MONDAY 3 JANUARY 2005
Hertford's flirtation with the Bryco Cup ended at the hands of Premier Division side Chelmsford City, although the depleted Blues put up a good fight.
BRYCO CUP 3rd ROUND
HERTFORD TOWN 0 CHELMSFORD CITY 1
With Lee Roberts and Daniel Staples injured and Danny Bowgett not sufficiently recovered from illness, manager Dave Pentecost had few options available to him. He went for a 3-5-1 formation with Liam Errington and Jamie Abbott getting rare starts. Joel Maybury was named amongst the substitutes.
Team: 1. Lee Robinson; 2. Leo Turner, 3. Danny Wackett, 4. Dave Greenwood (capt), 5. Glenn Draper, 6. Curtis Johnson, 7. Jamie Abbott, 8. Dave Hunt, 9. Liam Errington, 10. Kevin Cooper, 11. Phil Goss. Subs: 14. Peter Lane (for Hunt, 79), 15. Adrian Robinson (for Johnson, 49).
Chelmsford City: 1. Paul Nichols; 2. Liam Hopkins, 3. Adam Holmes, 4. Djejman Sangare, 5. Russell Edwards, 7. Garry Cross, 8. Craig Edwards, 9. Gary Ansell, 10. Lloyd Opara, 11. Steve Butterworth. Subs: 15. Lee Williams (for Butterworth, 45), 16. Sammy Cooper (for Holmes, 45).
A minute's silence was observed before the kick-off, in memory of those affected by the South East Asian earthquake.
Chelmsford had a new manager in Craig Edwards, previously manager of Conference South side Redbridge, in charge for his first game. They arrived with a squad of 21 players, comfortably the most seen at the ground this season! The large contingent of travelling Chelmsford fans were as much in the dark about some of their players as the home fans were.
One of the new players was 20 year old striker Lloyd Opara, only a few months ago a full time pro with Swindon Town.
Chelmsford pressed from the start, but on 6 minutes, it was Blues who nearly opened the scoring when Phil Goss charged down a poor clearance by 'keeper Paul Nicholls to fire the ball back narrowly wide of the goal. The Clarets won a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the home penalty area, and Garry Cross struck the ball through a sea of legs only to see the alert Lee Robinson gather safely. Dave Greenwood had to make a desperate clearance on 9 minutes which screwed wide for a corner, as Chelmsford looked to demonstrate their Premier Division class. Two minutes later a flowing move by the Clarets ended when Richard Thomas fired just wide from 20 yards. As the visitors continued to ask questions of the home defence, central defender Russell Edwards twice tried his luck without success.
On 16 minutes Clarets' 'keeper Nicholls again got in trouble with a clearance when he kicked the ball straight at Curtis Johnson from close range. The midfielder's reflex response was wide of the mark, however. After 19 minutes, Kevin Cooper might well have scored when clean through but Nicholls made a fine stop. A minute later the Claret's 'keeper again thwarted Cooper, as Hertford began to get the measure of their more senior opponents. Chelmsford responded though as Gary Ansell fired a 22 yard screamer straight at Lee Robinson, and the home 'keeper held on well.
Leo Turner was booked for a foul, and from the resulting free kick, Garry Cross's 25 yarder was punched away by Lee Robinson. Robinson was the hero again on 26 minutes when he tipped a Gary Ansell effort over for a corner. On 37 minutes though, the visitors went ahead when Dave Greenwood was unable to get his head to a high ball allowing Gary Ansell to run onto it and lash an unstoppable shot past a helpless Lee Robinson. Further good saves were required from the home custodian on 38 and 45 minutes in order to keep the score at 0-1.
Half Time: Hertford Town 0 Chelmsford City 1
Chelmsford made two changes at half time, as new manager Edwards took advantage of the opportunity to look at his new players. As if Hertford did not have enough to contend with, Curtis Johnson went down injured after 49 minutes and immediately signalled that he needed to come off. Adrian Robinson replaced him. Blues were having at least their fair share of the game, and Liam Errington set up Jamie Abbott, whose shot unfortunately was well wide. At the other end the dangerous Gary Ansell had a good run, turn and shot, just wide. Minutes later the same player shot just over the bar. On 63 minutes, Liam Errington and Jamie Abbott combined again, this time Abbott's shot going much closer. After 79 minutes the powerful Lloyd Opara shot straight at Lee Robinson as Chelmsford reminded Hertford that they were still very much a thtreat. Dave Pentecost sent on Peter Lane for Dave Hunt on 79 minutes, and Glenn Draper spent the final minutes up as an auxiliary striker as Blues looked to find an equaliser. It was Chelmsford who had the best chances in the final moments though, as Opara first saw a shot saved by Lee Robinson, and then saw his next effort clip the crossbar.
Final Score: Hertford Town 0 Chelmsford City 1
BOB's M.O.M.: LEE ROBINSON