1st Team Match Reports 2009 – 10

Ellis inspires as Warner hat trick clinches title

Harpenden Colts Old Boys 5, AFC Rangers 1

 RSL Division 2                                                                                  Sunday 11 April 2010

Harpenden Colts Old Boys clinched the Division 2 title with a comprehensive 5-1 victory over AFC Rangers Reserves coming from a goal behind with a hat-trick by man of the match James Warner who also provided the assists for a brace by Matt Richardson. Captain Chris Ellis was outstanding as he inspired the Colts side to victory after going behind in a game admirably controlled by referee Steve Chittenden.

Colts started brightly but paid the price for not attacking the ball from a short miscued corner after 10 minutes letting the AFC player control and turn in the box to fire home. Captain Chris Ellis then lifted the side by example competing for every ball and 4 minutes later Colts levelled when James Warner lost his marker to have a free header from a Tom Dyball corner to put Colts level.  With Colts now having most of the play they were further rewarded when James Warner again lost his marker at the far post from a Tom Dyball corner to head back across goal for Matt Richardson to volley in on the turn from 6 yards to put Colts into a deserved lead. With the AFC keeper again in superb form it was not until a minute from the break that Colts pulled further ahead when after a great interchange on the right between Craig Stearn and Jon Richardson, Dan Fensome was set free to square to James Warner whose driven shot found the net from outside the box to put Colts firmly in control.

Colts came out of the blocks in the second half just as they finished the first with the spine of the side of Richard Oxley, Tom Brennan and Chris Ellis attacking every ball and after winning possession it was Chris Ellis after 47 minutes who slipped in James Warner to coolly slot home a one on one to complete his hat-trick and give AFC a mountain to climb.  With Colts now well and truly in the driving seat the AFC keeper continued to make some great stops but he was left floundering after 76 minutes when a James Warner headed flick on sent Matt Richardson clear to dink the advancing keeper to effectively end the game with Colts 5th. Colts could have extended their lead but for some staunch defending with the marauding Colin Arnsby keeping the AFC wide men on the defensive.

Keeper Charlie Collins looked very solid in dealing with the occasional AFC threats with subs Jason Ling and Will Oxley also doing well. Unused subs Simon Cooper, Andrew Luckhurst and Nick Waters also played their part in a great title winning performance in front of a crowd of 36, the highest of the season.

 

Warner inspires high five

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys 5, Phoenix Reserves 0

 

RSL Division 2                                                                                                    Sunday 21 March 2010

 

Leaders Harpenden Colts Old Boys maintained their title hopes with a comfortable 5-0 win over bottom side Phoenix Reserves but they wasted a lot of chances before a brace by Tom Dyball and singles from Oliver Spicer, Will Oxley and man of the match James Warner sealed the victory.

 

Late overnight illness forced a line up reshuffle and Colts took some time to get into a decent passing rhythm but when they did Tom Dyball, Matt and Jon Richardson and James Warner all came close before after 22 minutes a Phoenix failed to clear a Matt Richardson corner and a rebound off of a defender fell to Oliver Spicer who fired home from close range for the opener. Colts continued to create chances and have most of the play in a first half that should have seen them comfortably ahead.

 

Colts stepped up a gear  in the second half and after 50 minutes James Warner took on and beat 4 players inside the box before curling in a superb left footed ball inside the far post to send Colts into overdrive. Warner then set up Tom Dyball to fire home after 70 minutes to make it 3-0 and then repeated the trick 2 minutes later when a rebound from a Warner shot fell to Tom Dyball who fired a rare right footed drive inside the far post to make it 4. After James Warner had a goal disallowed Dan Fensome again went close before after 80 minutes Jon Richardson fed Will Oxley who used his strength to force the ball home to make it a high five for Colts to keep their title hopes on track. 

 

 

Title wide open as Colts nurse hangover

 

AFC Rangers 2, Harpenden Colts Old Boys 0

 

RSL Division 2                                                                                                    Sunday 14 March 2010

 

League leaders Harpenden Colts Old Boys binged on a feast of chances as they dominated much of the play against AFC Rangers but they squandered them all before getting caught by second half goals to give Rangers a shock victory and Colts the hangover of a severe dent in their title hopes after seeing a goal disallowed and being denied by the woodwork and a string of outstanding saves by the Rangers keeper. Tom Brennan impressed for Colts with a consistent display at the back.

 

Despite being under strength with late cry offs Colts started much the livelier of the two sides and they could have been 3 goals to the good in the first 15 minutes as good chances fell to Jonny Richardson, Craig Stern and Matt Richardson but somehow the ball failed to find the net. With the home side relying on long throws and corners which saw keeper Charlie Collins dominate his box to take comfortably the home keeper was called upon to make some smart saves to keep Rangers in the game.

 

The second half followed the pattern of the first with Colts creating but not taking numerous chances and wasting possession in their attempts to find the killer ball. After a red card reduced Rangers to 10 men following a stamping incident Colts then went behind after 65 minutes much against the run of play when they failed at last to deal with a set play with a soft headed goal when  Colts were favourites to clear the ball. Colts came back and again created chances with the best chance of the game falling to Matt Richardson with other chances falling to Dan Fensome and Chris Ellis. Colts were then caught on the break late in the game when they allowed a ball to be cut back to almost end the game. Colts can then count themselves unlucky as Tom Brennan forced the ball home late on only for the goal to be ruled out and then Craig Stearn hit an absolute screamer from 30 yards against the inside of the post but the ball rebounded back in play. 

 

Warner saves Colts blushes

 

Farriers Arms 3, Harpenden Colts Old Boys 6

 

RSL Division 2                                                                                                    Sunday 7 March 2010

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys seemed to be cruising at 2-0 after 15 minutes against Farriers Arms but after Farriers hit back to lead 3-2 it took a goal from man of the match James Warner to fire Colts back into life and save their blushes to eventually run out 6-3 winners with braces from James Warner and Stuart Brown with a single by Matt Richardson and a 30 yard screamer from Tom Dyball.  Stand in keeper Colin Arnsby made some impressive saves before the game was won.

 

It seemed business as usual for Colts when Tom Dyball fed James Warner whose quick feet created the space for him to fire home a great strike after 10 minutes to put Colts ahead. Colts seemed in the driving seat when 5 minutes later a cross field pass by Matt Richardson saw Stuart Brown stretch to show great control before steering home the second past the advancing keeper. Colts then seemed to relax and stop attacking the ball and ball watching from a free kick saw a free header pull a goal back for Farriers after 20 minutes. More soft goals were to follow with a missed header letting in Farriers for another headed goal after 35 minutes and then a suicidal sideways pass outside the box giving the ball away to make it 3-2 down and struggling at the break.

 

A crisp half time talk saw Colts come out after the break as they had started the match creating a number of chances but it was not until 25 minutes from time that Warner saved Colts blushes with a superb strike off the underside of the bar after Richard Oxley had won the ball and fed him on the edge of the box. With Colts now continuing to press Warner was sent clear and a fine block by the keeper saw Stuart Brown supporting to stroke in the rebound to put Colts back ahead after 75 minutes . More chances came and Matt Richardson turned to fire home after 85 minutes after being fed by brother Jon Richardson but the game was killed by a trademark 30 yard screamer from Tom Dyball  almost on the stoke of time after a lay back by Richard Oxley. Stand in keeper Colin Arnsby made a number of good saves to keep Colts in the game before the game was won with unused subs Nick Waters and Will Oxley providing good team spirit form the sidelines.

 

 

 

High 5 for Warner

 

Wheathampstead 1, Harpenden Colts Old Boys 6

 

RSL Division 2                                                                                                    Sunday 21 February 2010

 

Man of the Match James Warner hit 5 goals as Division 2 leaders Harpenden Colts Old Boys ran out comfortable 6-1 winners over Wheathampstead 89 with substitute Craig Stearn also bagging his first goal for the club 5 minutes from time. Chris Ellis was outstanding for Colts in midfield whilst striker Matt Richardson impressed with his selfless running with both players providing a brace of assists.

 

With a rapidly thawing pitch the resultant mud made it hard for Colts to play the ball but they went ahead after 9 minutes when Jon Richardson headed on an Oliver Spicer free kick for James Warner to fire home from close range to set Colts on their way. Wheathampstead got back on level terms after 23 minutes when a break on the right found a cross headed home on the far post but Colts restored their lead 40 seconds later when a great cross by Oliver Spicer saw James Warner rise to head home. Warner made it his hat-trick 2 minutes later to give Wheathampstead a mountain to climb when he latched on to a lay back by the hard working Matt Richardson to fire home from inside the box and then Warner was on hand again 10 minutes from the break to kill the game when a strong run by Chris Ellis saw Warner slipped in to make it a double brace by half time.

 

With a number of players now nursing knocks Colts took their foot of the gas in the second half and it was not until 65 minutes that James Warner simply lashed home a Matt Richardson corner from outside the box to make it 5-1. With colts now creating and not taking a number of chances with Oliver Spicer also going close substitute Craig Stearn showed the errant chance missers how to do it when combined with Chris Ellis to hit a screamers inside the top far corner of the goal to make it six of the best for Colts with a high five for Warner. The ever improving Richard Oxley was solid for Colts at the back with stand in keeper Colin Arnsby rarely troubled.

 

 

 

 

 

Dyball & Keenleyside hit braces

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys 4, Three Hammers 1

 

RSL Division 2                                                                                                    Sunday 14 February 2010

 

Division 2 leaders Harpenden Colts Old Boys maintained momentum when eventually running out comfortable 4-1 winners against a hard working Three Hammers side with braces from midfielders Tom Dyball and David Keenleyside but it was central defender Chris Newcombe who impressed with an assured performance that underpinned a Colts fight back after a defensive howler gifted Hammers the lead after 13 minutes.

 

Colts started this game well enough and dominated early proceedings with James Warner and Matt Richardson all having chances to open the scoring but disaster struck when after 13 minutes a howler of a clearance gave the ball away for hammers to fire a long range effort into an empty goal. Colts continued to press and move and their dominance was rewarded when Jon Richardson was tripped on the turn in the box and David Keenleyside made no mistake from the spot after 29 minutes. The busy Keenleyside was on hand to set up Tom Dyball three minutes from the break when squaring the ball for Dyball to slot home from outside the box to give Colts the half time lead that their play deserved despite the brilliance on the Hammers keeper who made a number of great saves.

 

The second half saw Colts continue to press but it was the defensive work of Newcombe and Oxley at the back that broke up the Hammer counter attacks and from one of these full back Colin Arnsby came away with the ball and threaded a great ball through to send David Keenleyside clear after 65 minutes to strike a Hammer blow to the oppositions chances of getting back into the game.  Tom Dyball was on hand 5 minutes later to fire an absolute screamer into the top corner from 35 yards after being set up by the industrious Jon Richardson. Colts could have gone further ahead with good chances falling to James Warner, Matt Richardson and Chris Ellis but it was the quiet and efficient Bobby Moore style performance of Chris Newcombe that had the watching Colts Cat purring the most.

 

Dyball serves up Warner double brace

 

Brookman’s Park Reserves 3, Harpenden Colts Old Boys 7

 

RSL Division 2                                                                                                    Sunday 7 February 2010

 

Division 2 leaders Harpenden Colts Old Boys seemed in charitable mood after gifting Brookmans Park equalisers three times before cruising to a 7-3 win with a double brace by James Warner and singles by Marc Oakley, Richard Oxley and man of the match midfielder Tom Dyball who also set up the win with 4 assists. Chris Ellis also impressed for Colts upon his return from injury.

 

Colts were favourites to win this match and they took the lead after 6 minutes when a great cross field pass from Tom Dyball evaded the defenders for Marc Oakley to ghost in on the far post to fire home. Colts then gave Park a lifeline after 14 minutes when a poor clearance gave the ball away to a grateful Park striker who made no mistake to equalise. The hard working Dyball again set Colts on their way after 23 minutes when his cross was fired in on the turn by top scorer James Warner but within a minute Colts paid the penalty for failing to attack a corner and a weak clearance set up an equaliser from outside the box. Harpenden Colts again went into the lead 7 minutes from the break when a late run by defender Richard Oxley was not picked up and he headed home a Matt Richardson corner. Once again Colts then gifted an equaliser when they stopped for a ball out of play which was not given and allowed a free shot form long range to send Brookmans into the break undeservedly level.

 

 

A crisp half time team talk sent Colts into the second half with purpose and with the slope and within 4 minutes a Tom Dyball free kick saw Warner slide home inside the far post to put Colts into a lead that this time they would not surrender. Two minutes later striker Matt Richards held the ball up in midfield end squared for Tom Dyball to hit a screamer from 30 yards that was too hot for the keeper to handle and could only be palmed into the top corner. With Dyball now on the rampage a great curled corner saw James Warner hit home on the back post for his hat-trick. The best colts move of the match 11 minutes from time saw Dan Fensome, Tom Dyball and Matt Richardson combine to slip Marc Oakley in and his fierce shot could only be parried by the Brookmans keeper for predator Warner to tap in from close range for his double brace and seal a 7-3 win for Colts that sees them keep in top spot.

 

Warner celebrates return with double brace

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys 8, Wheathampstead 0

 

RSL Division 2                                                                                                    Sunday 24 January 2010

 

James Warner celebrated his return to the UK after a 4 month absence by hitting 4 goals as Harpenden Colts Old Boys fired 8 past Wheathampstead 89 without reply to maintain their top of the table status. Matt Richardson fired a hat trick with a single from Jon Richardson completing the rout making it a very happy return for last season’s league top striker Warner. Left flank player Tom Dyball was outstanding for Colts after a 2 month absence with Dan Fensome also impressing.

 

After such a long lay off  Colts were well up for this three times postponed local derby against Wheathampstead and they killed the game with 4 goals in 11 minutes. Colts took the lead after 8 minutes when Matt Richardson latched onto a knock on by Warner from A Jon Richardson through ball to fire home Colts opener.  Normal service from Warner was resumed 4 minutes later when a feed from Dan Fensome saw Warner curl a superb shot inside the far post to make it 2-0 to Colts. A superb defence splitting cross field pass by Tom Dyball saw Warner ghost in to net his second after 18minutes o make it 3-0 and it was game over 2 minutes later when Matt Richardson converted a penalty after he was brought down in the box after being set up by Warner.

 

The second half saw Colts increase their lead after 3 minutes when man of the match Tom Dyball won a tackle wide on the left and immediately used his space to curl in a first time cross for Warner to head home for his hat trick. With Colts now in overdrive Jon Richardson curled in for Colts 6th after 70 minutes after being set up by a Warner lay back and Matt Richardson then set Warner up for his 4th after 76 minutes with a through ball. James Warner then returned the complement 2 minutes from time by pulling the ball back for Matt Richardson to complete his hat-trick to complete the rout.

 

Tom Brennan lead the line well for Colts with Chris Newcombe tidying up when needed to ensure that returning Charlie Collins in the Colts goal was rarely troubled. 

 

 

Squandered chances cost Colts dear

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys 1, Crown 1

 

RSL Division 2                                                                                                    Sunday 13 December 2009

 

Division two league leaders Harpenden Colts Old Boys squandered numerous clear cut chances to put this game against title hopefuls Crown out of reach after David Keenleyside had put them ahead in the second minute from the spot but they paid the penalty for their wastefulness when Crown snatched an equaliser 90 seconds from time to throw the title contest wide open again. Chris Newcombe was outstanding at the back for Colts with returning David Keenleyside a constant menace up front.

 

Once again late cry offs saw managers Steve Oakley reshuffling his side yet again but Colts looked the stronger from the start and they were rewarded for their early pressure when after 2 minutes Chris Ellis was pulled down following a scramble from a corner and David Keenleyside made no mistake from the spot. The Colts should have gone further ahead 4 minutes later when David Keenleyside stole possession inside the box and set up a great chance for Jon Richardson but Crown somehow escaped. Keenleyside was then denied by the keeper from 2 one on one chances and the keeper was again in fine form to pull off similar saves from Stuart Brown and Jon Richardson in a first half that saw stand in keeper Colin Arnsby without a save to make in the first half.

 

The second half saw Colts continue to create but not take chances with the Crown keeper being again on hand to save from Jon Richardson and David Keenleyside and again being on hand to pull off a great save from a Nick Waters effort. With Crown reduced to 10 men after having a man sent off Colts stopped playing their passing game and gave possession away too easily and allowed Crown to get back into the game in the last 15 minutes after losing Stuart Brown from injury. Colin Arnsby had to make a great save and effectively his first of the match to keep Colts ahead 10 minutes from time but Colts paid the penalty for their earlier extravagance when they failed to clear the ball and got caught under the ball on the resultant cross to see a free header grab an equaliser with 90 seconds left to throw the league title open again.

 

 

Oxley drives hammer blow

 

Three Hammers 1, Harpenden Colts Old Boys 2

 

RSL Division 2                                                                                                    Sunday 29 November 2009

 

Debutant William Oxley came off the bench to drive home a late winner against Three Hammers to keep Harpenden Colts Old Boys top of Division 2 after Three Hammers had earlier equalised a 57th minute strike by Robbie Barker to put Colts ahead. Chris Newcombe and Tom Brennan were outstanding for Colts at the back.

 

With late cry offs manager Steve Oakley had to make last minute changes to the side including calling up William Oxley to make his debut as sub. Captain Chris Sheridan made a welcome return from injury but was again forced out of the game after 25 minutes with a recurrence of the injury that he first sustained in the Three Hammers cup game a month ago. Colts started well and dominated much of the early play restricting Three Hammers to long range efforts that rarely troubled stand in keeper Colin Arnsby although he was called upon to make some smart saves near the end of the half. Robbie Barker and  Oliver Spicer both went close in a first half that saw Colts on top.

 

The second half saw Colts step up a gear and they were rewarded after 57 minutes when Oliver Spicer drifted out on the right and turned to send in a cross that saw Robbie Barker ghost in on the blind side of the defence to head home from 10 yards to give Colts a deserved lead. Colts created more chances and then at times had to ride their luck before Three Hammers equalised from a controversial free kick after 78 minutes. With the injured Richard Oxley leading the midfield battle Colts pressed forward and after winning a set play deep in the Hammers half central defender Tom Brennan supported the attack and was first to the ball to head on to debutant William Oxley who made no mistake driving home from 12 yards with just 2 minutes of normal time left. Three Hammers pressed hard in the 6 minutes of added time but Colts held on for a deserved win to keep them top of the table.

 

Fensome runs over Heath

 

Colney Heath Rangers 0, Harpenden Colts Old Boys 2

 

RSL Division 2                                                                                                    Sunday 22 November 2009

 

Man of the match Dan Fensome ran the show for Harpenden Colts Old Boys as they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners at Colney Heath Rangers with goals from Luke Spicer and Matt Richardson in a game in which, had they taken their chances could have been won by a wider margin. Tom Brennan was outstanding for Colts at the back.

 

 Colts started brightly with fluent passing moves and they soon created chances for Oliver Spicer and Matt Richardson but the Heath keeper kept them at bay. The deadlock was broken after 15 minutes when good strong work  by Matt Richardson saw the ball crossed to the far for Luke Spicer to fire home from close range to set Colts on their way. Colts continued to dominate with Oliver Spicer once again going close from a one on one before after 40 minutes Dan Fensome picked the ball up in midfield and split the defence to send Oliver Spicer away on the right flank to shake off his marker before squaring the ball to Matt Richardson to rifle home from 8 yards to make it 2-0.

 

 The second half saw Colts continue to press and Dan Fensome and Jon Richardson start too dominate midfield picking up most loose balls and feeding matt Richardson and Ollie Spicer to good effect. Ollie Spicer was twice denied by the keeper when put through and also hit the post in a period that also saw Dan Fensome and Nick Walter also have good chances as the heavens then opened to make it a miserable day for Heath. Tom Brennan was outstanding lading the back line with stand in keeper Colin Arnsby once again being very solid in goal.

 

 

 

 

Park felled by solid Oak

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys 1, Brookman’s Park Reserves 0

RSL Division 2                                                    Sunday 8 November 2009

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys struggled to turn superior possession into chances against bottom side Brookman’s Park Reserves but when they did they were not taken and it took a well taken second half strike by Marc Oakley to break the deadlock before Colts then rode their luck late on to keep all three points. Tom Dyball was outstanding for Colts in midfield.

 

Once again a mixture of returning and new faces found Colts with a reshuffled line up but they passed the ball well in the muddy conditions creating a number of chances but without taking them. Dan Fensome, Jon Richardson and Chris Ellis all went close in a first half that saw Colts dominate but without reward with the Colts also being denied a good penalty shout when Jon Richardson was taken out when through on goal by the keeper.

 

The second half saw much of the same with Park rarely threatening but it took a great through ball by stand in striker Dan Fensome to send midfielder Marc Oakley clear on goal to take advantage of a hesitating keeper to slot home. The last 15 minutes saw Colts ride their luck with Park not taking advantage of some defensive lapses in a game where stand in keeper Colin Arnsby was rarely troubled. Chris Ellis worked hard in the Colts midfield which saw Tom Dyball outstanding on the left flank.

 

9 Men Colts talk themselves out of it

 

Crown 2, Harpenden Colts Old Boys 2

RSL Division 2                                                    Sunday 1 November 2009

 

In a game in which both sides were below full strength Harpenden Colts Old Boys then talked themselves out of an expected win by being reduced to 9 men and then having to battle from 2-0 down to grab back a point with goals from Marc Oakley and a late equaliser from Jon Richardson. Stand in keeper Colin Arnsby was outstanding in the Colts goal.

 

Manager Steve Oakley got an early warning that this was not going to be a good day when 2 players in the starting line up failed to show for the game forcing him to name himself as a sub for the third week running. In torrential rain the day got even worse when after spurning a couple of good early chances Colts then gave away a soft and needless penalty after 15 minutes to put themselves behind. It then took a couple of good saves from the in form Crown keeper to keep Colts out but Colts went 2-0 down after 25 minutes when they failed to clear and attack the ball form a corner and the ball was passed into the net through a crowded area. Disaster stuck when Oliver Spicer was dismissed following 2 yellow cards in 10 minutes after speaking after a tackle but the Colts stepped up a gear and following a great run from the in form Tom Dyball the ball was crossed to the far post for Marc Oakley to slide home 2 minutes before half time.

 

The second half saw the 10 man Colts pressing for much of the time and the Crown keeper had to pull of some great saves from Dan Fensome, Robbie Barker and Jon Richardson to keep Crown ahead but they couldn’t make the breakthrough. Colts found themselves with 9 men following the dismissal of the protesting Tom Dyball following a denied penalty claim and a mountain to climb. Colin Arnsby was then called upon to make a number of good saves to keep Colts in the game in the last 20 minutes before with 3 minutes left a great passing move from the back involving Jason Ling and Craig Stearn saw Stearn come away with the ball and split the defence with a pass that Jon Richardson latched onto and dinked over the advancing keeper to give Colts a point out of a game that they were expected to come away with all three. Robbie Barker impressed upon his debut.

 

 

Colts give early for Xmas

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys 1, Three Hammers 2

RSL Intermediate Cup R2                                                                Sunday 25 October 2009

 

For the second week running a reshuffled Harpenden Colts Old Boys missed a number of good chances and rode their defensive luck in the first half but they went into the break deservedly 1-0 ahead with a Nick Waters goal. The second half however saw them miss further chances and then give the ball away cheaply too often and they twice got caught on the break to crash out of the Review Intermediate Cup 2-1. Matt Richardson impressed for Colts despite not being fully fit.

 

Non availabilities, injuries and non shows on the day of the match made team selection a bit of a lottery position-wise for manager Steve Oakley but a combination of last minute phone calls and signings was enough to field a side that impressed with their passing and after good chances fell to Dan Fensome and Matt Richardson the Colts finally took the lead  after 12 minutes when Dan Fensome sent Matt Richardson clear on the left and his cross was forced home at the second attempt by stand in striker Nick Waters. After losing stand in central defender Chris Sheridan injured from a tackle Keeper Charlie Collins then had to be at his best on two occasions with simply magnificent saves to keep Colts ahead at the break.

 

The second half saw Colts chasing a ball that was far too often in the air and when they did get it down misplaced passes put themselves under unnecessary pressure and after 60 minutes Colts gave the ball away in a vital area once too often to see themselves caught on the break to see Three Hammers grab an equaliser. Colts then had a number of further chances that fell to Chris Ellis, Dan Fensome and Marc Oakley but they were not taken and after giving the ball away again Colts were guilty of defending too high a line and got caught on the break again to crash out of a cup they expected to do well in.

 

Ellis runs through Heath

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys 2, Colney Heath Rangers 0

RSL Division 2                                                    Sunday 18 October 2009

 

A reshuffled Harpenden Colts Old Boys missed a number of good chances and rode their defensive luck at times before running out comfortable 2-0 winners over Colney Heath Rangers with a superb solo goal from captain and man of the match Chris Ellis and a well taken single by fellow midfielder Daniel Fensome to make it a happy 100th appearance for defender Simon Cooper. David Brown was solid at the back for Colts upon his return from injury.

 

Once again a much depleted HARCOB had manager Steve Oakley on the bench and with 3 of the starting line up carrying injuries HARCOB’s main problem in this game was mobility. Colts started bright however and created some early chances for Marc Oakley, Matt Richardson and Ollie Spicer but it was not until 30 minutes when Colts made the breakthrough when Chris Ellis went on a solo run through the Colney midfield and outran the defenders to slot home past a hesitant keeper into the far post to set Colts on their way.

 

The second half  saw Colney spurn a number of good chances which spurred Colts to create and waste some even better chances but with David Brown returning from injury at the back the solid spine of the side set up further chances for Ollie Spicer and Marc Oakley before with 11 minutes left a Colts counter saw man of the match Chris Ellis pick out Dan Fensome’s superb third man run to send him clear to slot home a one on one past the keeper to seal a game in which although Colney created some chances in reality stand in keeper Colin Arnsby was rarely troubled.

 

 

Police arrest Colts cup progress

 

Met Police OGB 5, Harpenden Colts Old Boys 0

Knockout Cup                                                     Sunday 11 October 2009

 

Playing against premier outfit Met Police OGB a below strength Harpenden Colts OB created but did not take their early chances and then failed to capitalise on a good penalty save by stand in keeper Colin Arnsby by giving away 3 soft goals in 6 minutes either side of the break to kill their chances of pulling off an upset as they faded to a 5-0 defeat, and their first game without scoring since the club was formed. Dan Fensome battled hard in the Colts midfield.

 

For the second week running HARCOB had the better of the early chances and Walker in the police goal was called upon to make a great save from Oliver Spicer to keep the Colts at bay after 16 minutes and again was called into action by saving from Marc Oakley at point blank range when Colts looked certain to score. Police hit back by grazing the crossbar and stand in keeper Colin Arnsby then gave Colts a lift when he saved  a penalty after Tom Dyball was harshly penalised for handball. Colts got caught on a route one ball 4 minutes from the break and then hesitated to go two down 2 minutes later to give themselves a hill to climb.

 

With an enforced half time substitution manager Steve Oakley found himself the sole remaining substitute but Colts were then given a mountain to climb after 3 minutes when a cross drifted under the far post crossbar. With Colts now changing team shape to try to get back in the game spaces opened but they defended well before being caught by a set piece when they failed to attack the ball and a glancing header made it 4-0. Colts made a number of good chances as the game progressed with Matt Richardson and Oliver Spicer having chances but they then got caught on the break once too often and went 5-0 down to kill the game. Dan Fensome worked hard in the Colts midfield.

 

Lazy Sunday as Colts fail to answer call to Arms

 

Verulam Arms 3, Harpenden Colts Old Boys 1

RSL Division 2                                                    Sunday 4 October 2009

 

Despite missing 5 top regular players from the squad Harpenden Colts Old Boys still fancied coming away with a result in this top of the table clash but on the day they simply failed to attack the ball and although having the better of the first half chances they gave away 2 soft goals each side of the break before pulling a goal back through Matt Richardson only to see their second half fight back extinguished by a bizarre goal 17 minutes from time and their late pressing fail to reap any reward.

 

HARCOB did not seem to want to attack the ball from the opening minutes but when they were in possession they created plenty of opportunities and it took a great save from the Arms keeper to deny Oliver Spicer to keep them in the game and then make a number of other saves as the half went on. Colts keeper Collins was rarely troubled in the first half until 8 minutes from the break a long high route one ball bounced into the HARCOB area and the Arms forward took advantage of hesitation to head over the advancing Collins to put Arms into a lead that on the play they did not deserve.

 

The second half saw almost a repeat goal after 6 minutes but this time Arms were first to a rebound on a ball that Colts simple should have originally cleared with ease. A substitution and positional reshuffle after 65 minutes saw Colts immediately pull a goal back when Chris Ellis slipped in Matt Richardson to fire home off the inside of the far post. With Colts now demonstrably up for it the fight back was knocked back when once again they were caught on a break but despite a good save by keeper Charlie Collins the momentum of a falling Arms forward saw the ball rebound into the net off the Arms player’s outstretched hand to seal the game for Arms. Despite pressing for the last 15 minutes HARCOB just could not deliver the goals needed

 

 

Early delivery overcomes Mail

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys 6, Real Mail 3

RSL Intermediate Cup R2                                                                Sunday 27 September 2009

 

A goal by man of the match Stuart Brown after 40 seconds set Harpenden Colts Old Boys on their way into the 3rd round of the Intermediate Cup but the Colts then had to come back from a 2-1 half time deficit to seal their passage into the next round to win 6-3 with a further goal by Brown and singles from Jonathan Richardson, Marc Oakley, Oliver Spicer and Tom Brennan. 

 

A reshuffled Colts side took the game to Mail from the outset and a great passing move between Marc Oakley and Jon Richardson saw Stuart Brown slide home Richardson’s cross after 40seconds  to send Colts on their way. Colts were stunned however when after 19 minutes they gave away a soft free kick and saw the resultant cross deflect in off the unfortunate Dan Fensome. Colts continued to press but didn’t take their chances and paid the price for giving the ball away to go 2-1 down 5 minutes from the break.

 

A crisp half time team talk saw the Colts respond in the second half and they equalised after 49 minutes when A Tom Dyball free kick was flicked on by Stuart Brown for Tom Brennan to head home from close range. Colts stepped up a gear and gained the reward fro pressing when Andrew Luckhurst intercepted a clearance to slip Stuart Brown in to rifle home after 53 minutes to put Colts back in the lead. Andrew Luckhurst then grabbed his second assist of the match when he slipped in Jon Richardson on the hour to make it 4-2 and cruising. More chances came and Colts hit the post from Tom Dyball before an Oliver Spicer free kick was blocked by the keeper and Marc Oakley was first to the ball to tap in after 79 minutes to make it 5-2. HARCOB then made it difficult by sitting back to concede a soft angled goal a minute later but Oliver Spicer made the game safe after 85 minutes latching onto a Dan Fensome cross to fire home for number 6. Man of the Match Stuart Brown literally gave blood in a hard working display which saw stand in central defender Chris Ellis also superb alongside a commanding Tom Brennan.

 

Luck of the Irish denies Colts

 

Watford Irish Centre 3, Harpenden Colts Old Boys 1

Herts Count Intermediate Cup R1                                                                  Sunday 20 September 2009

 

A much depleted Harpenden Colts Old Boys dominated much of this County Cup game against Watford Irish Centre but despite going behind to a soft goal after 30 seconds and having to defend well for the next 20 minutes a fierce equaliser from Tom Dyball put them back in the game and then saw them dominate, hitting the woodwork 4 times and having a goal disallowed only to see another soft goal and the home side seal the game with their only dangerous shot of the second half. Stand in keeper midfielder Dan Fensome was outstanding for Colts in an action packed first 30 minutes also giving a fine midfield second half display.

 

Injuries and unavailability’s saw 6 changes from Colt’s last game but Colts still fielded a side that manager Steve Oakley felt was good enough to overcome Watford Irish.  Colts were however caught asleep after 30 seconds by poor team shape and defending high up the pitch to be caught by a route one through ball that saw the striker lob the advancing Dan Fensome. Fensome then made a string of fine saves over the next 20 minutes as Colts were caught on various counters as they pressed for the equaliser but they simply failed to take them. Colts were eventually rewarded for pressing when a cross-field pass from Matt Richardson saw midfielder Tom Dyball cut inside to fire home into the top corner to put Colts level. Colts then dominated but despite creating numerous good chances they simply could not put the ball into the net but then paid the penalty for ball watching at a corner 1 minute before the break to go 2-1 down.

 

The second half saw full back Colin Arnsby replace Dan Fensome in goal and with Fensome now active in his usual midfield position Colts now dominated and created chance after chance also hitting the woodwork 4 times. Colts then lost possession 13 minutes from time to provide the Irish with a half chance outside  the box which they took  to score with their only dangerous effort of the half to give Colts a mountain to climb but they hit back again only to see a well taken effort harshly disallowed and be denied by the post yet again. Despite the shock defeat Manager Steve Oakley is confident of better things from this side; given a good run of player availability.

 

Golden Brown

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys 10, Farriers Arms 0

RSL Division 2                                                    Sunday 6 September 2009

 

Man of the Match midfielder Stuart Brown  capped a golden display with a single and 5 assists as Harpenden Colts Old Boys overran a second half injury depleted Farriers Arms 10-0 with David Keenleyside netting a hat trick with braces from Marc Oakley and Daniel Fensome, a single from James Warner and a 25 yard screamer from Nick Walters.

 

With the first 20 minutes showing possession but not penetration HARCOB finally made the breakthrough when Marc Oakley’s cross field ball at the second attempt saw James Warner ghost in on the blid side for a superb 2 touch finish to give the Colts the lead. HARCOB went further ahead after 29 minutes when Dan Fensome was brought down in the box and Marc Oakley atoned for a poor penalty by netting on the rebound from the initial save by the Farriers keeper. Dave Keenleyside then went close when his great lob hit the post but  Colts made it 3-0 when Man of the Match Stuart Brown fed Keenleyside to pass the ball into the bottom corner 3 minutes before the break.

 

The second half saw James Warner take a break but Keenleyside was on hand to curl a superb shot into the top corner after pouncing onto a rebounded ball after 60 minutes to give Farriers a mountain to climb and Keenleyside then make it mission impossible 4 minutes later after Stuart Brown won possession Keenlyside curved the ball low inside the post from 20 yards. Three goals in 2 minutes  then killed this contest when Dan Fensome celebrated being pushed in to service as centre forward by dancing around 3 players and then firing home from the D after 77  minutes. Fensome made it 7-0  under a minute later after being sent clear on a one on one by Stuart Brown and 45 seconds later Brown fed substitute Nick Walters who hit a 25 yard screamer into the top corner to make it 8. With injuries now depleting Farriers to 9 men HARCOB took advantage of the spaces with Stuart Brown capping a fine display to net from a free header from a Marc Oakley corner after 85 minutes and then return the complement by sending Marc Oakley clear to hit a fierce 30 yard drive into the net to make it 10-0 three minutes from time. Captain Chris Ellis was outstanding in marshalling a reshuffled Colts defence with keeper Charlie Collins looking assured in the Colts goal.

 

 

 

Keenleyside gives sweet 16 Virtuoso performance

 

Phoenix Reserves 0, Harpenden Colts Old Boys 16

RSL Division 2                                                    Sunday 30 August 2009

 

Man of the Match David Keenleyside gave a virtuoso performance as Harpenden Colts Old Boys hit  sweet sixteen against a Phoenix Reserves side that simply could not recover after being 4 – 0 down after 7 minutes as James Warner hit a double hat trick supported by a double brace by David Keenleyside, a second half hat-trick from Dan Fensome and singles from Matt Richardson, Stuart Brown and Oliver Spicer.

 

A fine Keenleyside solo effort after 2 minutes set Colts on their way to be followed 2 minutes later by James Warner following up on his own blocked shot to make it 2-0. Warner then sent Oliver Spicer clear a minute later to slot home a one on one to make it 3-0 with just 5 minutes on the clock. Spicer returned the favour 2 minutes later when his fierce cross was netted by Warner at the second attempt to kill this game. Keenleyside curled a “Modric like” free kick around the wall after 16 minutes to make it 5 and then 2 minutes later set James Warner up for his first hat trick by sending in a cross that Warner turned in. Warner was unlucky to have been  adjudged offside following up on his own effort that hit the bar after 23 minutes but he was on hand to set David Keenleyside up after 33 minutes to slot home number 7. A Stuart Brown cross after  35 minutes was then turned in by James Warner  and a minute later Warner sent Keenleyside clear to make it 9-0 at the break.

 

The second half saw a Colts team reshuffle with stand in keeper Dan Fensome playing in his usual midfield role and substitute full back Tom Dyball made an immediate impact after 52 minutes by floating a superb cross on the overlap for James Warner to head home to make it 10-0. Matt Richardson then fired in at the near post from a Keenleyside pass after 56 minutes and Stuart Brown made it a dozen after 73 minutes when he slotted home after being slipped in by Dan Fensome. Fensome was then on hand to score a minute later from yet another Keenleyside set up 2 minutes later and then notch his second with a free header from a Dyball corner with 14 minutes left. James Warner then completed his second hat trick with 10 minutes left when he turned in a Luke Spicer cross but it was Dan Fensome who capped a fine second half display by scoring his hat trick 5 minutes from time when James Warner flicked on a Keenleyside cross to make it 16-0 and a miserable day for the home side. Jason Ling impressed in a Colts back 4 that was rarely troubled with full back Colin Arnsby looking solid as second half stand in keeper.

 

Colts stunned by 10 man comeback

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys 3, Verulam Arms 3

RSL Division 2                                                    Sunday 23 August 2009

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys were 2-0 up after 20 minutes with goals by Andrew Smith and Matt Richardson but after Verulam Arms were reduced to 10 men they took their foot off the gas to let Verulam back on equal terms before James Warner put them ahead again only to concede a soft goal 15 minutes form time to share the spoils in a 3-3 draw after spurning a number of chances to win the game.

 

Colts started the game much as they had finished last season with good control and passing setting up a number of opportunities and the keeper had to be at his best to deny James Warner after 6 minutes. From the resultant corner taken by David Keenleyside the cross was headed on by Matt Richardson for central defender Andrew Smith to sweep into the net from close range. Verulam were reduced to 10 men after 15 minutes when their midfielder was sent off but the Colts increased their dominance after 22 minutes when David Keenleyside flicked on an Oliver Spicer cross for Matt Richardson to poke home from 10 yards to set the Colts cruising. Colts then paid the penalty for giving the ball away in their own half to see a Verulam break away pull a goal back after 32 minutes.

 

Playing with a strong wind the second half saw Colts fail to press the ball and also give the ball away cheaply and when a Verulam midfielder was not closed down 2 minutes after the break his long range shot went in off the post despite stand in keeper Stuart Brown getting a hand to it that deserved a better outcome. James Warner was on hand to put Colts back in front after debutant substitute Jason Ling provided a great through ball to see Warner lob the advancing keeper after 70 minutes which should have settled matters. Colts then created and did not take 2 further good chances before with 15 minutes left they failed to clear the ball wide of their own box an conceded a soft goal from a narrow angle. Last year Colts went from strength to strength after a poor opening match. Manager Steve Oakley will be hoping that history will repeat itself.

 

Colts in seventh heaven with Church End

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys 7, Church End 1 (RSL div 1)

Pre-season friendly                                                             Sunday 16 August 2009

 

Harpenden Colts Old Boys simply switched on the cruise control against division 1 outfit Church End to trounce Church End 7-1 with braces from debutant Matt Richardson and man of the match Stuart Brown supported by singles by Simon Beazley and Jamie Mangan and a simply stunning strike by midfielder Marc Oakley.

 

The first 29 minutes of the game saw a lot of end to end action before Stuart Brown broke the deadlock when he latched onto a lose ball from Simon Beazley and sent a half volley into the top corner from 20 yards. Marc Oakley made it 2 just a minute later when latching on to a Matt Richardson back heel he simply passed the ball into the top corner from 25 yards. Just 3 minutes later Stuart Brown made it 3—0 to kill the game when he swept in a cross from debutant Luke Spicer after 33 minutes. Stuart Brown was then on hand to set up Matt Richardson after 38 minutes to make it 4-0 and effectively game over.

 

The second half saw Colts continue to create chances but they switched off by not getting tight to allow a Church |End midfielder to run through to pull a goal back after 67 minutes. Simon Beazley made it 5-1 after 76 minutes when he was slipped in by Marc Oakley to fire home from close range. Matt Richardson was then on hand to tap in the rebound after the keeper parried a Marc Oakley shot after 85 minutes but Matt Richardson put Colts in seventh heaven in injury time when he swept in a Jamie Mangan cut back to make it 7-1.