Blast from the past

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Andrew Cornell looks back at Blues’ games on April 27th

In 2013 on this date we played the last game of our two season stint in Conference North at Oxford City. There was nothing to play for as City were in mid-table while we had mathematically avoided relegation.

Overall Stortford could be satisfied with their final match of the campaign. They edged the game territorially and certainly had the greater number of scoring opportunities. With Billy Lobjoit unavailable the starting eleven included Ricky Sappleton up front. Apart from his goal Sappleton was to put in his best performance since the start of the year.

In blustery conditions on a firm pitch there were few highlights in the early stages. A Matt Johnson free-kick in the 12th minute was headed away by the Oxford defence and when the ball came out to Harry Baker his rising 20 yard shot was a foot over the bar. There were one or two promising moves by Stortford and then in the 21st minute when Johnson was fouled just outside the box it was Ricky Sappleton, this time, who took the free-kick which went through the defensive wall to be saved by City stopper Townsend who dropped quickly to hold the low shot.

The Blues continued to look the more likely side to notch up the first goal and in the 34th minute a long ball into the box from the left by Johnny Herd fell to Sappleton but his shot was easily collected by Townsend. A snapshot from Steve Cawley from outside the box was over the target and then, three minutes from the break, Townsend dropped a Matt Johnson cross under pressure and City conceded a corner. Johnson’s flag-kick came out to Harry Baker whose shot was held on to low down by keeper Townsend.

The commencement of the second half mirrored that of the first in that there was little action of note. However that all changed twelve minutes after the restart. A clearance out of the Oxford half was headed by Sean Francis to Herd on the left who laid the ball up to Ricky Sappleton not far inside the City half. The big number nine then turned to strike a magnificent shot over Townsend that dipped under the bar and into the far corner. It was somewhat ironic that the Blues’ last goal of the season should be one of the best, if not the best, of the campaign.


A minute after the goal, at the other end, an awkward corner from Mark Bell was tipped away by a stretching Carl Pentney. Stortford had the chance to have doubled their lead in the 63rd minute. Reece Prestedge intercepted a pass from City’s Liam Malone just inside the hosts’ half and the skipper’s reverse pass set substitute Aaron Greene, who had just replaced Baker, to run clear

on goal but the youngster, making his league debut, was unfortunate to see Townsend grab the ball off his toes as he tried to go round him.


Three minutes later a Johnson throw on the right was back headed by Sappleton and Adam Bailey-Dennis missed his kick close to the goal. Somewhat against the run of play and following a rare attack City equalised in the 69th minute. Bell somehow managed to get to the corner flag after a run down the left wing and crossed low for Jamie Cook to net close to the near post.

Pentney was forced into action a few minutes later as he saved a shot on the turn at the edge of the box from Felipe Barcelos low down close to his left upright.


Stortford came back and Cawley was over the target with a 25 yarder whilst substitute Harry Mattock’s header in the 82nd minute was held under the bar by Townsend following a Johnson corner on the right. Then when Johnson slipped the ball out to the left Greene’s shot-cum-cross had to be turned over the top by Townsend.


There was almost a controversial end to the match when with the last action of the three minutes of stoppage time Referee Mike Blackledge bizarrely ruled that a ball that had deflected off the shin of Adam Bailey-Dennis and run back into the arms of Carl Pentney was a back-pass. The Official awarded a free-kick to the hosts a few yards inside the box but justice was done when Jamie Cook rolled the ball to Mark Bell whose shot was blocked out safety by the onrushing Stortford defenders.


2013 Oxford City 1 BSFC 1 – Conference North

Pentney, Sampayo, Herd, Prestedge, Bailey-Dennis, Francis, Johnson, Abdullahi, Sappleton, Cawley, Baker Subs: Webb, D J Green, Mattock Unused: Elmes, Dodge Scorer: Sappleton


2005 BSFC 0 Hemel Hempstead Town 2 – Herts Charity Cup Final – At Letchworth

Horne, Wightman, Jones, Filetti, Williams, Kersey, Cooper, Prestedge, Gash, Atkinson, Giddon Subs: Worrell, Montebello, Simpson Unused: Parkinson


2002 Whyteleafe 2 BSFC 4 – Isthmian League Division 1

Desborough, Hannigan, Wolf, McGibbon, Langer, Taylor, Hyatt, Southam, John, Paul, Braham Subs: Fannon, Allison, Hayes Scorers: John (2), Langer, Hyatt


1999 BSFC 0 Hendon 3 – Isthmian League Division 1 (At Hitchin Town FC)

King, McDonanld, Williams, Benstock, Paxton, Fannon, Braham, Woolley, Cooksey, Hayes, Comerford Subs: Snowden, Winger, Willock


1996 BSFC 2 Harrow Borough 3 – Isthmian League Premier Division

King, Wardley, Parkyn, Claridge, Shuttlewood, Moore, Roberts, Forbes, Conroy, Cooper, Barnamby Subs Not Used: Quinn, Jackman, Noble Scorers: ??????, ??????


1992 Carshalton Athletic 2 BSFC 2– Isthmian League Premier Division

Taylor, Sailsman, Sedgwick, Brownjohn, C White, Harrigan, Bedford, McIneerney, N White, English, Gayle Subs Not Used: Petrou, Smith Scorers: Harrigan, N White


1991 Kingstonian 2 BSFC 2 – Isthmian League Premier Division

Taylor, Jackman, Boyce, Harrigan, Went, Hopkins, Ryan, Adebowale, Joseph, Bedford, Manderson Subs Not Used: Parnwell, Fortune-West Scorers: Adebowale, Manderson


1985 BSFC 0 Harlow Town 2 – Isthmian League Premier Division

Taylor, Wickenden, Baker, Staunton, Hull, Hopkins, Avery, Marshall, Walsh,

Harper, Harding Sub Not Used: Joe Simmonds


1982 Harlow Town 2 BSFC 2 – Isthmian League Premier Division

Markwick, Blackman, Baldry, Smith, Gunn, Avery, Lynch, Knapman, Sperrin, Bailey, Sullivan Sub Not Used: Worrell Scorer: Lynch (2)


1976 BSFC 1 Southall & Ealing Borough 1 – Isthmian League Division 1

Kitson, Harris, Davis, Flack, Gough, Mulkern, Leakey, Brown, MacKenzie, Twigg, Gaine

Sub: Watson Scorer: Twigg


1974 BSFC 4 Walton & Hersham 1 – London Senior Cup Final (At Dulwich Hamlet)

Moore, Gibson, Coombes, Lawrence, Still, Payne, Leakey, Dear, Bass, Smith, Scott

Sub Not Used: Mitchell Scorers: Gibson, Dear (2), Scott


1971 Southall 0 BSFC 2 – Athenian League Premier Division

Cherry, Lawrence, T King, Duffett, Neeves, Sharkey, Whyte, Ryan, Deveaux, Chappell, S King

Sub: ?????? Scorers: Whyte, S King


1968 BSFC 2 Hemel Hempstead Town 0 – Athenian League Premier Division

Cherry, Mitchell, Hewitt, Hammond, Neeves, Atkinson, Battram, Duggan, Jones, Chappell, Gough Sub Not Used: Pettipher Scorers: Battram, Duggan


1963 BSFC 2 Brentwood & Warley 1 – Delphian League Emergency Competition

Cherry, Godleman, Atkinson, Pope, Neeves, Wilson, Harkness, Collett, Gough, Smith, Francis

Scorers: Gough, Neeves, Harknett


1959 Woodford Town 0 BSFC 1 – Delphian League

Cook, Lloyd, Atkinson, Williams, Newman, Wilson, Wacey, Yates, Horton, Adamson, Francis Scorer: Adamson


1940 BSFC 5 Post Office Engineers 1 – Friendly


1935 BSFC 1 Berkhamsted Town 2 – Spartan League Division 1

Dixon, Peck, Springham, Palmer, Ship, Wood, Riches, A Johnson, Warkins, Sharp, T Johnson Scorer: Sharp


1921 BSFC 0 Saffron Walden Town 1 – Stansted & District League Play-Off

Boxall, Smith, Walker, Thurgood, Witcher, Chapman, Clarke, Wright, Golder, Freeborn, Brazier

Author: Dave Ryan