Shefford & Sandy IV 1 - 2 Hertford VI
Fortune favours the old.....
Only 2 changes from last week (when did that last happen?) but probably our most veteran line up ever, with only Richard representing the U-49s .
The match was won on Friday night when I was struggling as usual to fit 7 veteran defenders into the back 4, and hit on an innovative 1-3-3-2-1 formation with Daryl on his own up front, and Ian and Graham White behind him. This completely outfoxed a strong Sandy side who were expecting to repeat their win at Hertford in October. Daryl repeatedly slipped behind their defensive line and beat the keeper on two of his forays, either side of half time.
Sandy pushed players forward up the middle and pinned the rest of our midfield back, which suited our tactics perfectly. We struggled to keep shape against quicker forwards moving the ball around sharply, but we always had numbers back and although we absorbed long phases of pressure and a string of short corners before half time, Sandy only mustered two shots on target all game. The second, five minutes from time, denied Andy a clean sheet but we then kept our heads and the ball until the dying seconds, chasing out one last short corner after the final whistle. Merit badges for Ian and Richard working together with commitment and creativity up the left and brilliant running off the ball, and to Steve, Tony, Andy and (in the vital final quarter) Graham White for stopping just about everything that came down the middle. But man of the match goes to Daryl.
I’m happy to say we have our positive goal difference back, but still some work to do to catch Letchworth in 6th place. Can we make it three in a row in Bedford? That would be another first for the 6s.