Tue 20th Feb 2018
Spartan South Midland Premier Division
Colney Heath 2-2 TAFC First team
TAFC goals: Jack Read (pen), Christopher Vardy
HARD EARNED POINT AT COLNEY BUT IT COULD HAVE BEEN MORE
After the desperately disappointing result on Saturday we could have done without a Tuesday night trip to Colney Heath which has been a bit of a graveyard ground for us over the years, having taken 10 years for us to record our first league win there. When we fell a goal behind early on there was a feeling of "here we go again" but we showed some character to bounce back and eventually get a draw. It was probably a fair result but we could have taken all three points because we missed an absolute sitter right at the death
With Dave O'Connor missing we drafted Steve Nott-Macaire into the starting line up and went with a 3-5-2 formation. We started well playing the ball around nicely and keeping some good possession but without causing any flutters in the home defence. But in the 14th minute we were caught out with a swift counter attack although to be fair to the lads the Colney player was evidently well offside.
It stemmed from us losing possession from our free kick near their area with Colney quickly knocking a long pass down our left for centre forward Jimmy Hill to run through a big hole in our defence and finish smartly. Score 1-0.
Ten minutes later Chris Mason went off to add to our growing list of injuries and young Colm Parrott came on. George Carbery's incisive pass nearly picked out Chris Vardy who was just beaten to the ball by the keeper. Jimmy Hill tested our young keeper Lewis Todd with a well struck shot and Jack Read and Chris Vardy linked up nicely down the right with Readie's header from the resulting cross from Vards missing the target.
Our best chance came in the 37th minute when Chris Vardy's flick set up Jack Read whose first shot was saved by the keeper with his follow up effort finding the side netting.
Lewis Todd was the busier of the two keepers and got down well to save a fierce long range effort then recovered quickly to grab the ball off the toes of the lurking Jimmy Hill. Colney big number 9 went close just before the break with a header from a cross to the far post that took the combined efforts of Lewis Todd and Sam Joliffe to stop the ball on the line.
We reached half time with just the one goal deficit albeit from an offside goal but with a lot to do in the second half to get anything out of the game. HT Score 1-0.
After struggling to create much in the first half we found the net twice within 11 minutes of the restart. Luke Dunstan who, was sorely missed on Saturday, was the catalyst with a run into the opposition area where he was fouled for a penalty. Up stepped Jack Read to confidently level the score from the spot in the 49th minute. Score 1-1.
Seven minutes later we took the lead when Elliott Goward's first task after coming on as a sub for Sam Joliffe, who was unfit to continue, was to whip a corner to the near post where Chris Vardy got a touch to head the ball home. Score 1-2.
The home side mounted a strong challenge to get back on level terms and the dangerous Hill was just wide after meeting a free kick at the near post. Centre back Danny May struck a fierce free kick that Lewis Todd did well to punch away to safety.
We were dropping deeper and deeper with Colney bombarding us with crosses and long balls into our area and it came as no surprise when the equalised in the 73rd minute. We failed to clear our lines and new signing Sean Brettall fired ball into the net. Score 2-2.
With a quarter of the match still to go the odds were stacked in Colney's favour particularly as we had to do quite a bit of reshuffling due to injuries to Chris Mason, Sam Joliffe and later Dan Steadman. But all credit to the players we dug in and started to look threatening again.
A super move ended with a fine cross by George Carbery from the right that the keeper and unfortunately Colm Parrott just missed at the far post. Then Jack Sunderland who had just come on linked up with Elliott Goward to set up Chris Vardy with a promising shooting opportunity who forced a great save from Colney keeper Steve Cunningham.
Colney were still a threat themselves and from our corner they broke quickly with left back Tom Carter forcing a fine save from Lewis Todd. With normal time up Elliott Goward broke through the home defence and unselfishly squared the ball to George Carbery who facing an open goal shot into the side netting. Carbs will wonder how he didn't score but there was still one last chance for us when Elliott Goward's free kick fell to Steve Nott-Macaire who fired over from 10 yards. FT Score 2-2.
The point gained moved us up two places to 18th on goal difference but we are still in the danger zone We still have games in hand over those around us so our destiny is in our own hands with fellow struggler London Tigers up next when they visit us on Saturday..
CH:1 Steve Cunningham 2 Dan Power 3 Tom Carter 4 Sam Doolan (Capt) 5 Danny May 6 Isa Rotimi 7 Sean Brettall 8 Roy Byron 9 Jimmy Hill 10 Joel Norris (14 Callum Dudrenec 61) 11 Joe Newton (12 Jack Woods 70). Subs not used: 15 Harry Ronald 17 Alfie Osborne
TA:1 Lewis Todd 2 Ben Johnson 3 Chris Mason (16 Colm Parrott 24) 4 Mark Riddick 5 Dan Steadman 6 Steve Nott-Macaire 7 George Carbery 8 Sam Joliffe (Capt) (12 Elliott Goward 56) 9 Chris Vardy 10 Jack Read (15 Jack Sunderland 81) 11 Luke Dunstan. Sub not used: 14 Max Hercules.
CH:Jimmy Hill (14), Sean Brettall (73)
TA:Jack Read Pen (49), Chris Vardy (56)