City over”Joy”ed at win against local rivals
Pre-season friendlies we are told are less about the result, but more about the focus on fitness and performance.
Both teams then will be pleased at the work-out which was played at a frenetic pace throughout the entire 90 minutes. But City’s management team will be far more the happier than their Hertford Town counterparts.
A single goal separated the sides and a decent strike it was too. Within a few minutes of coming on as a late substitute City’s young left winger and a firm fans favourite Charlie Joy unleashed a terrific drive from 20 yards which gave the visiting goalkeeper little chance of even getting a hand to his strike.
The game itself was played on the 3G, astro-turf pitch at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield so a pretty neutral venue for both sides.
City fielded two former Hertford Town players in Brett O’Connor and another late substitute Dan Ferrigno. O’Connor having the best game of his short Citizens career so far having only recently joined the Citizens from Hertford this current Pre-season. The left sided midfielder played in a more central role than in previous matches and looked a far better signing because of it.
The City line-up for the start of the game was Dan Green in goal, a defensive quartet of Right back Adam Hunt, Left-Back Jonny Sexton and a central defensive partnership of Jay Rolfe and Dave Corran. In midfield Brett O’Connor was joined by Nick Elliott, Ben Spaul and team captain Danny Payne. Josh Bronti joined Jon Clements in a more advanced role and seemed to enjoy this position more than the usual right-wing role he is usually deployed in.
In a match played on a flat surface and with the difficult strong wind, much cooler of late too both teams treated the spectators to a lively encounter and for City a much better performance than the lack-lustre ones than of previous friendlies to date.
Chances were few and far between but no less an enjoyable encounter because of it, I’d go so far as to say it was a good advert for Step four of the football pyramid as you are likely to see.
With both teams closing their opponents down early and quickly – space and time was something of a luxury and it didn’t take long for the spirit and aggression to spill over but credit to the players they returned to concentrating on playing the game rather than being overly physical.
After an even first half in which both teams had their fair share of possession the second half saw only one change from the first half line-up with the impressive Lee Close replacing Danny Payne in the centre of midfield. Chances fell to Josh Bronti and Jon Clements as City began to control the game. However, with City rueing the missed opportunities, the pendulum of control turned in Hertford’s favour and they pressed hard but failed to find any clear openings to test Dan Green the Citizen’s custodian.
And so even when the usual flurry of substitutions failed to disrupt the game, (Tony Williams, Josh Holmes, Dan Ferrigno and Charlie Joy all joining the field of play) City finally got the break they sought. Having only been on the field for a few minutes and with five minutes of the 90 remaining,
Charlie Joy picked up the ball from the left and hit a fine strike on goal wide of the Hertford goalkeeper left hand side.
All-in-all this a much better performance by the Citizens which has given the City fans hope for a successful campaign ahead. Quite simply they showed us that If they can maintain this level of performance then they have all the attributes necessary for a successful league campaign.