Andrew Cornell looks back on Blues games on November 11th
The most significant game on this date was in 2006 when we were drawn at home to King’s Lynn in the FA Cup 1st Round. Unusually we would have been favourites at this stage as we were in a higher league and going well enough to make the play-offs that season. However King’s Lynn brought a huge support and raised their game and there was plenty of entertainment and goals.
The game ebbed and flowed and provided great entertainment for the huge crowd shoehorned into Woodside Park. With guest Trevor Brooking in attendance, it was a superb advertisement for not just step two and three football, but for the game itself.
Stortford enjoyed a decent opening spell. Richard Howell tested keeper Shaun Marshall with the first shot on goal after six minutes. But the opposition quickly found a rhythm that served them well for most of the match. Playing some neat one touch football in front of Blues’ defence and probing for a killer pass. That first came to fruition on 10 minutes when Jack Defty was played through but his shot, on the turn, went comfortably wide of goal.
It was McMahon again, this time at the other end, who could have opened Lynn’s account. A cross into the box was won by Michael Frew whose header fell to McMahon. His air-shot ensured that Chris Wright wasn’t unduly troubled. But the midfielder gained some recompense, winning a penalty on 18 minutes. Chasing a ball that appeared to be racing beyond him in the Stortford box, McMahon appeared to be pulled down by Stambrook. However, with blood pouring from the defender’s nose, perhaps McMahon had something to answer for. Captain Mark Warren stepped up and placed his spot-kick to the right of Wright who guessed correctly and made a superb save to keep the scores level.
But the save didn’t stem the flow of attacks on the Blues’ defence. Notman could have done more than balloon the ball over the bar on 27 minutes. Two minutes later though, Lynn were in the lead. Gareth Gwillim conceded the free-kick that Adam Smith fired into the bottom right hand corner of the Stortford goal. It was, to the neutral, just reward for some excellent football.
King’s Lynn were perhaps guilty of sitting back once they had taken the lead and Blues took advantage. On 37 minutes, Roy Essandoh won a free-kick inside the Lynn half. Dave Collis sent in a perfectly-weighted ball and Essandoh managed to divert the ball past keeper Marshall and into the net.
Then, incredibly, after defending their half for much of the opening 40 minutes, Blues went ahead in the 42nd minute. Essandoh again was the creator, deftly flicking on a pass to Danny Morgan who rifled in an unstoppable shot to send the Blues’ fans packed behind the goal into rapture.
And then, with only injury time to be played, Morgan fouled McMahon as he raced towards the Blues’ box. That man Smith again lined up to strike another free-kick. This time Chris Wright knew where the kick was heading and looked to be making a comfortable save when the ball squirmed from his grasp and agonisingly into the net. Unbelievably King’s Lynn had levelled and the half ended to give 1750 fans time to catch their breaths.
The second half began later than anticipated as supporters trying to change ends blocked the gates to the players’ tunnel! When it did begin, Lynn’s keeper Marshall needed attention to an injury that looked serious at one point, but he was able to continue. It was a more even opening as first Notman punted over the bar and then Morgan for Blues was denied by a good save. In between, Morgan found himself booked for a rough challenge on Cooper.
Stortford were pressing for a lead when they fell to a sucker punch. Defty’s long pass was perfectly weighted for Frew to receive and with Stambrook chasing in vein, he seemed to mis-hit his effort straight at Wright. But the Blues’ keeper, and fans, could only watch in absolute despair as the ball bobbed between his legs and into the net. It was a desperate blow as there was at that point nothing between the sides. It was to be the game’s second turning point.
The goal led to Stortford pressing for an equaliser and, in doing so, Lynn were able to counter. This they did and, in Michael Frew, had a striker who didn’t seem to need two chances today. On 61 minutes he received a pass from Smith down the left and within a second had blasted the ball into the net. This time Wright had no chance.
Blues again had to push forward. Essandoh had some half-hearted appeals for a penalty turned down on 63 minutes and Dave Collis saw a shot-cum-cross heading for goal underneath the crossbar denied by the outstretched Marshall. Midson headed an Alex Martin corner just wide and on 70 minutes Danny Morgan had a goal ruled out for offside. At times it felt as if the Gods just weren’t on Stortford’s side. And more so a minute later. Sam McMahon crossed the ball from the right at a tight angle and Matt O’Halloran headed in from close range.
Danny Morgan was again denied by Marshall on 80 minutes, but the keeper couldn’t deny Alex Martin bagging a 25-yard screamer a minute later and giving Blues’ fans hope of impossibly getting something from the tie.
Lynn employed some desperate tactics to maintain their foothold, either playing out time or fouling the opposition. Mark Camm was lucky to evade the referee’s yellow card when he dragged down Jack Midson. Captain Warren though was shown a yellow for scything down Danny Morgan. Collis’ free-kick from thirty yards beat Marshall but also beat the post and so ended Blues’ hopes of a comeback. Both Anton Innocent and Jason Mason were denied in injury time before referee Steve Tomlinson signalled the end of an enthralling and, for the spectator, exhausting game that will be recalled and remembered for many years to come. While the opposition thoroughly deserved their win and gained many admirers for their style of football, on another day a couple of key turning points could have gone the other way and Blues would have been in Sunday’s draw.
2014 Heybridge Swifts 1 BSFC 4 – Friendly
2008 Hemel Hempstead Town 3 BSFC 3 – Herts Senior Cup 1st Round
Eyre, Hopkins, Miller, Hyem, Goodacre, Alalie, Okojie, Mason, Bristow, Dean, Wixon
Subs: Sellears, Barker Not Used: Hasler Scorers: Okojie, Dean, Wixon
2006 BSFC 3 King’s Lynn 5 – FA Cup 1st Round
Wright, Collis, Gwillim, Porter, Stanbrook, Gillman, Howell, Morgan, Essandoh, Midson, Martin Subs: Innocent, Mason, Lockett Not Used: Stewart, Young Scorers: Morgan, Essandoh, Martin
2000 Thame United 3 BSFC 2 – Isthmian League Division 1
Brooks, Yeoman, Kimble, Sedgwick, Braham, Bowen, Cross, Southam, John, Hayes, Comerford Subs: Paul, Langer Not Used: Cochrane Scorer: Paul (2)
1996 Purfleet 3 BSFC 0 – Isthmian League Premier Division
King, Wardley, Hollamby, Jordan, Shuttlewood, Crate, Lovell, Forbes, Henry, Cooper, Ravenscroft Subs: Hooker, Quinn Not Used: Riley
1995 BSFC 3 St Albans City 2 – Isthmian League Premier Division
King, Edmonds, Jordan, Claridge, Barnaby, Parratt, Paxton, Walker, Braithwaite, Adekola, Harrington Subs: Hollamby Not Used: Cooper, Wardley Scorers: Jordan, Walker, Adekola
1989 Leyton Wingate 0 BSFC 3 – Isthmian League Premier Division
Taylor, Jackman, Tamblyn-Jones, Hopkins, Harrigan, Ryan, Bedford, Went, Gayle, Manderson, Young Subs: Not Used: Milbourne, Quane Scorers: Ryan, Gayle (2)
1986 BSFC 2 Welling United 1 – GMAC Cup 1st Round
Taylor, Hopkins, Goodchild, Glozier, Hull, Cassidy, Templeton, Fergusson, Hardy, Johnson, Newbury Subs: Weddell, Nunn Scorers: Hardy, Newbury
1980 BSFC 2 Tilbury 0 – Isthmian League Division 1
Moore, Smith, Brown, Blackman, Bradford, Avery, Sullivan, Knapman, Radford, Simmonds, Mitchell Subs: Clarke Not Used: Scorers: ???
1978 Bromley 2 BSFC 1 – Isthmian League Division 1
Carrick, Chataway, Bradford, Smith, Droy, Holden, Neill, Eason, Ferry, Dear, Worrell
Sub Not Used: Coakley Scorer: Neill
1972 Clapton 1 BSFC 3 – Isthmian League
Moore, Davenport, Lawrence, Smith, Still, Mitchell, Leakey, Merrifield, Dear, Francis, Moss Subs: Davidson Not Used: Scorers: Lawrence, Dear (2)
1969 Hornchurch 3 BSFC 2 – Essex Floodlight Competition
1967 BSFC 7 Grays Athletic 0 – Athenian League Premier Division
Mollison, Durham, Mitchell, Hammond, Neeves, Abbott, Powell, Chappell, Nisbet, C Duggan, Gough Subs: ??? Not Used: Scorers: ???
1961 BSFC 3 Harrow Town 0 – Delphian League
Fox, Atkinson, Rolph, Jones, Neeves, Wilson, Harkness, Collett, Welch, Kirbyshire, Francis Scorers: Neeves, ?????, ?????
1933 Acton 4 BSFC 0 – Spartan League Division 1
Vasey, Johnson, Spring, Burt, Wood, Little, Bloyce, Beecham, Scott, Mealand, Summerell