London Colney extended lead after derby success over Colney Heath

Jon Clements (in red) helped London Colney defeat rivals Colney Heath. Picture: JIM WHITTAMORE

Jon Clements (in red) helped London Colney defeat rivals Colney Heath. Picture: JIM WHITTAMORE - Credit: Archant

London Colney extended their lead at the top of the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division with a hard-fought 1-0 win over local rivals Colney Heath.

Recent signing from Leverstock Green, Louis Bircham, scored the only goal of the game in the second half.

With the two teams below them in the league, AFC Dunstable and Hoddesdon Town, both drawing, the Blueboys are now seven points clear of their challengers, although both have games-in-hand.

The result means that since December 16, 2014, the club have played 46 League matches, winning 36 and losing just once.

Colney Heath however find themselves fourth from bottom although two wins this month has given them a bit of a boost.

And they were will be more than a little disappointed not to have come away with something from this game,

As derbies go, this was not a classic.

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Neither team were able to produce enough quality at the right times.

A couple of early London Colney crosses were dealt with by Magpies keeper Ollie Leslie before a Jack Woods shot whistled passed the post.

At the other end Andrew Hannon headed just wide following a corner kick from Raffaele Kaphouris.

London Colney finished the half trying their luck from range.

Charlie Smith, from 25 yards, had Leslie scrambling and the keeper did well to smother another 25 yard effort, this time from Russell Gallagher.

In the second half London Colney’s skipper Danny Fitzgerald tried to find the back of the net with a great curling strike from 20 yards but the ball flew just wide of Leslie’s left hand post.

A double substitution 10 minutes after the break seemed to revitalise the Blueboys.

Jon Clements and Bircham arrived, replacing Woods and Gallagher.

Bircham setup Smith but his low drive was blocked while Clements had a cross-cum-shot tipped around the post by Leslie.

But Bircham would finally beat the Heath stopper, stabbing home from three yards after a corner was not properly cleared.

Colney Heath pressed forward late on in search of an equaliser but they were thwarted by a resolute Blueboys defence.

London Colney start 2016 away to Bedford on Saturday while Colney Heath are also on the road at Broxbourne Borough.