Bigg blow as Magpies lose final home match under Johnstone

PUBLISHED: 10:58 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:12 06 May 2010

Defender Mark Lawford clears looks to spark an attack

Defender Mark Lawford clears looks to spark an attack

Molten Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Colney Heath 1 Biggleswade United 2 COLNEY Heath went down to defeat in their final home match under outgoing boss Craig Johnstone at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.

Striker Ashley Aimakhu on the run

Molten Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division

Colney Heath 1 Biggleswade United 2

COLNEY Heath went down to defeat in their final home match under outgoing boss Craig Johnstone at the Recreation Ground on Saturday.

With Simon Carisco and Mark Blackburne unavailable, manager Craig Johnstone included himself in the 14-man squad. Young defender Tom Dickie stepped in at centre back with veteran Lee Gorrell rested for the cup semi final on Wednesday. Johnstone said: "With Anthony Muthusamy unavailable for Wednesday we did not want to get Lee Gorrell injured for the semi final."

Dan Cornock partnered Ashley Aimakhu in attack with Dean Parratt behind the front two and Greg Deacon, Gary Simmons and Lee Rickard forming the midfield trio.

The Magpies created numerous chances in the first half. Dean Shuttleworth and Parratt were in creative mood but the latter was just off target after a lively run. Parratt then put Aimakhu through on goal only for the striker to drag his shot wide.

The goal was coming and left back Mark Lawford split the defence with a great ball for Aimakhu who ran clear and squared the ball for Cornock to find the net.

Johnstone felt his side were in total control until Lee Rickard was cautioned for a foul and before he could recover his position, Biggleswade took a quick free kick and Simon Catmur netted the equaliser.

The match lacked spark and energy in the second half as it turned into a dour end of season affair. Biggleswade eventually broke through with a second goal for centre back Catmur after Colney Heath goalkeeper Tom Blackman made a rare error.

Johnstone came off the bench in the second half and Dickie was paired with Gorrell to work on their partnership ahead of the cup semi final.

Johnstone was disappointed his players let the match slip away although he praised Dickie. He said: "I was fuming at the end because I wanted to win. It was very disappointing to lose. During the second half I said that whoever could be bothered to score next would win it. I was impressed with what Tom Dickie did. He was excellent. He organised things extremely well."

On Wednesday the Magpies went to Cockfosters for the semi final of the Potters Bar Charity Cup. With Muthusamy, Blackburne, Carisco and Dean Parratt unavailable and Neil Jordan struggling with injury, the Magpies were depleted for the clash.

On Saturday, May 3 Colney Heath hold their Presentation Night at the Recreation Ground. New management duo Scott Lacey and Wes Awad have already begun preparations for next season and Johnstone, who steps into a General Manager role, expects them to want to keep the key members of the squad including playmaker Greg Deacon. He said: "Greg Deacon has really done well for us. I know he is ambitious and he wants to win things so it is whether the two lads can attract the right players and build a team around Greg. There is interest in Greg and Hemel Hempstead Town have interest in Tom Blackman. Tom has had a couple of training sessions with them and played a couple in the Capital League. In think he needs another season here."

Colney Heath: Blackman, Shuttleworth, Lawford, Simmons, Muthusamy, Dickie, Rickard, Deacon, Parratt, Aimakhu, Cornock. Subs: Jordan, Johnstone, Gorrell.

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