Gallery: Clarke provides the spark as Magpies claim Bigg win
Molten Spartan South Midlands Premier Division Colney Heath 2 Biggleswade Town 1 David Brawn at the Recreation Ground AARON Clarke came off the bench and played a key role as Colney Heath recorded a dramatic win to topple league leaders Biggleswade Town
Molten Spartan South Midlands Premier Division
Colney Heath 2 Biggleswade Town 1
David Brawn at the Recreation Ground
AARON Clarke came off the bench and played a key role as Colney Heath recorded a dramatic win to topple league leaders Biggleswade Town on Saturday.
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The lively Clarke had already forced the Biggleswade goalkeeper to tip his header onto the cross bar before he set striker Richard Howard clear to score the equaliser and then was involved in the sweeping move which led to the winning goal.
Management duo Scott Lacey and Wesley Awad started with Jake Parratt on the left flank and Jamie Eames on the right of midfield with Neil Jordan and Greg Deacon in the centre. Phil Jackman partnered Howard in attack.
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The Magpies started the game brightly with some vibrant football playing down the slope. Howard lobbed the ball onto the roof of the net after Deacon's header forward was flicked on by Jackman. The striker cleverly flicked the ball over the head of the last defender but found just too much height on his lob as the ball bounced up.
Classy midfielder Eames possessed the skills to unlock the Biggleswade defence and set Howard clear with a supreme pass on 25 minutes only for the striker to be crowded out after attempting to cut back inside.
With skipper Ant Muthasamy in command of the back four and the midfield dominating the Magpies outplayed the league leaders. On 36 minutes Eames split the defence wide open again and Jackman rolled his left-foot strike just inches the wrong side of the far post.
Just a minute into the second half the Magpies were stunned as Biggleswade took the lead. Chris Hewitt scuffed a low shot across goalkeeper Eames and into the far corner from just outside the box.
The goal visibly rocked the hosts and Biggleswade took command winning the second balls with renewed energy. Goalkeeper Chris Eames had to push a good shot wide and Muthasamy cleared the ball off the line after another quick forward break.
Eames made two more good saves to keep the Magpies in the match before with just two minutes remaining substitute Clarke provided the spark that had been lacking. The youngster saw his flashing near post header from a corner kick tipped onto the cross bar.
The chance of salvation seemed to be lost until a flick from Clarke sent Howard away in the final minute of normal time and the experienced striker drilled his shot across the 'keeper and into the far corner.
The curtain had not closed on the drama and the jubilant home fans were soon celebrating the sensational final act. Clarke burst forward on the right and linked with Parratt who released Howard. The striker cut the ball inside and Eames burst through the middle only to crash down under a challenge right on the edge of the box. The assistant referee flagged for a penalty despite vehement protestations from the visitors. Howard stepped up and smacked his shot high into the net sending the goalkeeper the wrong way for an amazing 2-1 success.
Colney Heath: C. Eames, Paratusic (Shuttleworth), Dowling (Stevens), Winger, Muthasamy, Jordan, J. Eames, Deacon, Howard, Parratt, Jackman (Clarke). Unused Subs: Gerber, Lacey.