Magpies fold at Roker Park

Set pieces prove the undoing of Colney Heath

SSML Premier Division

Stotfold 4 Colney Heath 1

COLNEY Heath were left to rue a number of controversial refereeing decisions as they slipped to defeat at Stotfold on Tuesday night.

The Magpies were incensed that they weren’t awarded a penalty when Dave Corran was clearly bundled over inside the penalty area early in the second half. Instead the referee awarded a free kick, which Heath were unable to take advantage of, and just minutes later the visitors were up in arms again when Andy Carter’s header was adjudged to have crossed the line despite Corran’s claims that he’d cleared the ball.

It was a disappointing end to an evening which saw the Magpies start brightly despite conceding an early goal.

A short corner from the left caught the Magpies cold but even so goalkeeper Tom Blackman will have been disappointed to see Adam Pitcairn’s 20 yard strike slip through his grasp.

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The goal only served to spur Colney Heath on and Stotfold ‘keeper Brad Gillham saved well to deny both Kevin Ashwood and Ian Cooper in quick succession.

Steve Barker should have levelled for Heath not long after when he ghosted in unmarked to latch onto Ashwood’s free kick but the captain blazed over the bar from close range.

The equalising goal came just two minutes later with a move started and finished by Paul Armstrong.

The former Stevenage man took a quick free kick on halfway, switching the play left to Corran. The left-back played the ball into the feet of Cooper who spun his man and fed Ashwood.

The marauding midfielder saw his shot saved well, low down, by Gillham but the loose ball spilled to Armstrong, who had crept into the box unnoticed, and he rifled the ball into the roof of the net.

Gillham continued to frustrate Colney Heath saving from Armstrong after great build up play by Corran and Cooper. The Stotfold custodian was eventually beaten when Ashwood collected a fine defence splitting pass and lifted the ball over the ‘keeper but the Magpies’ celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s flag.

Stotfold made the most of their reprieve by grabbing a second goal right on the stroke of half time.

Again a corner wasn’t dealt with properly and Matt Kenneford’s cross was well dispatched by the unmarked Paul Garrett at the far post.

The game’s major talking point came less than a minute after the restart when Corran was taken out inside the box only for referee Wynne to infuriate the visiting bench by awarding a free kick.

Worse was to come eight minutes later when Garrett’s cross was headed goalwards by Carter and despite Corran’s goaline clearance the assistant referee informed Mr Wynne the goal should be given.

That goal allowed the home side to line up two banks of four and they defended stoutly against Heath’s attacks.

Substitute Sean Bretell did manage to get clear of the home defence but blasted high and wide and Ashwood’s well struck shot from the left was held at the second attempt by Gillham.

With Colney Heath throwing numbers forward in an attempt to get back into the game, Garrett grabbed a breakaway second.

The winger picked the ball up on halfway before racing past Glen Draper and firing past Blackman from 16 yards.

The visitors did have one final chance to grab a consolation when a corner fell to the unmarked Carl Ashton but he shot over the bar to end a miserable night for the Magpies.

Heath: Blackman; Teasdale, Draper, Barker �, Corran; Armstrong, Humbert (Turner 59), Taylor, Ashton; Ashwood; I Cooper (Brettell 75).

Subs not used: Williams, Gerber, Coombs.

Referee: J Wynne

Att: 67