Old boys grab the derby spoils for Colney Heath at London Colney
PUBLISHED: 16:51 16 February 2019
Sam Doolan and Danny Fitzgerald returned to haunt London Colney as Colney Heath took the bragging rights in the Colney derby at Cotlandswick with a 2-0 win.
Doolan put the Magpies ahead on 45 minutes with Fitzgerald striking three minutes after the restart in a rip-roaring local clash.
It was perhaps no surprise that old favourites would have a say in any Colney Heath victory, such is the amount of old boys down at the Recreation Ground these days.
And the cheer that greeted the final whistle showed this one definitely mattered to those in a black and white shirt.
But while Colney Heath were the winners of t he game itself, charity was always going to be the big winner of the day.
London Colney have the Breast Cancer Now logo emblazoned on their shirts in memory of Lucy-Jane Tammadge and proceeds from the day, which attracted a big crowd, were going to both that charity and Bowmansgreen School.
The goodwill did not extend to the pitch, however, with no such luxury being afforded by either team.
London Colney may have started the day below their easterly neighbours in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division table but they were the form team of the two, with four wins from the last five matches and their only defeat coming at table-toppers Hadley.
Colney Heath meanwhile haven’t won a league game in 2019, although only two of the seven matches they have played have ended in defeat, with the previous four all ending in draws.
And from the word go the two teams tore into each other at an incredibly high tempo.
It was perhaps ironic therefore the first big opportunity fell as the speed of the game just dipped for the first time – and what a chance it was.
Dan Westmore had made a couple of surges forward from his full-back position but a run after 23 minutes saw him hit the ground and a coming together with a defender.
It looked soft and the referee may not have had the best view round a couple of players but he pointed to the spot.
However, although Chris Blunden’s effort sent Jack Metcalfe the wrong way, it bounced up off the crossbar and was cleared.
Within two minutes The Blueboys had also struck the bar.
This time it was a free-kick from the right that was clipped in by Joe Reynolds and found Bobby Armstrong in acres of space.
His glancing header again was good enough to leave the keeper stranded but again the ball bounced off the metalwork and this time went behind.
But apart from that flurry of action, and in spite of the breakneck speed of the game, neither Metcalfe nor Tom Blackman in the Magpies’ goal had a shot to save.
And when the first shot on target did arrive it brought the opening goal, a header guided into the corner by Doolan after a Jack Woods free-kick had been nodded across goal to the unmarked central defender.
The second shot on target, three minutes after the restart, also found the back of Metcalfe’s net.
Chris Blunden’s cross from deep on the right wing was dummied by Spencer Clarke-Mardel with Fitzgerald behind him.
And after his first shot was blocked the rebound fell straight back to him and he slotted it to the right of the diving keeper.
It led to a fantastic spell for the visitors who could have made it three on a couple of occasions.
Clarke-Mardel was inches away from connecting to a Fitzgerald through ball and Blunden was denied by a Metcalfe save after again being set up by the scorer of the second goal.
Their best chance came from the resulting corner when Greg Shaw’s shot beat the keeper and needed Mickey Shuttlewood’s clearance on the line to save the day.
The Blueboys did show some late fight and an effort from Aaron Lansiquot that was lifted over Blackman bounced just wide of the post.
Their push forward did leave space behind and Fitzgerald should have done better with a shot from the edge of the area after a quick break.
But in the end the Mags saw things out quite comfortably to claim the big win.
London Colney: Metcalfe, Mace, Reynolds, Shuttlewood, Armstrong (Henry 49), Holding, J.Price, Griffin, Lansiquot, G.Price (Brown 78), Stockman (James 59).
Subs (not used): Arthur, Forster
Booked: Armstrong 45, G.Price 64, Metcalfe 87.
Colney Heath: Blackman, Lewis (Shepherd 68), Westmore, Murphy, Doolan, Shaw, Humbert, Fitzgerald, Blunden (Hill 90+1), Clarke-Mardel, Woods.
Subs: May, Dudrenec.
Goals: Doolan 45, Fitzgerald 48.
Booked: Clarke-Mardel 27, Blunden 64, Shaw 71.
HT: London Colney 0 Colney Heath 1
Referee: Nick Fuller (Great Barford)