Andrew Cornell looks back at Blues’ games on January 4th
In 2014 on this date we made the trip to Dover for a Conference South game. We went into the game just outside the play-off positions, but having lost our two holiday games at Chelmsford and at home to Boreham Wood and therefore needing a result at Dover.
On a pitch that played surprisingly well considering the rain both sides made a tentative start. In the 5th minute a long, high ball upfield from Cliff Akurang caused problems for defender Tom Wynter and Brian Woodall managed a shot that was blocked by the legs of keeper Mitch Walker. Then, soon afterwards, Liam Enver-Marum tried a shot from the left edge of the box that drifted over the far angle of the goal.
The Whites looking stronger in midfield began to take the initiative and after Cliff Akurang had handled outside the box in the 21st minute James Rogers ’ free-kick resulted in experienced striker Nathan Elder heading narrowly wide. The hosts took the lead in the 29th minute. A deflected centre from the left by Tom Murphy reached Liam Bellamy, who had his back to goal,
towards the far side of the box and he turned quickly, 15 yards out, to hammer the ball low past the outstretched Sam Cowler who was diving to his right.
Whites ’ stopper Mitch Walker flapped at an Anthony Church cross on the half-hour whilst Brian Woodall struck a first time effort just wide but up until the interval the Blues defence looked vulnerable to Athletic attacks. Rogers was high and wide from a half-chance before the lead was extended in the 33rd minute. A move down the centre finished with Chris Kinnear slipping
the ball forward for Murphy running into the area to force past Cowler with an angled shot into far bottom corner.
The Blues were close to being three behind a couple of minutes later as Nathan Elder found the net but fortunately for Stortford an offside decision was given. In the 39th minute Sean Francis grazed the top of the bar with a header from a Matt Johnson corner but Stortford lived perilously until the break. A great tackle from George Allen, who had a fine match, stopped Bellamy ten yards from goal as the Dover man was about to pull the trigger and then Elder saw his effort kept out by Cowler’s legs. Finally, in the 45th minute, a move involving Murphy, Elder and Rogers culminated with Chris Kinnear’s angled shot from the left beating Cowler. However, the attempt lacked power and George Allen cleared the ball away from near the goal-line. At half-time Blues were fortunate to be only 2-0 down.
Stortford had the slope in their favour after the interval but still seemed to struggle early on after the restart with Elliott Charles pulling the ball back for Kinnear to drive a 25 yard shot at goal that Cowler saved at full length turning the ball round the post for a corner.
Rod Stringer made a double substitution in the 54th minute with newcomer Jake Hall replacing Harry Baker and Josh Fagbohun coming on for Enver-Marum. The strong running of the two replacements seemed to reinvigorate the Blues and little was seen of the Whites as an attacking force after that point. It took only three minutes for Stortford to pull a goal back. An attack down the left involving Reece Prestedge and Woodall saw the ball switched inside where Hall nudged it to Johnson whose shot was parried out by Mitch Walker but only for Ashley Miller to score easily from six yards.
The Blues could have been level a minute later when Walker saved from Anthony Church and Fagbohun appeared to have an easy task to net the loose ball but defender Wynter appeared from nowhere to make a great block of the substitute’s shot. It was certainly the turn of the Dover goal to lead a charmed life and shortly afterwards Walker made a fine save to turn a Church shot over the bar. There was more pressure from Stortford until the 71st minute when the equaliser was scored.
There would be questions asked about the Dover marking when a throw on the left from Johnson was allowed to reach Cliff Akurang in space and Stortford’s leading goalscorer drilled a 15 yard shot inside the near upright. Stortford continued to have the edge and the winning goal came in the 84th minute following a move on the right that was initially begun by Fagbohun and Hall just inside their own half. Hall laid the ball on for Allen to break and cross low into the box where Woodall, running in, clinically swept home past Walker from 10 yards.
Until the final whistle, which included four minutes of stoppage time, Athletic hardly mustered an attack and the Blues saw out time easily for a win which had seemed extremely unlikely at half-time.
2015 Whitehawk 1 BSFC 0 – Conference South
Phillips, Miller, Herd, Anderson, Bailey-Dennis, Hayles, Merrifield, Davies, Simmonds, Tabiri, Church Subs: Walker, Sellears, Auger Unused: McCall, Gill
2014 Dover Athletic 2 BSFC 3 – Conference South
Cowler, Baker, Miller, Allen, Francis, Akurang, Johnson, Church, Woodall, Enver-Marum, Prestedge Subs: Fagbohun, Hall, McNaughton Unused: Costa, Symons
Scorers: Akurang, Miller, Woodall
2003 Aldershot Town 0 BSFC 0 – Isthmian League Premier Division
Desborough, Dorrian, Riches, Gould, Wall, Southam, Hyatt, Gwillim, John, Paul, Williamson Subs: Langer, Beale, Unused: Wolf, Walker, O’Neill
2000 BSFC 1 Watford 2 – Herts Senior Cup 2nd Round Replay
Day, Comerford, Pitcher, Paxton, Bowen, Winger, Waldron, Hayes, John, Paul, Braham
Subs: Leary, Kraja, Wolf Unused: Langer, Tillotson Scorer: Paxton
1992 BSFC 0 Dagenham 4 – Isthmian League Premier Division
Taylor, Boyce, Sailsman, Went, Harrigan, Empson, White, Stewart, Lawford, English, Parnwell Subs: Petrou, Jackman
1983 BSFC 2 Hayes 4 – Isthmian League Premier Division
Welsh, Wickenden, Brown, Smith, Elley, Hull, Avery, Lynch, Worrell, Simmonds, Sullivan
Sub: Bradford Scorer: Lynch (2)
1975 BSFC 3 Hoddesdon Town 1 – Herts Senior Cup 1st Round
Moore, Martin, Mears, Newman, Rufus, Lawrence, Leakey, Greene, Dillon, Smith, Childs
Sub Unused: Blacktin Scorers: Smith (2), Childs
1969 Slough Town 1 BSFC 0 – Athenian League Premier Division
Mollison, Haggar, King, Hill, Gough, Nisbet, Duggan, Hammond, Cheesewright, Chappell, Phillips Sub Unused: Edwards
1964 Berkhamsted Town 1 BSFC 1 – Athenian League Division 2
Cherry, Deamer, Atkinson, Pope, Neeves, Wilson, Wacey, Smith, Gough, Saggers, Francis Scorer: Wacey
1958 BSFC 5 Rainham Town 0 – Delphian League
Fox, Lloyd, Atkinson, Pope, Newman, Carter, Adamson, Horton, Francis, Williams, Wacey
Scorers: Horton, Francis (3), Wacey
1947 BSFC 1 Wood Green Town 4 – Spartan League Premier Division
Sullivan, Thurgood, Day, Lambert, Brooks, Search, Clark, Arnold, Gillard, Bentley, Graham Scorer: ??????
1941 BSFC 1 RAF XI 3 – Friendly
1936 Hertford Town 2 BSFC 0 – Herts Charity Shield 1st Round
Spermi, Barker, Chapman, Polybank, Ship, Palmer, Riches, Drew, Halls, Wood, Robinson
1930 BSFC 0 Ware 3 – Spartan League Division 2 East
Vasey, Spring, Freeman, I Lawrence, Chapman, Mayes, Elliott, Turner, Hepburn, Haylock, Andrews