Jason Coughlan steps up as London Colney’s goalkeeping crisis leads to Berkhamsted loss

Midfielder Jason Coughlan had to go in goal for London Colney against Berkhamsted. Picture: KARYN HA

Midfielder Jason Coughlan had to go in goal for London Colney against Berkhamsted. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

A goalkeeping crisis led to a 7-0 reverse for London Colney away to Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division promotion chasers Berkhamsted.

Midfielder Jason Coughlan manfully picked up the gloves with regular keeper Jack Metcalfe unavailable, as was their second-choice stopper.

And although he did well, he found himself up against ex-Blueboy Ashley Morrissey who was in stunning form on his way to a second-half hat-trick.

The Blueboys still had plenty of attacking flair mind and Laurence Vaughan had two efforts early on, the first flashing across the face of goal and wide and the second going just wide of the other upright.

A Jack Mace cross also caused problems and had Kambo Smith not got a touch it may have fell perfectly for Loren Maxwell who was storming in behind him.

However, once Berkhamsted took the lead on 11 minutes there looked liked there would be only one winner.

Matt Bateman got it, firing home at the far post following a corner kick from the right and the second saw him involved again, pushing the ball beyond the advancing Coughlan for Ashton Campbell to apply the finishing touch.

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The Blueboys though had a wonderful chance to get themselves back in it right on the stroke of half-time.

Smith was brought down in the box by Garry Jones after a dazzling run but unfortunately Joe Reynolds’ spot-kick rebounded off the inside of the post and across the six-yard box and out.

Morrissey arrived off the bench at the start of the second half and within 30 seconds had made it 3-0, pouncing on a mistake by Dan Heald.

His second arrived 10 minutes later with a low drive and four minutes after that he had his third, this time with a header.

The sixth was a stunning strike from 35 yards that bounced in off the post, a shot that most keepers would have failed to save. Jones was sent off for a second yellow but Berko were still able to wrap up the scoring with a seventh in the last minute, Adel Mannion robbing a defender before drilling it beyond the helpless Coughlan.

They still have three games left to play, starting with trips to London Tigers and Crawley Green on Thursday and Saturday respectively.