Colney Heath enjoy their own little bit of football history with Hadley win
- Credit: Archant
It’s fair to say that Wednesday, April 17, 2019, will forever be remembered as the night of one of the greatest games of football ever played.
Goals, drama and conflicting and rapidly-changing emotions will quite rightly elevate the Champions League clash between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur into the pantheon of memorable football moments.
It’s also fair to say that the game 216 miles further south at Brickfield Lane, Hadley, won’t be one talked about in hushed awe by the footballing world.
However, Colney Heath’s 2-1 win over the hosts in the Herts Charity Shield semi-final was just as exciting and memorable for those connected to the Magpies.
It too had early goals and late drama with Andy Sears-Black’s match winner coming in the first minute of added time at the end of the 90.
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The early goals had seen Josh Humbert fired Colney Heath in front on 11 minutes, with the aid of a deflection, before Hadley equalised four minutes later through Peter Rosemin.
That was another bit of drama with the big number nine not scheduled to start the game.
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However former London Colney striker Emmanuel Hammond was delayed by the traffic on the way to the ground and it meant Rosemin was put into the starting line-up just 15 minutes before kick-off.
The victory means the Magpies are through to their second successive Herts Charity Shield final and the jubilant scenes following Sears-Black’s goal and at the final whistle show they are delighted to have the chance to retain the trophy they won last year against Welwyn Garden City.
It was probably a deserved victory too as they bossed the possession stats, especially in the second half, even if their shots on target didn’t fully test Luke Ward in the Hadley goal.
It could have been oh so different, however, had Hadley actually scored in an amazing opening to the contest.
Just 30 seconds were on the clock when the hosts got in down the right but an effort from Cameron Ferguson came back off the bar and two further shots were somehow blocked by frantic defending.
Ferguson would play a big part in the opening goal although sadly for the former St Albans City man, he could do little about Humbert’s shot from Danny May’s corner bouncing off him and flying into the corner of the net.
The equaliser was also from a corner although Rosemin seemed to be given too much time inside the box to turn the ball into Tom Blackman’s net.
Sears-Black headed over from a deep Dominic Knaggs cross in the first half and the same man opened up the second half with a bouncing shot from distance.
Chris Blunden also had a couple of chances as Colney Heath pushed forward, the second of which saw him do brilliantly to get in front of his man but the striker just couldn’t react quick enough to keep his header down.
But for all of the Magpies efforts they still couldn’t carve out that one golden opportunity that you felt would settle the game.
And had it not been for some frantic defending and clearances from Blackman and his back four, Hadley may have snatched something with their dangerous set-pieces.
But finally Colney did create that one moment of magic and crucially, they took it.
Blunden was freed down the left and his lofted cross to the back post was headed back across goal by George Devine for the marauding Sears-Black to power home.
The celebrations were long and loud and although they will go into the final against Southern League Berkhamsted as underdogs, they will be quietly confident they can enjoy more in the coming weeks.
If they do then this corner of Hertfordshire may also remember the night of April 17.