COLNEY HEATH 1 HARVESTERS U13 NORTH 1
By Hugh Sprowson
Past encounters would have suggested there would not be much in this. The flurry of games to make up for matches lost to weather/holidays/Lord Charles’ shooting trips are coming thick and fast and it is inevitable at times that the boys on both sides struggle to raise themselves perhaps to the heights we have come to expect.
Nevertheless, this was an absorbing encounter although the combined factors of a very hard pitch and a frigid, swirling wind made playing the ball in an aesthetic fashion somewhat challenging. Indeed, the ball spent so much time in the air, had it signed up for the British Airways Executive Club it would have collected enough air miles to take Mrs Football for a round trip to Bali sitting in the first class cabin, clad in a silk robe and slippers and with a personal massage therapist on hand.
We made a start so fast it would have put Usain Bolt to shame. The ball came to Jack, whose excellent lobbed ball forwards was picked up by Aidan, who got in front of his defender and eased it past the keeper within the first minute. Well, that was a turn up for the books. We seemed almost shell-shocked by scoring so fast, as we could not really manage to get a foothold in the game and Colney Heath got back into it. It didn’t help that George G’s knee started ailing him again and he had to come off halfway through the first period and could not make it back on.
There was a dearth of good chances. On 20 minutes, we won a free kick on the right and Jack, who played so well in this game he was exuding confidence, blasted a free kick just over. The game limped into half time 1-0 to Harvesters, with the imprint of the ball on the collective heads of most of the players, so often was the aerial route taken. Lord Charles’ top hat was crushed flat like a used beer can.
We began the second half brightly, Louis pinging in a super ball which descended in a coruscating arc over the last defender, but Sam, stooping, could not nod in. Great chance. Oscar decided to try and take matters into his own hands, running forwards and striking a good shot which was saved at the near post. Minutes later, Stan - the only one who seemed to have taken our exhortations to shoot seriously - then smashed one over the bar.
Colney had the ball in the net on 56 minutes, but the linesman’s flag again ruled in our favour. David is in the running for our Managers’ Player of the Year he has been that crucial to our season.
But it was a brief reprieve. Brad just got on the wrong side of their player on the edge of the box and reached out errant hands to impede him. In fairness, though, Colney’s Striker unleashed a heck of a free kick which sped across the goal and rocketed into the top corner. He could not have placed it any better. Ethan no chance.
I don’t wish to be unfair, but aside from the offside goal, Colney really didn’t create much and we had two further great chances to win the game. Unfortunately, as can be seen from our goals for column, taking chances when presented has cost us at times this season.
On 63 minutes, Sam’s incisive pass into the left channel sent Kobi racing clear. He didn’t do a lot wrong but one on one the keeper did well and blocked his shot wide. At the last gasp, it was Kobi again following great interplay by Brad and Aidan who struck the ball towards the top corner, but their keeper clawed it out. And that was that.
Possibly Harvesters will feel they deserved to win on the balance of the better chances, but it was not to be.