Magpies grind out wins

MANCHESTER United are renowned for it. Digging out those wins when they’re just not playing well. It’s also a knack that Colney Heath have picked up this last week according to boss Scott Lacey.

The Magpies’ boss described his side’s performance on Saturday as awful despite beating Harefield United 3-1 and he felt things weren’t much better in the club’s 4-2 defeat of Hatfield Town in the quarter-final of the Challenge Trophy.

“The run goes on but Saturday was our worst performance in a long time,” Lacey told the Herts Advertiser.

“It was an awful performance but we won and we’ve won both games convincingly I felt.”

Harefield are struggling in the Premier Division this season but Lacey feels they are better than their position suggests and says the main difference between the two sides was the Magpies’ finishing.

“Harefield are a good side and I’m surprised they are where they are in the table,” said Lacey.

“The main difference was they didn’t put their chances away. Glen Draper and Steve Barker have been magnificent this last three months and they were colossus throughout, they almost single headedly kept us in it.

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Ashwood’s goal was cancelled out by Jack Reader just before the break but Cooper restored Heath’s lead early in the second half and Draper completed the win.

Tuesday night’s victory over Hatfield saw Heath book their place in yet another semi-final, this time in the Challenge Trophy, after three quick-fire second half goals killed off the visitors.

Amadou Gerber opened the scoring for the home side only for Jeremiah Anfon to equalise almost immediately.

Carl Ashton’s 45th minute strike put the Magpies back in front and goals from Matt Brown and Jamie Eames in the space of two minutes made it comfortable for Lacey’s side.

Rhys Lawrence’s penalty did reduce the arrears for the visitors but Heath comfortably held on for their sixth straight win.

“We came out in the second half and scored quick goals,” said Lacey.

“I felt we were always in control. The lads tired a bit which is understandable. The pitches are heavy, the games are coming thick and fast and some of the lads are the wrong side of 30.”

The Magpies’ unbeaten run faces its sternest test this Saturday when runaway league leaders Chalfont St Peter visit the Recreation Ground.

Chalfont have won 20 of their 23 games this season losing just twice but Lacey is confident his side’s good run will continue.

“It’ll be a good test to see how far we have come and how good we are,” he said.

“I’m expecting a big performance and I fully expect us to win. We’re not going to take points off Chalfont, we’re going for the win.”