Tough fortnight ends with exciting draw
Britnell profits from late substitutions to take his season's tally to nine
With Holmer playing their seventh game in fifteen days, whereas Colney had the luxury of a nine day rest before this match, a draw was a good result and stretched the unbeaten run to five games.
Blackman, Rice, and Tyson, were unavailable. Dan Hunt made a rare start in midfield, and Gary Lines dropped to the bench with a sore knee. Adam Riley was rewarded for the winner versus Welwyn with another start, Paul Nicholls made the squad after some goals scored for the Development XI. There was also a place in the dugout for young Mason Scott, who has now been given the all-clear to play after his serious head injury last autumn.
Heath made a flying start, and their centre-forward got his effort from an excellent centre horribly wrong on just 3 minutes. On 6 minutes Riley had a brilliant run down the Holmer left. His cross picked out Jamie Britnell, but the big defender turned striker headed wide. Two minutes later Matt Wooster was just beaten to a through ball by the visitors’ ‘keeper. Riley had better fortune on 24 minutes, when he just beat the Heath custodian to similar through ball. His effort struck the far post, but he was alert enough to carry on his run and turn the ball back perfectly for the oncoming Tom Fifield. Fifield kept his nerve and found the net despite the presence of the ‘keeper another covering defender. HT 1-0
On 49 minutes an unsuccessful attack by The Greens down their left, isolated James Burrell well forward. A quick break by the visitors found a two on one situation in Burrell’s territory. A lowish cross seemed to be heading for James Jarrott. But a wicked bounce caught the right-back in two minds, as to the best way to deal with the ball. Joe Newton, coming in from the left, read the situation perfectly and headed the ball past Aaron Brown from close range.
Colney Heath now looked as though they would prevail, as Holmer appeared to find the relentless fixture list just one game too many. Brown made a fine reflex save on 67 minutes to keep the scores level. Heath had their own let-off on 70 minutes, when a Burrell cross was miskicked by a defender near to his goal with three Holmer attackers within yards of him. But he recovered to hack the ball away, and four minutes later a similar incident at the other end seemed to have settled the game. Dean Munday, who has formed a great understanding with Ryan Parsons in front of Brown, sliced a clearance. Unluckily for him and The Greens, the ball this time went straight to Jim Hill. It was swiftly despatched beyond Brown. The home crowd had been wondering why the bench had not yet been used, especially with two centre-forwards available. With ten minutes left of normal time, the move finally came. In quick succession Jarrott, Fifield, and Riley were replaced with Lines, Pawel Kotwica, and Nicholls. On 88 minutes the presence of three central strikers paid off. Parsons brought the ball forward, Kotwica passed it across the penalty-area. Britnell took steady aim, and steered it beyond the ‘keeper into the Colney Heath net.
There was even time for Holmer to have a chance of grabbing all the points. But having got himself clear, Nicholls was just unable to get enough power behind his shot and it was palmed around the post.
Team: Brown, Jarrott, Burrell, Hunt, Munday, Parsons, Fifield, Curtis Stone ©, Britnell, Wooster, Riley.
Substitutes Used: Lines, Kotwica, & Nicholls.
Substitute Not Used: Scott.