Title push back in London Colney’s hands after Wembley success

Stef Geraldes on the ball. Picture: KEVIN LINES

Stef Geraldes on the ball. Picture: KEVIN LINES - Credit: Archant

London Colney came from behind to defeat Wembley 3-1 – and thanks to results elsewhere their title hopes are back in their own hands.

The two sides above them in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, Hoddesdon Town and AFC Dunstable, played out a 1-1 draw meaning that if Colney win their three games in hand, they will go clear at the summit.

Lee Armitt’s brace took his tally to 18 for the season, and eight in the last five, with Russell Gallagher adding the third.

But despite praising Armitt’s prowess in front of goal, manager Russell Thompson feels the foundations are laid further back.

He said: “Defensively we’re very, very strong. As long as we don’t give silly little things away, Lee Armitt will score goals.

“Tom Smith, Sam Doolan; they’re just good players. They’re like a marriage, they work superbly together.

“They know which man’s going to go and head it, which one is going to drop. They’ve got a great understanding.

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“They give us a platform to go and play.”

They were under the cosh though early on as Wembley started with a bang and took the lead on 11 minutes when the ball flicked off the top of Lee Close’s head and flew into his own net.

The Blueboys had been forced to start with a few players out of position and such was the confident start by the visitors, Thompson decided early to change things around.

Close moved to right back, Jack Woods, who had started there, moved further forward and Stef Geraldes shifted into the middle of the park.

It worked a treat as Armitt pounced on a slip by Wembley defender Richard Brown.

And by half-time Colney were in front.

Geraldes and Woods won a couple of 50-50 challenges and the former quickly sent Gallagher away, his shot finding the net with the aid of a slight deflection.

The hosts came out with a spring in their step and bar a few half-chances for the visitors, they dominated proceedings.

But they had to wait until the 75th minute before the safety net was deployed.

A ball forward by Dave Corran was flicked on by Geraldes and Armitt fired across the Wembley keeper for 3-1.

Thompson explained that the tactical switch was due mainly to the disjointed look of his side.

He said: “I had a little bit of a tinker and managed to get Stef in the middle of the park and that made a massive difference.

“Everything worked better when we done it. Lee Close was a better right back, Jack wide gave us a lot more energy and Stef in the middle battled away.

“But that’s the character of all the lads; they worked so hard.”