Andrew Cornell looks back at Blues’ games on April 21st
For those brought up on life in the Isthmian League where a trip to the South coast was a major undertaking it is still incomprehensible that in 2012 we played a league match North of Leeds. Our hosts were Guiseley, situated between Leeds and the Yorkshire Dales and while we were mid-table and playing out the season the home team were in second place and challenging for automatic promotion.
Stortford had the Nethermoor slope in their favour in the first half and an early attack in the 5th minute saw Ricky Sappleton have a shot blocked by a defender on the edge of the box and Ryan Melaugh’s follow up drive was also blocked. The Blues continued to put together some useful attacks in the early stages but it was noticeable that the hosts were closing down quickly to deny Stortford players much space.
A shot from distance by Guiseley’s Dave Merris in the 15th minute went wide of Jordan Archer’s right hand upright but two minutes later the Bishops’ stopper had to be alert when he turned a 25 yard shot from Ciaran Toner over the bar after good approach work by Andy Holdsworth. It was Holdsworth in the 23rd minute who threatened after combining with James Walshaw down the middle but the danger was cleared by the Blues’ defence.
Both sides were guilty of giving the ball away in midfield and at this stage the play became a little scrappy. The hosts had the slight edge territorially and they would have gone ahead in the 32nd minute but for a great instinctive save by Archer. Holdsworth and Danny Boshall linked in a move up the right wing before the latter crossed towards the near post and Walshaw’s close range shot was somehow kept out by the on-loan keeper who, diving to his left pushed the ball away one handed.
With the interval approaching near misses materialised at both ends. In the 42nd minute Sappleton was fouled a few yards outside the box whilst trying to gain control of a long clearance from Archer and Dwight Gayle’s resultant free-kick was held by keeper Steve Drench. Then, in the next attack, Sean Francis swung the ball out to Ryan Melaugh on the left and the youngster’s cross was met by Gayle whose header seemed destined for the net but Drench launched himself to his right to make a fine save.
The pace of the game was quickening and when the Lions broke upfield on the left Walshaw cut in from the wing and had his fierce drive held by Archer low down at the near post. There was just one minute of stoppage time at the end of the first period and it was then that the only goal of the match was scored. After Gayle had been fouled just inside the Guiseley half in the centre circle, the free-kick was played out to Jack Lampe on the right and he forwarded the ball into the right edge of the box where Gayle and Sappleton both helped assist the ball inside. Although it seemed to run loose, Matt Johnson was on the ball in a flash as the home defence hesitated and whipped a low shot past Drench from 15 yards.
As expected the Lions pressed forward on the restart and when Boshall and Walshaw threatened following a move on the left in the 47th minute Francis did very well to block Walshaw’s angled shot at the expense of a corner.
At the other end, Gayle advanced to the edge of the area following a Sappleton through pass but he, also, was denied by a block by a defender. Walshaw headed wide from a cross from the left by Holsworth in the 49th minute and six minutes later substitute Simon Baldry headed over the bar from 10 yards following a corner on the right taken by Holdsworth.
Another corner this time from Merris in the 61st minute saw the ball in and around the six yard box before Archer held a close range effort from Baldry on the goal-line. The Blues’ midfield was working hard to stem the hosts’ attacks and on occasions they had opportunities to break into the Guiseley half. This happened in the 64th minute when Prestedge slipped the ball for Melaugh to attack down the left and the keeper Drench saved low down to hold on to Melaugh’s angled shot. However, a little later, a misplaced pass from the Colchester United player who is with the Blues on work experience, allowed Jamie Clarke to cross from the right into the middle but although James Walshaw slid in to try to connect with ball the Lions’ striker fortunately missed it.
With 18 minutes of normal time remaining the home side made a double substitution up front but it was Stortford who nearly scored when Reece Prestedge forced a good save from Drench on 74 miinutes. Soon after a Jamie Clarke shot from 25 yards hit Archer’s post and rebounded to safety but Blues saw out the remainder of the time with little drama for an outstanding win.
2014 Bromley 3 BSFC 2 – Conference South
Wright, Richens, Herd, Miller, McNaughton, Brown, Baker, Cutler, Woodall, Church, Prestedge Subs: Johnson, Milbourne, Fagbohun Not Used: Akurang, Cowler, Scorers: Richens, Herd
2012 Guiseley 0 BSFC 1 – Conference North
Archer, Lampe, Dunbar, Abdullahi, Francis, Anderson, Gayle, Johnson, Sappleton, Prestedge, Melaugh Subs: Redgrave, Jones Not Used: Dadson, Craig, Lettejallow Scorer: Johnson
2007 Histon 0 BSFC 2 – Conference South
Young, Jones, Gwillim, Porter, Goodacre, Gillman, Esandoh, Champion, Pearson, Midson, Martin Subs: Mason, Morgan Not Used: Turner, Fuller, Wright Scorers: Porter, Champion
2003 BSFC 0 Ford United 1 – Isthmian League Premier Division
Desborough, Parker, Wolf, Riches, Gould, Southam, Howell, French, Renner, Rainford, Williamson Subs: Aransiba, Beale Not Used: Hayes, Langer, O’Neill
2001 BSFC 4 Whyteleafe 1 – Isthmian League Division 1
Desborough, Risley, Kimble, Wolf, Fannon, Kyriacou, Endersby, Southam, John, Gunn, Braham Subs: Paul, Hayes, Taylor Scorers: Risley, John (2), Paul
2000 Croydon 1 BSFC 1 – Isthmian League Division 1
Tucker, Fannon, Kimble, Sedgwick, Bowen, Foot, Braham, Waldron, John, Hayes, Leary
Subs: Paul, Williams Not Used: Winger Scorer: John
1990 Carshalton Athletic 1 BSFC 2 – Isthmian League Premier Division
Taylor, Spence, Keune, Hopkins, Harrigan, Went, Bedford, Milbourne, Neale, Gayle, Manderson Subs: Risley, Young Scorers: Neale, Gayle
1984 BSFC 2 Sutton United – Isthmian League Premier Division
Welsh, Wickenden, Smith, Hull, Elley, Ryan, Luque, Avery, Hopkins, Cardines, Hughes, Mercer Sub Not Used: Miguel Luque Scorer: Mercer (2)
1981 BSFC 1 Kingstonian 0 – Isthmian League Division 1
Moore, Blackman, Brame, Smith, Bradford, Avery, Sullivan, Knapman, Radford, Simmonds, Mitchell Sub: Clarke Scorer: Simmonds
1973 BSFC 1 Kingstonian 1 – Isthmian League
Wiseman, Davenport, Coombes, Davidson, Still, Lawrence, Merrifield, Francis, Dear, Smith, Scott Sub: Lee Scorer: Smith
1972 Clapton 1 BSFC 2 – Isthmian League
Moore, Sedgeley, Lawrence, Smith, Still, Sharkey, Mitchell, Merrifield, Devaux, Duggan, Francis Sub: ?????? Scorers: Smith, Francis
1962 BSFC 3 March Town 0 – Friendly
1956 Barnet 2 BSFC 3 – Herts Charity Cup Semi-Final
Kearsley, Duncan, Hardy, Lloyd, Carter, Hanley, Adamson, Yates, Horton, Hussey, Burridge Scorers: Adamson, Hussey, Burridge
1955 Woodford Town 0 BSFC 2 – Delphian League
Sullivan, Stone, Hardy, Lloyd, Carter, Hanley, Scott, Yates, Duncan, Horton, Giles
Scorers: Scott, Duncan
1951 Stansted 1 BSFC 5 – Spartan League Division 1
Richardson, Wilkins, Bradford, Lambert, Hubbuck, Hoy, Bayford, Carter, Atkinson, Yates, Ellis
Scorers: Bayford (2), Barker, Atkinson, Yates
1937 Henley Town 4 BSFC 2 – Spartan League Division 1
??????, ??????, ??????, Polybank, Ship, ??????, ??????, ??????, ??????, ??????, ??????
Scorer: Polybank (2)
1930 BSFC 2 Epping Town 1 – Friendly
1926 Stansted 5 BSFC 3 – Stansted & District League
1924 BSFC 0 Custom House 5 – Friendly
1923 Stevenage Town 2 BSFC 0 – Herts County League
Boxall, Smith, Sedgmore, R E Punter, L Chapman, J Chapman, Clarke, Wright, Brazier, Freeborn, RA Punter