Heath lose out in controversial circumstances
Refereeing decisions go against Magpies
SSML Premier Division
Colney Heath 0
Hillingdon Borough 2
COLNEY Heath slipped to their first defeat of the new campaign in highly controversial circumstances at the Recreation Ground on Tuesday night.
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The game’s major turning point came as early as the third minute when Ian Cooper’s goalbound effort was handled by a Hillingdon defender, an incident seen by everyone in the ground bar the officials. Such was Heath’s frustration, Carl Ashton was booked for his protests. It was the first of a number of decisions throughout the clash that failed to go the home side’s way.
In the end Hillingdon, a much improved side from last year, took advantage and grabbed a goal in either half to secure the points.
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With several first team squad members unavailable, including this summer’s marquee signing Glen Draper who is out with a broken foot, Heath were delighted to welcome back last season’s leading goalscorer Ian Cooper following suspension, and he partnered brother Kevin in attack.
The two began lively and had Ian’s early goalbound shot, following good work from Kevin Ashwood down the left, not been handled who knows how the game would have panned out.
The visitors showed they weren’t intent to sit back and defend for a point with Sonny Farr curling an effort just wide from 20 yards.
The most impressive aspect of the visitors side was the pace and strength of their defensive line no better illustrated than when Ian Cooper latched onto Josh Humbert’s through ball and bore down on goal only to be denied by a great saving tackle from the visiting centre half.
The first half was end-to-end with chances coming on a fairly regular basis. The home side should have broken the deadlock on 25 minutes when Ashton volleyed narrowly wide.
Former London Colney fullback Dave Corran advanced down the left and delivered an inch perfect cross to the far post that found Ashton free but unfortunately for the Magpies the winger curled his effort inches wide.
Hillingdon went one better two minutes later with the game’s first goal. Myles Ajaji raced away from Mark Teasdale down Heath’s right, fired in a low shot that Amadou Gerber miskicked with the ball evading Tom Blackman and rolling into the net.
Unperturbed by this setback Colney Heath came back at their opponents and only a fine save from visiting goalkeeper Aaron Lufton stopped Ian Cooper from getting his first goal of the new campaign. Ashwood lobbed the ball into the striker in a central position, and Cooper displayed great control to bring the ball down and get away a volley that Lufton palmed over the bar.
Heath continued to create chances but Ashwood fired over and Paul Armstrong also cleared the bar with a header before the interval.
If the home side were looking to come out and subject their opponents to a spell of sustained pressure it wasn’t to be. Hillingdon controlled the early stages of the second half and forced a series of corners of which from one a near post flick had to be hacked off the line.
Hillingdon really should have doubled their lead when the ball ran kindly for Oliver Hawkins in the box but the visiting striker skewed his shot wide of the target.
A poor goalkick from Blackman nearly paid off for Heath but Ian Cooper was thwarted. The Heath goalkeeper’s clearance failed to get any height but Humbert was first to the loose ball and flicked it on for Cooper who turned his man but saw his effort well saved low down by Lufton.
Blackman was then called into action, producing a great one handed save low down to stop Hillingdon from doubling their advantage.
The came a 60 second spell that saw Colney came agonizingly close to drawing level only to then see the result taken out of reach. Kevin Cooper won the ball deep in Hillingdon territory and found brother Ian free on the right hand side. The Heath frontman advanced into the box but was denied by another good save from Lufton. The visitors pounced on the loose ball and went on the attack and Hawkins was on hand to fire home to ensure Hillingdon took the three points back round the M25 with them.
Deep in injury time Lufton made his one error of the night dropping the ball under pressure from Humbert who bundled the loose ball into the net only for the referee to embarrassingly rule it out for a foul on the goalkeeper to ensure Heath’s night finished the way it started – angry at a refereeing decision.
Heath: Blackman; Teasdale, Gerber, T Merritt, Corran; Ashton, Armstrong, Humbert, Ashwood; K Cooper, I Cooper.