Colney Heath up for the cup says boss but plan is also to carry form into next year

Colney Heath manager Ryan Thompson

Colney Heath manager Ryan Thompson is also plotting for the club's future through the SSML Spring Cup campaign. - Credit: DANNY LOO

Colney Heath's passage to the SSML Spring Cup final is only one part of the masterplan for manager Ryan Thompson - as he plots progression through next season at a higher level .

Goals from George Devine, his seventh in five games, and Hadley Gleeson, his third in two, shot down Shefford Town & Campton in a 2-0 win at the Recreation Ground.

They will now face London Lions in the final but with a deserved promotion into either the Southern League or Isthmian League imminent, the period since lockdown has been used by the Magpies boss as an early pre-season.

Thompson said: "We’ve used this Spring Cup and the friendlies as a bit of an experiment to see different shapes and formations and put some of the youngsters in. 

"We’ve chopped and changed quite a bit to get as much information out of them as we can and we can now go straight into pre-season and we know exactly where we are. 

"This was probably the first time we’ve went with what we thought was our best shape and best XI that have been proving it in this cup.

"Hadley was probably a little bit unlucky to be dropped because he was on fire last week [in the 5-1 win over Harefield United] but we wanted a bit more experience as we’re a young team. 

"But we never got going really in the first half, which was a surprise. 

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"We still kept our discipline and our defensive shape well but we could have done a little bit better. 

"I always felt we would score in the second half and as soon as the first came, I thought the win was there or thereabouts. 

"We’re good defensively, whether we play with a three or a four, the boys know what they are doing. 

"It was just about getting that first goal and grinding away and getting the second."

Devine has been taking the plaudits for his impressive hot streak but Thompson is as excited about 17-year-old Gleeson, who showed strength and composure to slide in his side's second in stoppage time.

The boss now just wants him to develop a bit more consistency.

He said: "He’s got so much potential and sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to get with him, he’s just a young lad. 

"But when you get the full package he is unbelievable, unstoppable. 

"You still sometimes get it where he is timid and waits for things to happen but that’s why they are here, to learn, and he took his goal really well."

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