Derby win is handy for Magpies
Molten Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division London Colney 0 Colney Heath 1 COLNEY Heath took the spoils in the derby clash at London Colney with a helping hand from former Blueboy Greg Deacon.
Molten Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division
London Colney 0 Colney Heath 1
COLNEY Heath took the spoils in the derby clash at London Colney with a helping hand from former Blueboy Greg Deacon.
Manager Craig Johnstone recalled striker Mark Blackburne to the Colney Heath starting XI after injury and midfielder Neil Jordan passed a fitness test to line up with Dean Parratt and former Colney duo Deacon and Lee Rickard in an experienced looking midfield unit. Striker Dan Cornock continued in attack and the Magpies also fielded ex-London Colney trio Tom Blackman, Anthony Muthusamy and Dean Shuttleworth.
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Goalkeeper Gary Statham returned to the starting XI for the Blueboys and former Sandridge Rovers man Dave Corran was also handed a start.
The lively Deacon was in menacing form for the Magpies and carved out a number of half chances with Statham repelling the threat. The goalkeeper also had to be alert to tip away a free kick from Shuttleworth and, from the resulting corner kick, Parratt found Rickard who headed over. At the other end Colney striker Cain Davey blasted a good chance over the top.
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Johnstone was disappointed with the first half showing from his side and conceded they could have gone in at the break behind after Davey was denied a great penalty shout. Johnstone said: "Neil Jordan hasn't quite got the pace of Cain Davey. He cut across him and I have seen them given. If it was my player I would have been upset that it wasn't a penalty.
"At half time I was not happy at all. I had a real go at the players. We needed to get a bit of spark about us as the match had an end of season feel. I was fuming with them. It was a dour game and miserable to watch.
"To be fair to us we had the more potent attacking strength down the hill and we had six corners in the space of about four or five minutes. We put Gary Statham (London Colney goalkeeper) under pressure on a few occasions but we didn't really punish them."
Cornock went off injured before the break and was replaced by former St Albans City Youth striker Ashley Aimakhu.
The Magpies looked more threatening following the restart and the lively Parratt put over several good crosses. Deacon dived to head narrowly off target and then had a shot saved by Statham.
For Colney, substitute Tinashe Jaravaza played in Davey who was denied by Blackman and the Colney Heath goalkeeper also sprawled to save a free kick from Greg Shaw.
The deciding goal arrived in the 78th minute in controversial circumstances. Parratt delivered another precise cross and the ball appeared to divert off the arm of Deacon as he challenged with Colney goalkeeper Statham. Aimakhu seized the opportunity and, after a challenge with Colney defender Shaun Murphy, the ball rolled into the back of the net.
Colney Heath consolidated their lead with impressive substitute Simon Carisco making an important contribution and Tom Dickie also playing his part. Only a clearance off the line from Murphy late on denied Blackburne the second for the visitors. The derby win means the Magpies have now beaten their points tally from last season and are comfortably safe from relegation while rivals London Colney face the prospect of Division One football next term.
London Colney: Statham, Benning, McCafferty, Murphy, Paradise, Butcher (Shaw), Corran, Mitchell, White (Jaravaza), Fitzgerald, Davey (Haynes). Unused subs: Crowe, Townsend.
Colney Heath: Blackman, Shuttleworth, Lawford, Jordan, Muthusamy, Gorrell, Rickard, Deacon, Cornock, Blackburne, Parratt. Subs used: Aimakhu, Carisco, Dickie.
On Tuesday, Colney Heath were defeated 4-0 at The Recreation Ground by powerful title chasers Beaconsfield SYCOB. Striker Craig O'Connor, who featured for St Albans City earlier this season, scored twice for SYCOB to seal an emphatic win.
Aaron Ames scored the only goal of the game as London Colney Reserves beat Colney Heath Reserves 1-0 on Saturday in Reserve Division One. Ames tapped home the winner after a shot from Steve Seeby was pushed out.
London Colney: Donnelly, Henshall, Dumpleton, Seeby, Swendel, Ames, O'Toole, Connell (Othman), Whittaker (Azzopardi), Symone. Unused subs: Tyrell, Doolan.