UEL 2nd lose to Hertfordshire 3rd in seven goal thriller
By Mitchell Young
An action-packed match saw Herefordshire 3rds defeat UEL 2nds 4-3
It was UEL’s first away match of the season, but Hertfordshire got out of the blocks quickest with early pressure on the UEL defence. They capitalised on this after only 5 minutes, when Hereford’s forward went round the UEL keeper Ali Woods before cutting it back for an easy tap in to put the home side in the lead.
In the 19th minute the UEL defence got caught napping as the Hertfordshire turned UEL’s Dylan Freehily and slotted it past Woods to make it 2-0.
A response was needed from UEL and after a slow start it came on the 25th minute, a great counter was rewarded as the away side took the ball from their own penalty area and fed Olly Soulsby down the right side, cut inside and chipped the ball across goal causing a mix up between the Hertfordshire defender and goalkeeper, ending up with the ball in the back of the net and putting UEL back in the game at 2-1.
UEL were looking brighter after the goal, but a nothing ball by the home side wasn’t dealt with by captain Brandon Manoka, giving the chance to regain the two-goal lead at the break.
With half-time substitutes Harry Tew-Robinson and Harry Mathews introduced at the break, UEL were shaped more offensively in the second half and restarted well, applying more pressure to the Hertfordshire back four.
10 minutes into the second half saw the comeback emerge, after a Freehily throw that caused havoc in the area left Henry Hayden space to bring it down with an exquisite first touch and then unleash a frightening shot just inside the box into the roof of the net to reduce the deficit to one at 3-2.
The momentum was with the visitors, and just after the hour mark came the equaliser, a great cross field ball from Soulsby to Tew-Robinson was brought down before he unleashed a rocket from 25 yards out into the top corner leaving the keeper no chance.
Going into the last 15 minutes, it was apparent the next goal would win it for either side, and it was Hertfordshire who got themselves back in front with the right-winger for Hertford attacking Aman Gill. He whipped a deep ball to the far post, which was headed back into the box their centre midfielder who tucked it home from close range.
Inside the last 10 minutes UEL were searching for yet another equaliser, with goal-mouth scrambles and clearances off the line preventing UEL’s fourth. With seconds remaining, a throw-in was taken long into the box by Dylan Freehily, which was flicked on to Henry Hayden who looked to nick the ball from the keeper grasp and finish it into a open net, but the referee halted the celebrations by disallowing the ‘goal’ for a foul. The UEL players felt grieved, and having swarmed around the referee cost them two yellow card for descent for Soulsby and Tew-Robinson.