UEL started well putting pressure on the opposition in the opening exchanges, after the ball was passed back to the keeper was closed down by Johan Caney-Brown to put a block in went out of play for a goal kick. Herefordshire showed their threat going forward from Emmanuel as his snap shot on the turn, outside the box was always climbing. Although UEL’s first shot on target came from Harry Tew-Robinson who returned to the side, as William Semain laid of the ball for him to strike was saved down low by the keeper. The home side continued to threaten, with a free kick taken by Dylan Feehily was met by Tew-Robinson who could only tip his shot just over the bar.
Although the deadlock came 26 minutes after a long clearance by UEL keeper Dan Robinson was flicked on by Caney-Brown into the path of Tew-Robinson, to strike the ball into the near post to put the home side into the lead. UEL nearly doubled their lead due to a great counter attack with Tew-Robinson linking up well with Caney-Brown, after a great one-two to put him in on goal but was scooped up well by the keeper. However Hertfordshire equalised minutes before the break as the ball wasn’t cleared fell to the visitor’s number 12 to lash home the loose ball into the net and bring the game back to all square. The away side then capitalised and took the lead moments before half time as the Herefordshire striker Dom broke the offside trap and headed it over Robinson to give Herefordshire the lead going in the break.
At half time UEL made a tactical change with Victor Lelis coming off for Jonathan John and tweak their formation from a 4-4-2 to a more attacking 3-4-3 with Aman Gill going left midfield and John joining Lukman Adesina and Jaden Osei-Bonsu at the back.
UEL put on immediate pressure from the whistle to get them selves back in the game after another great free kick from Feehily, was flicked on by Caney-Brown to Semain at the near post to head the ball towards the far post but just over dropped over the bar. But UEL got them selves back on level terms as Caney-Brown was brought down in the box just before he was about to pull the trigger. He then stepped up to take the resulting penalty and placed it low in the right corner of the net as the keeper went the wrong way.
Just before the hour mark Brandon Manoka came on for Henry Hayden to bolster up the midfield. On the hour mark a long throw from Feehily was flicked on to Tew-Robinson to head just over for the home side. With UEL dominating all first and second balls into the box despite the oppositions presence, continued to have aerial threats from set pieces as they searched for the lead. As we approached the last 25 minutes Johan Caney-Brown was replaced by Olly Soulsby after picking up a groin injury from a few sinister challenges by the visitors. Although against the run of play the visitors went in front after Emmanuel turned Adesina and got a shot across goal, in the box which rolled into the far post and stunned the home side.
This was just the start of the drama, as minutes later another dangerous cross from Feehily was met by Osei-Bonsu and went off celebrating with the team rightly believing the goal to be given. However the equalising goal was disallowed as the referee believed a hand was used to guide the ball into the net. It was later found that video footage was taken by a spectator showing no evidence of a hand and looked to be a genuine goal, UEL understandable felt hard done by. Although lots of credit has to go to the whole team as they kept pushing for another equaliser. With less than 17 minutes to play another set piece from Semain this time was put on the head of Tew-Robinson but his header just went wide of the goal. As the final ten minutes came the away side felt they would sit on their lead as they made changes and switched to a more defensive formation of 4-5-1.
Four minutes from time UEL thought they had nick a late equalising after a corner was whipped in by Soulsby, met by Tew-Robinson was denied by the keeper but was headed home by William Semain. As the celebrations continued the linesman on the right hand side raised his flag, this brought massive controversy as the referee then went to consult with the Hertfordshire linesman and chose to disallow another goal. This caused uproar from the home side as the referee could overrule the linesman and should have done as he was from the naked eye onside. With the final whistle imminent tempers flared after an altercation with Harry Tew-Robinson and a couple of the opposition players, pushing and shoving occurred resulted in a yellow card for the striker. Moments later the final whistle went and UEL felt incredibly bereaved and was a shock too many spectators how UEL lost the game, after being the better team overall throughout. The referee was later shown the video evidence of the goal and apologised for his mistake, which from some UEL player’s point of view was worse. Also players asked for further clarification from the referee on his decision on the second disallowed goal.
UEL have to pick them selves up and look forward to an away trip to league strugglers Canterbury Christchurch 4ths.
Lineup: Robinson, Gill, Adesina, Feehily, Osei-Bonsu, Lelis (John 45), Semain, Baloye, Hayden (Manoka 58), Tew-Robinson, Caney-Brown (Soulsby 64)
Unused Subs: Silva, Kaley