Murphy’s Law as dramatic equaliser comes before cup exit

Shaun Murphy was on target twice in a week for Colney Heath.
Picture: Karyn Haddon

Shaun Murphy was on target twice in a week for Colney Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

Shaun Murphy scored twice in a week but the joy of a last-gasp equaliser on Saturday soon turned to disappointment as Colney Heath lost to Baldock Town in semi-final of the Spartan South Midlands League Challenge Trophy.

The Magpies had hoped to add to their Herts Charity Shield triumph from last year with more silverware this time around but that ended in Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat.

Greg Shaw had got the first before Murphy added the second but Colney’s chances of a comeback were hit by a red card to Dan Power late on.

The game at the Recreation Ground had started poorly with a long-range effort from Lewis Barker evading Tom Blackman in the Colney goal after just eight minutes.

And after Andy Sears-Black had a chance blocked at the far post, Baldock made it 2-0, Kim Forsythe sweeping the ball in from a Kieran Barnes cross.

Shaw’s header on 36 minutes from a Danny May corner, signed last week from Southern League Welwyn Garden City, had raised hopes but a goal Baldock goal shortly after half-time from Alex Coppin dashed them once more.

They were raised once again moments later when Murphy got on the end of a Sears-Black nod down from another May corner and the big defender hit a firm low drive in to the net.

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George Devine spurned a glorious chance to equalise but couldn’t convert from out in front and a second yellow card for Power ended the hope once and for all.

It was a disappointing end to the contest and in complete contrast to the joyous scenes on Saturday brought on by Murphy’s dramatic strike.

Trailing 1-0 to lowly London Tigers in the SSML Premier Division, and down to 10 men following May’s dismissal for handball, the game looked to be up for the Magpies.

But with the clock in added time Jack Woods delivered the perfect cross for Murphy and the centre-half, who had stayed up front as an emergency striker, placed his header beautifully into the corner.

A draw was perhaps a fair result with Heath having a goal chalked off on 81 minutes but Tigers hitting the underside of the bar from a penalty, the result of May’s handball.

The Magpies are back at home on Tuesday against Baldock again but before that they have a trip to Leverstock Green on Saturday.