Battling Colney Heath lift Herts Charity Shield with victory over Welwyn Garden City
PUBLISHED: 21:50 03 April 2018 | UPDATED: 21:50 03 April 2018
Colney Heath produced a fantastic blood and guts performance to clinch the Herts Charity Shield with a 2-0 win over Welwyn Garden City.
Goals from Harry Lewis and Joel Norris took the trophy back to the Recreation Ground even if they had to survive a late onslaught.
But it was a result that was fully deserved against the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division leaders as Colney Heath covered every inch of the Vauxhall Road pitch.
It’s fair to say that these two teams know each other well, little jokes, smiles and shoves as the teams went through the official presentations proved that.
But they soon disappeared as the game got underway and by the end of 45 minutes Colney Heath probably deserved their half-time lead.
They looked that bit sharper into the tackle and were able to transition into attack far better than City.
Chances were limited though with Jack Woods firing over after Jay Rolfe didn’t take a long Danny May cross-field pass and a header from Jimmy Hill their best attempts.
Welwyn did look dangerous at times but only from set-pieces and balls into the box.
When they got into a position to swing it in the Magpies defence and Steve Cunningham were able to deal with it but not without a certain amount of difficulty.
It always seemed like it would take a moment of quality or a mistake to bring a goal and it was the former that saw Colney break the deadlock.
And it came out of nothing. Lewis picked it up inside the Welwyn half but still a long way from Charlie May’s goal.
However, he decided to pull the trigger and the ball zipped along the slick surface, beating the WGC keeper before nestling in the net via the far post.
The Citizens needed a response and for the first few minutes of the second half they got it.
But the Magpies were looking dangerous on the break and a header from Hill glanced off the outside of the post.
That should have acted as a warning sign but shortly after it was 2-0.
A deep cross from the right evaded the defence, finding the feet of Joe Newton.
He went down in a collision with May but the ball ran loose to Norris and the former City man slotted into the empty net.
WGC made a double substitution in an attempt to stem the tide but Colney had the chances to make three rather than City getting one back.
Hill had the ball in the back of the net but was flagged for offside, then Newton rattled the crossbar.
There was even a shot cleared off the line but all Welwyn could muster was a Kersey header straight at Steve Cunningham.
The last five minutes finally saw a reaction from the Citizens. Kersey was denied by a great fingertip save by Cunningham and from the resulting corner the Magpies flung bodies at the ball to somehow keep it out.
The Heath keeper was in sensational form as he stopped everything that was thrown at him.
A clean sheet was the least he deserved.
For City, they still have bigger fish to fry with promotion and a championship on their horizon but this will have hurt.
For Colney Heath though, the celebrations will be long and loud.
Colney Heath: Cunningham, Lewis, Power, Doolan, Dudrenec, Clarke-Mardel, Woods, D.May, Hill, Norris (Brettell 74), Newton
Subs (not used): Rotimi, Byron, Allman, Osborne
Goals: Lewis 35, Norris 57
WGC: May, Rolfe, Sexton (Ironton 59), Corran, McGrandles, Payne, Bronti (Hatherly 59), Spaul, Kersey, Bond, Elliott (Joy 81)
Subs (not used): Marks, Mensah
HT: Colney Heath 1 Welwyn Garden City 0
Referee: Gary Bailey