Colney Heath stroll to Devine derby day win over London Colney

The first Colney derby of the season took place at the Recreation Ground between Colney Heath and Lo

The first Colney derby of the season took place at the Recreation Ground between Colney Heath and London Colney. - Credit: Archant

George Devine was top of Colney Heath’s new your honours list as his hat-trick secured a comfortable 4-0 home win over neighbours London Colney.

The striker struck twice in three first-half minutes before adding the icing on the cake 10 minutes after the half-time break.

Top scorer Jon Clements completed their perfect end to the year late on.

The result also means the Magpies head into 2020 top of the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division.

And yet while it was an easy and expected victory, it needed the goals to settle the nerves after the Blueboys had started the better.

The one-way traffic came as expected in the opening 25 minutes but what was not in the script was that the momentum was all with the visitors.

The only thing they didn't really do was test Connor Sansom in the home goal but they had all the possession and got in some dangerous positions, Cardell Flavin having the best chance with a header from six yards that he failed to direct on target.

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They also found Yasin Boodhoo in fine form but his defending was unable to help the Magpies get on the front foot.

They were struggling to find any rhythm with the ball going from back to front and with far too much directness and too little thought.

London Colney were employing a similar tactic but they were tempering it with a bit of control and finesse and aiming the passes into the feet or body of Loren Maxwell and Timothy Obinsanya.

They certainly didn't look like a side second from bottom of the table but they did once Devine had pounced for his first-half brace, the confidence and belief visibly draining from their game.

The first strike on 29 minutes was a simple centre-forward's goal. He met the deep free-kick from Danny May with a simple and deft header that was guided into the back of the net. The run was beautifully timed too.

His second three minutes later was very different but also involved a run, this time with the ball at his feet.

He picked it up wide on the right and after standing up the defender he cut in towards the middle before firing low inside the near post with his left foot.

From there he perhaps should have completed a hat-trick before the interval, volleying a difficult chance on the turn over the top and sending an easier effort in the same direction, this one after a corner had been played in low to him.

Jon Clements had forced Lee Axworthy into a save to win that set-piece, shooting from a narrow angle on the stretch.

The keeper made the save of the match to deny a header from Chris Griffin in the second period, somehow getting down low to push his header up and over the bar.

But by that time Devine had already completed his treble. He was on his toes and on the move long before the defenders to pop a low cross into the roof of the net from close range.

That was a minute or two before Axworthy's save, which itself came moments before Sam Doolan's shot was ruled out for an offside in the build-up.

Devine almost played in Clements but although the top scorer got to the cross, he had little time to do anything other than draw a block out of the keeper.

A flying Griffin header was also off target and that was the moment when Colney Heath realised they had the chance to rattle up a big score and do their goal difference the world of good.

They didn't create too much until they did bag a fourth though.

Clements had been happy to play second fiddle to his strike partner but he got his now almost customary goal with a thumping drive from the edge of the box.

And that was all their lot but despite that the win was still celebrated with a loud roar at the final whistle.

A derby win is always a joy even when you are used to winning.

Colney Heath: Sansom, May, Lewis, Boodhoo, Doolan, Griffin, Woods, Fitzgerald, Clements (Shuttlewood 86), O'Connor, Devine.

Subs (not used): Dudrenec, Cobb, Knaggs, Westmore.

Goals: Devine 29, 32, 55, Clements 84

London Colney: Axworthy, Mace (Ezekiel 70), Gyasi, Andrews, Armstrong, Ronald, Flavin, Bontamba, Maxwell, Obisanya (Stockman 59), Vaughan.

Subs (not used): Acheampong, Adu, Harvey.

Booked: Vaughan 25

HT: Colney Heath 2 London Colney 0