Polar opposite reactions for Colney Heath and Harpenden management

PUBLISHED: 15:37 23 December 2018

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Colney Heath celebrate - Andy Sears-Black scores 1-0.


Picture: Karyn Haddon

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Colney Heath celebrate - Andy Sears-Black scores 1-0. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Archant

The mood of the two managers couldn't have been more different after Colney Heath's 3-1 win at Harpenden Town.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Jake Davis for Harpenden Town battles with Harry Shepherd for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Jake Davis for Harpenden Town battles with Harry Shepherd for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

While Magpies’ boss Ryan Thompson was delighted with his side’s efforts at Rothamsted Park, Danny Plumb cut a glum figure at the conclusion of the game.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Colney Heath celebrate.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Colney Heath celebrate. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Colney had taken the lead on 21 minutes when Andy Sears-Black fired in a rebound after his first effort was blocked on the line but Harps made sure they were level by half-time in similar fashion.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Colney Heath celebrate.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Colney Heath celebrate. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Will McClelland was first to the loose ball this time after Charlie May had produced a fantastic stop to deny the first effort.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Kyle McLeish in action for Harpenden Town.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Kyle McLeish in action for Harpenden Town. Picture: Karyn Haddon

And for 15 minutes after the interval the hosts piled forward with chances galore and plenty of dangerous balls into the box.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath. Shaun Murphy keeps his eye on the ball for Colney Heath. 


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath. Shaun Murphy keeps his eye on the ball for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

But just as it seemed as if they would press home their advantage, Colney pounced with Harry Shepherd winning the ball in midifeld and setting Harvey Scott away to score.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Jake Davis for Harpenden Town battles with Dominic Knaggs for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Jake Davis for Harpenden Town battles with Dominic Knaggs for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Kyle McLeish was given a straight red card nine minutes later and Shepherd himself completed the scoring with a header six minutes from time.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Jake Davis for Harpenden Town battles with Dominic Knaggs for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Jake Davis for Harpenden Town battles with Dominic Knaggs for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Thompson felt the game swung on the performance of striker and debutant Chris Blunden.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Colney Heath celebrate the opening goal.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Colney Heath celebrate the opening goal. Picture: Karyn Haddon

He said: “The difference when you have someone like Chris is he gives you an outlet and we haven’t had that all season.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Dan Westmore in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Dan Westmore in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

“He occupied the back four and was superb and that’s what we’ve been missing.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Archie McClelland in action for Harpenden Town.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Archie McClelland in action for Harpenden Town. Picture: Karyn Haddon

What Chris did in 10 minutes was more than what we’ve done all season.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Colney Heath manager Ryan Thompson (middle) and assistant Tony Kavanagh (right). 


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Colney Heath manager Ryan Thompson (middle) and assistant Tony Kavanagh (right). Picture: Karyn Haddon

“That’s not the fault of the lads who have been up there but it’s not their natural game.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath. Harpenden Town's Jake Davis takes on Harry Shepherd of Colney Heath. 


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath. Harpenden Town's Jake Davis takes on Harry Shepherd of Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

“It suited us better too as it allows Harvey Scott to drop deeper and get on the ball and play his football and we scored at the right time.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath. Chris Blunden (Colney Heath) and Will McClelland (Harpenden Town). Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath. Chris Blunden (Colney Heath) and Will McClelland (Harpenden Town). Picture: Karyn Haddon

“I couldn’t ask for much more.”

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath. Harpenden Town manager Danny Plumb (right). 


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath. Harpenden Town manager Danny Plumb (right). Picture: Karyn Haddon

Plumb, however, wants the game to act as a catalyst for better performances from his new-look squad.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath. Jake Davis of Harpenden Town shields the ball from Colney Heath's Dominic Knaggs. 


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath. Jake Davis of Harpenden Town shields the ball from Colney Heath's Dominic Knaggs. Picture: Karyn Haddon

“I thought we were getting on top in the first 20 minutes of the second half,” he said.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath. Harvey Scott of Colney Heath gets to grips with Harpenden Town's Jake Davis as goalkeeper Charlie May looks on. 


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath. Harvey Scott of Colney Heath gets to grips with Harpenden Town's Jake Davis as goalkeeper Charlie May looks on. Picture: Karyn Haddon

“When things are going well you get the rub, when things aren’t, you don’t and we’re not getting it at the moment.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Jake Davis in action for Harpenden Town.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Jake Davis in action for Harpenden Town. Picture: Karyn Haddon

“An individual error has killed us but when you go behind against an experienced team like that, you will struggle to get back in it.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Jake Davis for Harpenden Town battles with Andy Sears-Black for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Jake Davis for Harpenden Town battles with Andy Sears-Black for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

“I’m bitterly disappointed.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Jake Davis for Harpenden Town battles with Andy Sears-Black for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Jake Davis for Harpenden Town battles with Andy Sears-Black for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

“We won so many games by the odd goal last year and this year we’re not nicking those close games.

Harpenden Town V Colney Heath - Chris Blunden in action for Colney Heath.


Picture: Karyn HaddonHarpenden Town V Colney Heath - Chris Blunden in action for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

“There’s no point moaning about it, we need to work harder.”

Colney were rocked in the week when talented 17-year-old Joe Newton chose to accept a move to Royston Town but there are plenty more waiting in the wings at the Recreation Ground.

One of those is goalscorer Shepherd with Thompson certain that the young midfielder is well on the way to having an excellent career, even if this contest wasn’t always plain sailing for him.

The boss said: “That central midfield spot will be his position in three or four years time but you could see they were getting at us through there.

“But he’s only 17 and they are a physically strong side and on a heavy pitch, it didn’t suit him.

“So it wasn’t quite working for him but when we swapped it and put Jack Woods in there, who’s got more of a physical presence, Sheps found more space out wide where he could use his footballing ability.

“And he gave us that bit of quality in the right areas of the pitch.”

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