Frustrations for Colney Heath as they are beaten in FA Cup by New Salamis
- Credit: Archant
Colney Heath’s FA Cup hopes were dashed at the first attempt as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at New Salamis.
The hosts, who play their home game at Haringey Borough, play their football in Division One of the Spartan South Midlands League but, like the Magpies, they were destined for promotion until the season was voided.
They are littered with players who have dropped down the pyramid and it showed for large parts as Colney failed to get to grips with them.
It bought them the winner in the first half and despite a much better showing from Colney in the second half, they couldn’t grab the equaliser
The home side started as they would carry on for the majority of the first half, with the ball and with the confidence to pass it around and find the gaps.
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They got in a couple of times early on but Matt Evans was not called into making a save.
But the threat was constantly there and it brought the opening goal from the penalty spot.
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Seconds before there was a shout for handball but the referee ruled it was more chest than hand. He swapped them round for the second one and Kyri Portou sent Evans the wrong way, tucking it into the keeper’s right-hand corner.
They had another shout 15 minutes later, the Charlie Georgiou going down under a challenge but this time the referee was certain there was no foul.
Former St Albans City man Jordan Sanderson and home skipper Ryan Hervel were pulling the strings with relative ease in midfield and the lively Luke Foster was a probing and willing runner.
The left back sent one tantalising cross low across the six-yard box with nobody able to get a touch and a heavy touch on the right wing prevented another chance.
Colney were trying to go direct and pin New Salamis back but George Devine and Sean McMonagle were chasing shadows more often than not.
The former had a couple of attempts, with only one from a tight angle bringing a save out of Austin Byfield in the home goal.
But with the squad missing the experience and leadership of Jack Woods, Spencer Clarke-Mardel and Callum Dudrenec, all sitting in the stands, it needed something quick to change the flow of the game.
Manager Ryan Thompson responded with a double substitution, throwing Harry Shepherd and Cillian Webb into the fray at the expense of Danny Fitzgerald and Kyle Rahho.
It meant a change of formation to 4-4-2 and it at least brought a chance for Dominic Knaggs, his long-distance shot going harmlessly over the top.
In fact there were chances at both ends in the opening 15 minutes of the half.
Webb forced a corner with a shot deflected behind and from it Jay Lovell headed wide.
At the other end Deniz Mehmet forced a good save from Evans and the keeper made another good one at the foot of his near post.
Harrison Georgiou passed up a great chance to put the game to bed but unmarked from 12 yards he sliced it high and wide.
Shepherd almost found the all-important equaliser but his 25-yard effort flew inches past the post with the keeper well-beaten.
And with time running out exciting prospect Bailey Stevenson was brought on for his debut.
Georgiou almost made up for his earlier miss with a bit of tricky and cheeky lob that Evans did well to tip over but home hearts were in their mouth when a Max Jessop effort was deflected into the side netting.
It proved to be the final chance and Colney will need to lick their wounds before the start of the league season.
Colney Heath: Evans, Knaggs, Lewis, McClelland, Rahho (Webb 46), Lovell, Griffin, Fitzgerald (Shepherd 46), McMonagle, Devine (Stevenson 75), Jessop.
Subs (not used): Todd, Stevenson, Boodhoo, Manderville.
Booked: Shepherd 80
New Salamis: Byfield, Chambi, Foster, Hervel, Tandon, Becka, Portou (R.Georgiou 90), Sanderson, C.Georgiou, Mehmet, H.Georgiou.
Subs (not used): Michael, Furlong, Loizou, Hynam.
Goal: Portou (pen) 19
HT: New Salamis 1 Colney Heath 0
Referee: Steven Walsh (London)