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First team report
Tue 4th Oct 2016
Herts Charity Shield Quarter-Final
Colney Heath 1-1 (3-4 Pens) TAFC First team TAFC goals: Callum Gregory
SEMI-FINAL BECKONS AFTER PENALTY SHOOT OUT SUCCESS
We again had to rely on spot kicks to get us through to the next stage of the Herts Charity Shield. In the first round we beat Harpenden Town 3-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw and on Tuesday night we prevailed 4-3 on pens after 90 minutes produced a 1-1 stalemate.
Colney are always a tough outfit to play against as our record of just 3 wins from 16 visits to their ground and no wins in our last 6 games against them testifies. At the start of play they were 14th in the table but they had in their line up Danielson Vincente, Chancey Dash and Trey Charles a trio who between them had already scored 17 goals so we knew it would be a difficult challenge and so it proved even though they played almost the entire match with 10 men.
We were missing quite a few players for one reason or another and the changes included a first start for 19 year old Callum Gregory who celebrated with a goal. Dave O'Connor donned the captain's arm band in the absence of Dan Steadman from the starting line up.
There was a dramatic start to the game when Bradley Osborne was sent off for bringing down Chris Vardy from behind in the 2nd minute. The Referee obviously deemed that the Colney defender had denied Vards a goalscoring opportunity.
From the resulting free kick just outside the area Luke Dustan hit the post as he did 8 minutes later from another free kick for another foul on Chris Vardy. Tommy Twelves had a goal disallowed for offside and Ryan Sturges fired a shot over the bar after good play from Jamie Warne.
At that stage we were well on top but to Colney's great credit they dug in and for the rest of the game competed on equal terms. They were playing some good football and looked sharp going forward. Chancey Dash struck a nice shot that Mark Richardson plucked out of the air as we went through a spell when we struggled to create chances.
The home side were dealt another blow when keeper Jason Holmes went off injured on the half hour mark (I think he banged himself against the post when trying to make a save) to be replaced by Craig Clark, but it didn't weaken the side as the new keeper's distribution was excellent and he made a couple of crucial saves in the second half.
We were at times on the back foot trying to contain Colney's swift attacks and we were caught out in the 36th minute when Adam Lawton slalomed through our midfield and found Trey Charles on the right, who curled a fine shot into the far corner. The ball took a slight deflection but not enough to deceive Mark Richardson who had no chance. Thus despite being a man short Colney were in front.
After a good start we were facing going in at half time a goal behind but 3 minutes into added time we grabbed an equaliser. Chris Vardy retrieved an over hit free kick and whipped in a dangerous cross which picked out Callum Gregory who drilled home a fine shot for his first goal for the club and enable us to go in at the break on level terms. HT Score 1-1.
The first opportunity of the second period fell to the home side when Dash sent over a fine cross to the far post just failing to pick out Lawton. Soon afterwards we produced a super move resulting in Chris Vardy laying the ball back invitingly to Ryan Sturges who fired a great opportunity over the bar.
We made a couple of changes which included pushing Dave O'Connor up front and we tightened things up in midfield and at the back and although our hosts were still dangerous on the break they were unable to test Mark Richardson in goal.
Dave O'Connor saw a goal bound header from a corner hit a defender and go out for another corner and then he tried to turn a pass from Vards past Craig Clark but the keeper got down well to save. Midway through the half we replaced one teenager for another with Joe Naylor coming on for Callum Gregory, who did very well, and Joe's first involvements saw him head a cross from Ryan Sturges over the bar.
Dash sent a shot just wide following a good move but generally we were coping well with the home attacks with Lessa Boka doing a great job of keeping the dangerous Danielson Vincente quiet. As the game entered its final stages we stepped up the pressure and perhaps we should have grabbed a winner.
Dave O'Connor headed a free kick on and Chris Vardy from close range flicked the ball over the bar. Ryan Sturges then tested the keeper with a fine shot which Clark pushed round the post. But the keeper kept his best save until last making a brilliant point blank save from Chris Vardy just a minute from time.
There was a late chance for Colney when Lessa Boka gave a foul away in a dangerous position to the left of the area. Lessa hurt himself in the process and club skipper Dan Steadman had to make a late appearance 5 minutes into added time. The ball was whipped across our area and wide of the far post. Almost immediately the whistle went for full time. FT Score 1-1.
No extra time was played and it went straight to penalties which courtesy of 2 saves from Mark Richardson went our way 4-3.
Praise should go to Colney who performed heroically and showed a lot of spirit. Based on this performance they look a very good side that play lovely football and they should surely climb up the table.
Despite the one man advantage this was a difficult game but we stuck at it and can now look forward to a semi-final game against either London Colney or St Margaretsbury who play on 8 November. The winners will meet in the final either Oxhey Jets or Berko, who beat Welwyn Garden City on the same night 5-4 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
On Saturday we return to league action with a trip to Hoddesdon Town.
CH: 1 Jason Holmes (13 Craig Clark 29) 2 Bradley Robinson 3 James Lawrence 4 Hasan Ombasi 5 Adam Randall 6 Bradley Osborne 7 Adam Lawton (12 Juan Cifuentes 79) 8 Lewis Davis 9 Danielson Vincente 10 Chancey Dash 11 Trey Charles. Subs not used: 14 Davyshon Bennett 15 Max Leong 16 Luke Dolan.
TA: 1 Mark Richardson 2 Tommy Twelves 3 Chris Mason 4 Luke Dunstan 5 Lessa Boka (16 Dan Steadman 90+4) 6 David O'Connor (Capt) 7 Ryan Sturges 8 Jack Seaton 9 Chris Vardy 10 Jamie Warne (14 Jack Sunderland 79) 11 Callum Gregory (12 Joe Naylor 65). Subs not used: 15 James Banfield 17 Stuart Stedman.