Delighted Ryan Thompson looking forward to another Herts Charity Shield final appearance for underdogs Colney Heath
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
The final whistle saw delighted Colney Heath manager Ryan Thompson take off on a headlong charge towards some of the Magpies committee and supporters who were all given a bear hug when he got there.
It was a measure that this little old game of football can still move people, even those who have enjoyed a long career in it.
Mind there was plenty of reason for the celebration as Andy Sears-Black’s stoppage time goal at Hadley gave Colney a 2-1 win and a place in the Herts Charity Shield final for a second successive season.
And Thompson admitted part of the reason for his joy was born out of sheer relief.
“It was tense and there was nothing much between the two sides,” he admitted afterwards.
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“They are really good at set-pieces and we kept giving silly free-kicks on the edge of the box and they could’ve hurt us.
“We went with experience, apart from Dominic Knaggs who was mustard, and lucky enough we were the ones who got the goal in the end.”
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And the gaffer also had praise for the match winner, although ever the perfectionist he still wants more.
He said: “We moan about him for not getting in the box enough because he’s so good in the air and if you get the right delivery into him and he’s coming in late, nobody is stopping him.
“I know he gets a few but he should score more.”
Colney now have a chance to retain the title they won in an excellent performance against Welwyn Garden City last year.
And much like that game, Thompson knows they will not be favourites. However, he is still quietly confident.
“I was looking through the side we had out last year and it was a young side with a lot of square pegs in round holes,” he reflected.
“We’re a stronger squad than that this year but the only disappointment is we’ll be without Chris Blunden, Spencer Clarke-Mardel and Jack Woods as they are suspended.
“But that gives some younger players a chance.
Kai Peters is electric, raw but electric and George Devine is a good player and until he got his injury, him and Chris Blunden up front were causing mayhem.
“It’s all his now. He’s going to have the cup final and we just need to find someone to go alongside him.
“But we’ve got quality players and they’ll run through brick walls, the attitude is first-class.
“I know they get themselves into silly trouble like they did at the weekend [when three were sent off against Cockfosters] but you’re asking for passion and you’re asking people to work hard every week.
“It’s just character and sometimes they overstep the mark and be a little bit naughty but I’m no different.
“I’m passionate and I want my players to be passionate.
“Naivety has cost us but it’ll be a good cup final. We won it last year and we want to retain it.
“I’ll be tough against Berkhamsted but it’s a one off game and who knows? We were underdogs last year so who says we can’t do it again?”