Gritty London Colney battle to one-goal win over MK Irish

London Colney beat MK Irish 1-0 at Cotlandswick in the SSML Premier Division.

London Colney beat MK Irish 1-0 at Cotlandswick in the SSML Premier Division. - Credit: NEIL METCALFE

London Colney got back to winning ways in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division with a gritty battle against MK Irish.

Wilberforce Ocran got their only goal in the 1-0 success nine minutes into the second half to extend their unbeaten home run to five games.

It was a scrappy game and needed a fair amount of backs to the wall resilience from the home side but it also moves them back into the top 10.

The Blueboys were hit by a number of injuries and were forced to make five changes from Saturday's 1-0 defeat against Newport Pagnell Town in the FA Vase.

It would have explained the slow start with Irish pressing in the early going.

But once they pulled themselves together they were able to at least force the contest into the middle of the park.

They created a couple of chances, Danny Fowler down the right a particular threat.

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He fired one on the run across goal and just over the top and then repeated the trick, forcing Jack Taylor to push it over the top.

From that corner they had the best chance of the half and should have scored.

The corner came across to Herbie Townsend at the back post and his little dinked return fell perfectly for Ocran six yards out.

The striker couldn't get the accuracy or the power though and it was scrambled off the line.

Isaac Olaleye also got sight of goal but hit it straight at the keeper.

The second half began at a frantic pace and Irish almost took the lead in the minute before Colney did.

A shot was only partially stopped by Marcus Klepka and as it spun towards goal it was cleared off the line.

London Colney had the perfect response though and it was a study in perseverance from Ocran.

He looked second favourite to a succession of 50-50s but he managed to force his way through them all and after pushing the ball wide of Taylor, he rolled the ball in the gap between keeper and post.

Ocran should have got his second shortly after but blazed over the top.

The game began to take an ugly turn with a couple of meaty challenges and one off-the-ball incident missed by most, including the officials, but which incensed the home defence.

The visitors began to turn the screw as the game headed towards its conclusion but the Blueboys remained resolute.

When Irish did get in behind Stephen Brookes fired wildly over and Klepka had to make a strong save at his near post. 

It remained frantic and bad tempered until the final whistle, a noise that was greeted with delight from the home support.

London Colney: Klepka, Mace, Gill, Ismail, Holding, Armstrong, Olaleye, Ocran, Townsend, Fowler, Stockman.

Subs (not used): Tolley, Lawrence, Coughlan, Cannell.

Goal: Ocran 54

Booked: Ocran 90+2

MK Irish: Taylor, Cole, Smith, Filip, Clarkson (Brookes 66), McDonald, Lawless, Ansah, Amoako, Coleman, Beecher (Boland 66).

Subs (not used): Shand, Dummitt, Beaupierre.

Booked: Beecher 42.

HT: London Colney 0 MK Irish 0

Referee: Marc Rister (Bushey)