Hertford VI 5 - 5 St Albans X
By Geoff Oates
A game of several halves....
The first 30 minutes we were dreadful. We made plenty of promising attacks but most of them petered out in indecisive or inaccurate passes and crosses. We lacked energy and precision, and above all the confidence to get an early shot in. At the back we repeatedly lost shape and withput St Albans ever looking dangerous, withim half an hour they were 3 - 0 up.
The next 25 minutes saw a steady improvement, defence tightened up and the passing play through midfield and into the final quarter became more urgent and imaginative. Adam pulled one back just before half time, Rian added a second early in the second half, we looked a good bet to get a third or even more.
Phase three was a brief 5 minutes when the defence, admittedly stretched as we pushed forward for the equaliser, were twice cut open down the left and the resulting crosses were knocked in on the far post.
Maybe St Albans thought that was it! In phase 4 Luke, Graham, Ben, Jon, Adam, Rian and Daryl hurled themselves into the St Albans ranks with a pace and aggression we have rarely produced, one and two touch passes swept us into the D, early shots went in, rebounds were hunted down, clearances were collected by our defenders camped far up in the St Albans half and driven back in, and with three minutes to go it was 5 - 4 courtesy of Daryl, and Adam's 2nd. The restart said it all - St Albans tried to play the ball back to safety but each receiver was hounded into making an error until we were in the D and forcing a final short corner.
This one was written in the stars, the feed came out like a dart to Daryl, the clean shot rattled into the corner of the backboard.
It was great to welcome back Ben Moses (men's 5s 2011-14) who slotted straight back into his old left mid slot, and Rian for another guest slot (100% scoring record too!) but we did struggle a bit with a squad made entirely of defenders and attacking midfielders, so many of us had to adapt to new roles in the front line. Apologies to Richard and anyone else who was left a bit short of pitch time but in all the excitement I completely lost site of what was going on on the bench.
For the statisticians, that was our first league draw since March 2017, the first time we've hit 5 since Jan 2016. We go into the Christmas break in 7th place with 4 wins and a draw from 11, and we still have that positive goal difference (our tally of 22 goals for the half season is also a record)