Derby spoils go way of Colney Heath in cup
PUBLISHED: 10:30 22 November 2018
The first ever meeting between St Albans Ladies and Colney Heath ended with the Magpies taking the spoils in a 3-0 County Cup win.
Colney Heath were the favourites on their visit to Saints’ Boggymead ground, play two levels above their hosts in the Eastern Region Premier Division.
But despite the score, the Beds & Herts Division One St Albans produced a big performance, making Colney work every inch of the way.
The first chance of the game fell to the Magpies, Lauren Croucher saving with her foot as Adi Milton broke into the box.
The Saints skipper was needed to make another save, this time from a Christina Freestone free-kick, but slowly the home side came back into it, Lucy Hancock clearing the danger as Ellen Salter burst forward.
The tricky winger went even closer shortly after with a low drive that bounced off the outside of the post and wide.
But it was Colney Heath who opened the scoring on 23 minutes, Sophie Gardiner finding the bottom corner with a well-placed shot from Stacey Randles’ cross.
Megan Kelly hit the side netting shortly after but the half ended with no further goals, despite both sides having efforts at goal.
That all changed three minutes into the second half when Freestone released Nic Hollick who rounded Croucher and coolly slotted home.
Molly Slade, Ellie Lovelock and Jessica Cavaree all went close as St Albans looked for a way back into the tie but that left space behind which Colney Heath exploited for number three.
Freestone was again the supplier, sending a good ball over the top for Rianne Townsend-Brown to drive low past Croucher.
The Saints tried to hit back and both Georga Knight and Jael Muzzi had shots blocked by Hancock in the space of 30 seconds while at the other end Sheree Oliver’s brilliant solo run ended with her goal-bound shot blocked by the outstretched legs of Croucher.
Both keepers enjoyed excellent games with Hancock playing with a broken finger picked up in the warm-up.
And it was she who made the last save, hanging on to a Salter free-kick amid plenty of pressure in the six-yard box.