Dad’s Army maybe but Colney Heath old guard put on an impressive show against Baldock Town

PUBLISHED: 09:21 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:29 06 February 2019

Ant Burns playing for Harpenden Town in 2014. Picture: DANNY LOO

Ant Burns playing for Harpenden Town in 2014. Picture: DANNY LOO

Archant

Much has been made of the array of young talent at Colney Heath these days but it was the old guard who stepped up to the plate against Baldock Town – and boy did they deliver as they earned a 0-0 draw.

Dan McCafferty playing for London Colney in 2013. Picture: DANNY LOODan McCafferty playing for London Colney in 2013. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Magpies were ravaged with injuries, illness and suspensions and had almost an entire 11 unavailable for the Spartan South Midlands League game at The Recreation Ground on Tuesday night.

It meant that the likes of Dan McCafferty, Jimmy Hill and Ant Burns all had to dust off the boots to help the cause and after holding their own in the first half, they dominated after the break and could have taken all three points.

Assistant manager Burns had to bring himself on with five minutes to go to aid the patched-up side and had to laugh at the average age of the side.

“It definitely went up when I came on for Harry Lewis,” he laughed. “He’s 21 and I’m 35.

Jimmy Hill playing for Harpenden Town in 2016. Picture: DANNY LOOJimmy Hill playing for Harpenden Town in 2016. Picture: DANNY LOO

“We were just having a joke in the changing room afterwards that it was a fun game to play in probably because all the vets were playing.

“We had the reserve team manager Dan McCafferty playing sweeper and although he’s played at this level for many years, he has been out of the game for four of five years.

“But it didn’t show. He organised well and you can just tell from the lads that it’s a game we’re all happy with.

“Yes, we haven’t got the win but we’ve worked hard for it and could have nicked it in the second half.”

Lewis came the closest in the second half with a shot that clipped the top of the crossbar while a Danny Fitzgerald free-kick almost deceived everyone and found the back of the net.

And even though there was a lot of “square pegs in round holes”, Burns said the Mags were the better side after the break, partly due to the determined effort given by the players.

He said: “Work rate is one of those non-negotiables. It’s the first thing you’ve got to do when you step out of the changing room. You have to work hard for the team.

“The past couple of games we could probably pick holes but to see that with what we had available is brilliant.

“It was real honest work.”

He joked that Ryan Thompson will have a selection dilemma now but has no intentions of stepping over the white line when Arlesey Town visit on Saturday.

He does, however, want to see a similar performance.

He said: “We’ll be looking for a reaction and to build on this and we’ll probably have a few players back.”

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