Patience, Persistence and Perseverance = Points
Hertford had to bide their time against a resistant West Herts team on Saturday, eventually running out six-nil winners at the New Playing Field in Watford.
Player-coach Nick Downer came back into the starting eleven for Alfie Hubble in the only change to the match-day squad from the previous week.
Hertford set the tone for the match, dominating possession for lengthy passages of play, but found West Herts hard to break down as they retreated in numbers, crowding the circle and preventing many clear-cut chances at goal.
Elliot Barling and Jamie O'Sullivan were getting forward at will, seizing on any loose passes down the flanks, creating chances for the attackers.
Darren Norman, Ben Van Rooyen and Ian Dunnett all had shots on target, but found the host's goalkeeper in good form, despite Hertford sometimes making it too easy for him.
The hosts seemed content to try to play on the break when the chance arose, but Hertford worked back well to smother any attack before it could cause any real danger.
Set pieces seemed to be best opportunity for the visitors to register in the game when the home sides defensive count would be limited. A couple of routines fizzled out without their planned impact, before Arthur Twyning popped up to finally break the deadlock with half an hour played, neatly deflecting in a switched routine to continue his goal-scoring run.
Hertford reorganised at half time to get forward before West Herts could retreat and to create more space in the D.
The plan paid off almost immediately as good closing down from van Rooyen won the ball high up the pitch, feeding Greg Page at the top of the circle. Page committed the last defender and slipped the ball to Norman on his left, who was able to slide the ball into the far corner despite a glancing touch from the advancing goalkeeper.
The goal settled Hertford who proceeded to score at regular intervals through the second half.
A third came when Darren Norman won a penalty corner which van Rooyen converted into an empty goal after good passing drew the goalie out of position.
Dunnett got his second in as many games when again van Rooyen won the ball high up the pitch and after a neat interchange, Twyning found the pass to Dunnett at the top of the circle who pivoted and scored with a reverse stick strike, wrong-footing the net-minder.
Twyning was the provider again less than ten minutes later. Simon Halfacre played a raking through ball to find Twyning thirty yards from goal, before he went on a jinking run around all four defenders before selflessly squaring a pass for van Rooyen to net his eighth of the season in only five appearances.
Dunnett could have doubled his tally too, after intercepting a kick out by the goalie just outside the 23, but he fluffed his lines when not being able to get the ball out from under his feet after rounding the keeper.
Norman completed the rout as the umpir eplayed a good advantage when Downer could have had a short corner awarded, reacting quickest to dribble around the back of the defender and pulling back for Norman to sweep home from a few yards.
The win puts Hertford top of the table on goal difference ahead of Saffron Walden. A position Hertford will look to maintain as they travel to eleventh placed Bishop Stortford 2nds this weekend.
Hertford: Max Capaldi; Elliot Barling, Simon Halfacre, Ben Tootell, Jamie O'Sullivan; Ian Dunnett, Nick Downer, James Rollins; Greg Page, Darren Norman, Ben Van Rooyen. Subs: Michael Branford, Arthur Twyning