Ashley strikes as Magpies achieve their Aim
Molten Spartan South Midland Premier Division Chalfont St Peter 0 Colney Heath 2 GOALS from Lee Rickard and Ashley Aimakhu secured a remarkable win for Colney Heath shattering the unbeaten home record of league leaders Chalfont St Peter on Saturday. Man
Molten Spartan South Midland Premier Division
Chalfont St Peter 0 Colney Heath 2
GOALS from Lee Rickard and Ashley Aimakhu secured a remarkable win for Colney Heath shattering the unbeaten home record of league leaders Chalfont St Peter on Saturday.
Manager Craig Johnstone was delighted with the performance from his depleted squad. He said: "It was a big upset. They were unbeaten in 24 games, had only lost twice all season and were unbeaten at home. Myself and Frank Patrick (assistant manager) had devised a cunning plan to play five at the back with myself going in as sweeper."
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With just 11 regulars available Johnstone selected Tom Dickie at right back, Dean Shuttleworth at left back and Anthony Muthusamy partnered Lee Gorrell at centre back either side of the manager. In midfield Lee Rickard and Neil Jordan formed the central pairing to provide the steel and Greg Deacon and Dean Parratt played wide with Ashley Aimakhu in a lone role in attack.
The formation worked a treat in the first half as the Magpies nullified the free-scoring hosts and even had the audacity to go in 1-0 up at half time. Chalfont had struck the woodwork early on before Johnstone's side threatened first when Shuttleworth found Parratt who shot narrowly wide. Rickard then set up Aimakhu who went close before Chalfont were stunned by the opener. Midfielder Rickard finished off a fine move involving Shuttleworth and Aimakhu and the manager said: "It was another good ball from Dean Shuttleworth and Ashley Aimakhu flicked the ball on for Lee Rickard who made a good run in behind and found the bottom left hand corner."
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It was not all good news for the Magpies in the opening half with the manager forced off with a bad hamstring injury when trying to outpace Chalfont striker Bradley Bubb. Johnstone said: "My 39 years caught up with me and my hamstring exploded. I think I might have caught him but that is me out for the season."
Teenager Charlie Betts came on for his first team debut and slotted into the sweeper role vacated by the boss. The Magpies continued to defend from the front with Deacon and Parratt working hard and Rickard and Jordan offering formidable protection to the back five. Johnstone said: "Charlie Betts was excellent and Tom Dickie came of age. Dean Shuttleworth put in an excellent display on the left side and Lee Rickard and Neil Jordan enjoyed their sort of game. They scared the life out of the Chalfont midfield and their experience told."
On 70 minutes the Magpies secured their sensational win with Muthusamy firing the ball forward and the impressive Aimakhu forcing a mistake from the home defence before finding the net.
Johnstone hailed the victory and praised goalscorer Aimakhu. He said: "It was a fantastic defensive display with some good counter attacking football to come up with two goals. This was a real team effort from everyone including the staff. Frank Patrick has been with me now for two years and he had the idea about how we should play. It worked.
"There is more to come from Ashley. He has done well, scoring regularly and you cannot buy that sort of player. He puts his chances away."
The Magpies host Langford on Tuesday and Cockfosters on Saturday as they look to continue their upward surge in the Premier Division. With Johnstone ruled out injured and Dickie and Aimakhu unavailable, young Harvesters Under 18s striker John Rathbone is set for his first start for the Langford clash.