Under-21s continue winning run

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Blues under-21s completed a perfect day for the club with a 3-1 victory at Chelmsford City on Saturday.

The victory for Mark Ashford’s side sees them move a step closer to the Essex & Herts Border Combination title in their inaugural season, and they have now scored 43 goals in ten games.

Chelmsford put out a strong side for this first competitive fixture of 2015 with several players involved who had played first team matches for City in the current season including the impressive Harry Morgan and Sam Gregory.

The first half was a tight affair which Stortford just about deserved to edge. With Jay Lantieri and Tom Lakin working well down either flank and linking well with forward Bobby Deemer the young Blues created several chances to open their account, particularly a well worked move that saw Lantieri fire over the bar.

It was no surprise that Stortford opened the scoring midway through the first half when Lakin did superbly well out wide to beat several men and cut the ball back to Deemer who finished in style from the edge of the box.

Stortford went close to extending their scoring shortly afterwards when a first a low Sam Ashford shot was well saved with the ball seemingly heading in the bottom corner and then a Harry Prince shot from outside the box came crashing back off the crossbar and was scrambled away to safety.

Chelmsford created few chances in the first half and the visitors’ defence containing the outstanding Ben Smith, captain Jack Hayes, Billy Haspineall and Connor Peters look solid throughout.

City started the second half on the front foot and where level within ten minutes when a long cross-field ball found Gregory and the young city striker finished with great composure.

The hosts were enjoying their best spell of the game and it took two fantastic interceptions, one on the goal line, from the hardworking Hagland to ensure the scores remained level.

The value of these key moments was underlined when minutes later a quality ball from Peters into the feet of Deemer saw the striker spin on the half way line and feed a superb through ball for Lakin to run onto, draw the keeper and finish in style to put Blues 2-1 up.

After missing much of the season to date with an injury it was a great moment for Lakin to celebrate returning to full fitness.

The goal lifted the away side and from then on they dominated the match. Mason Stavri hit the foot of the post with a free kick and shortly afterwards scored the young blues third goal after linking up well with fellow substitute Jack Haspineall, who beat his man and cut the ball back to Lantieri to finish well.

Stavri then hit the foot of the other post with another quality free kick and went close on two further occasions as the impressive young blues finished the game strongly.

Blues return to action on Saturday January 31 when they travel to Knebworth for a Herts Intermediate Cup quarter-final tie.

Author: Dave Ryan