Solitary goal decides local derby
Blues frozen out
Bostik League North Division
Saturday 17th March 2018
Ware 1(1) Hertford Town 0(0)
A first-half defensive error gifted a goal to the Blues’ local rivals, Ware, which ultimately proved to be decisive. The Blues enjoyed by far the majority of the possession but were unable to turn it into goals.
Kicking up the slope in the first half, the Blues dominated for the opening half-hour and created a number of half-chances that should, between them, have delivered a goal. Brett O’Connor shot straight at the keeper from 15 yards in the 8th minute, after he had cut inside from the right, and Jason Beck fired over from a similar position, two minutes later.
Charlie Ruff then also cleared the bar with a good effort in the 17th minute when he got onto the end of a Ricky Light cross and Brett O’Connor chipped narrowly over the bar in the 24th.
The Blues appeared to be totally in control and making progress towards a victory but then, ten minutes before the break, disaster struck. From a Blues set-piece the hosts cleared the ball hopefully upfield where the hard-working Jordan Watson forced an under-weighted header back to Charlie Mann didn’t reach and Watson nipped in to shoot past the despairing lunge of Ollie Sharman.
The Blues then dropped their heads such that, had it not been for two good saves from Charlie Mann, the home side might have taken a bigger lead into the break.
The second half belonged almost entirely to the Blues with the hosts rarely threatening to add a second. And yet, despite their pressure on the home goal, the Blues struggled to create many good opportunities. Charlie Ruff hit the side-netting in the 58th minute when he might have done better to pull the ball back across goal and ten minutes before the end of normal time, Eman Osei failed to turn the Blues’ best chance of the game into what would have been a deserved equaliser.
Jason Beck had been pushed forward in search of a goal and it was him that drifted past two defenders and set up Eman with the keeper to beat from ten yards but the ball bobbled as he was about to strike it and his effort unfortunately cleared the bar.
After this George Lutaaya put two dangerous crosses into the box but although both caused confusion, neither succeeded in bringing a goal.
The game therefore ended in defeat for the Blues a disappointment for the loyal following of Blues fans who had swelled the crowd to a massive 251 in extremely cold and unpleasant weather conditions.
Team:, Charlie Mann, Matt Thomson, Michael Toner, Phil Lowen(Jay Lovell 69’), Ollie Sharman, Jason Beck, Ricky Light(George Lutaaya 69’), Luke Illsley, Emmanuel Osei, Charlie Ruff and Brett O’Connor.
Subs not used: Dan Palmer, Harry Crook and Aaron Diveney.
Match report by Ray Greenall