Colney Heath focused and ready says Blunden as Tring success moves them further clear at top

PUBLISHED: 11:11 23 February 2020 | UPDATED: 22:07 24 February 2020

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Chris Blunden celebrates scoring for Colney Heath 1-0.


Picture: Karyn Haddon

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Chris Blunden celebrates scoring for Colney Heath 1-0. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Archant

Chris Blunden says the prize at the end of the season was all the inspiration Colney Heath needed to push for and grab victory over Tring Athletic.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Ryan Thompson Manager Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Ryan Thompson Manager Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

The forward struck in the first-half and two second period strikes from Spencer Clarke-Mardel eventually got Magpies a 3-2 win in the battle of the top two in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jon Clements in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jon Clements in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

It moves them eight points clear and with a game in hand and you could tell the from the moment you stepped into a focused and determined Recreation Ground, a far cry from the usual jovial atmosphere, that this was a game they knew they had to win.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jon Clements in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jon Clements in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

"It was a massive game," said Blunden. "We knew if we won we'd be eight points ahead and all the boys were up for it.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Vice chairman Richard Smith (left) and captain Spencer Clarke-Mardel receive the team of the month and fair play award from the SSML.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Vice chairman Richard Smith (left) and captain Spencer Clarke-Mardel receive the team of the month and fair play award from the SSML. Picture: Karyn Haddon

"We let one in at the end of the first-half but came back and the late goal from Spencer has got all the boys buzzing.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Chris Blunden celebrates scoring for Colney Heath 1-0.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Chris Blunden celebrates scoring for Colney Heath 1-0. Picture: Karyn Haddon

"We were focused, we were ready. We knew how important this was and that we needed to keep our run going."

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - The teams emerge from the tunnel before the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division clash.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - The teams emerge from the tunnel before the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division clash. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Tring have had their issues since the turn of the year, with both the manager and most of the squad departing Cow Lane, and they arrived for this one with a young squad.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jack Woods in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jack Woods in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But they still did enough to make Colney work extremely hard, equalising twice through a Joe Naylor brace and had it not been for a couple of individual errors they may have left with at least a point.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jack Woods in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jack Woods in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

"They are a young good side," admitted Blunden. "All the players have gone but they have brought in their reserves and they are all hungry.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Spencer Clarke-Mardel in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Spencer Clarke-Mardel in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

"They gave us a very good game but our experience showed late on in our game management after getting that third to keep hold of the lead."

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Danny May in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Danny May in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Blunden's first-half strike was his 12th of the season, six of them coming in a brief spell with Harpenden Town, in the latter part of last year, and only his second since returning in January.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Ryan Thompson Manager Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Ryan Thompson Manager Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

And while personally he would have liked the season to be better, he is simply loving the togetherness being generated by the high-flying Magpies.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jack Woods in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jack Woods in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

He said: "Individually it hasn't been a good season for me and I'm buzzing with the goal but buzzing with the win more.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jack Woods in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jack Woods in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

"I've never been in a changing room like it. All the guys are legends and I love Tommo [Ryan Thompson]. He's probably the best gaffer I've had.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jack Woods in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jack Woods in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

"As soon as I said I wanted to come back he got me involved.

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Brett O'Connor in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Brett O'Connor in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

"It's great to be back and hopefully we can now win the title."

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Brett O'Connor in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Brett O'Connor in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Brett O'Connor in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Brett O'Connor in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jon Clements in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Jon Clements in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Colney Heath V Tring Athletic - Chris Blunden celebrates scoring for Colney Heath 1-0.


Picture: Karyn HaddonColney Heath V Tring Athletic - Chris Blunden celebrates scoring for Colney Heath 1-0. Picture: Karyn Haddon


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Herts Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Related articles

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Herts Advertiser