third goal and effectively put the result to bed.
The two-goal lead that the Blues took into the second half therefore left them a little vulnerable and that vulnerability was highlighted when the Abbey pulled a goal back only three minutes in. A 25-yard ‘piledriver’ from Abbey’s Nathan Koranteng just eluded the fingertips of Charlie Mann as it found the roof of the net and set up a battle for the Blues to engage with.
The game became an end-to-end affair with chances to both teams coming at regular intervals. Charlie Mann was called upon to make a couple of important saves while the Blues created opportunities without finding a goal to ease their nerves.
The Blues defended well, though, and saw the game out to capture a third win on the bounce for the first time this season.
Team:, Charlie Mann, Ollie Sharman, Michael Toner, Phil Lowen, Jay Lovell, Jason Beck, George Lutaaya, Luke Illsley, Emmanuel Osei, Charlie Ruff(Ricky Light 90’) and Charlie Cole(Brett O’Connor 73’),
Subs not used: Dan Palmer, Matt Thomson and Glenn Draper.
Match report by Ray Greenall