Leverstock Green are still looking for a win to kick-start their season after they went down 2-1 in Saturday’s Spartan South Midlands Premier Division opener at London Colney.
Having lost both full-backs to injury in the abandoned FA Cup replay against Edgware last Tuesday, of which more later, there was another injury blow at the weekend with skipper Shane Wood stretchered off in the second half.
Hosts Colney, who have just one player remaining from the squad that won the Premier title last season, took the lead with a little over four minutes on the clock. Kambo Smith made a run into the box, and although Wood got in a sliding tackle, the ball continued towards goal where Kit Brown finished from close range past Leverstock’s debutant keeper Philip Daniels.
But the scores were levelled in the 14th minute when Chris Marsh spotted a run by Sam Nair and lofted a perfect pass into his path, and Nair slotted the ball home for the equaliser.
For the rest of the half it was Leverstock on top. On 17 minutes Marsh played a ball out wide to David Lawrence, who passed inside for Ross Adams, but his shot went over the bar.
In the 25th minute Wood got on the end of a Jonathan Lacey cross with a looping header which landed just over the bar.
On 39 minutes Lawrence received a pass from Nair and clipped a shot from a narrow angle inches over the angle of post and bar.
Half-time was reached with the score still 1-1, with the Green having played the ball around well but without the goals to show for it.
Colney improved in the second-half and on the hour had two chances within a minute to go back in front, but Brown shot wide when clean through and Daniels pulled off a great save to turn a shot from Lawrence Vaughan round the post.
Midway through the half, Green skipper Wood landed awkwardly from an aerial challenge and stayed down. Wood received treatment for some time before being stretchered off with a twisted ankle. Not long after the game resumed, the hosts went back in front when Smith received a ball on the edge of the box and quickly turned to shoot home a 76th-minute goal for a 2-1 lead.
Levy pushed forward and created chances, but struggled to put the ball in the net.
On 79 minutes a Lawrence shot from a narrow angle was saved and on 82 minutes Luke Preedy set up a clear chance for Nair but again it was saved.
Two minutes later Lawrence got on the end of a cross from Nair but couldn’t direct his shot on target.
There was almost 15 minutes of stoppage time played, during which Dwayne Clarke missed a great chance to put Colney 3-1 up, and Green sub Craig King received a straight red card following an altercation with an opponent.
Luca DeMare also limped off injured towards the end of added-time to give yet another potential injury worry for to night’s (Tuesday) FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round replay against Edgware.
That tie has come about after last Tuesday’s away match was abandoned in stoppage time due to a serious injury to Green defender Casey Linsell with Edgware Town leading 3-2.
Levy’s fate in the competition was left in the hands of the FA but their decision was to order a reply, which was due to be played at Pancake Lane last night as the Gazette was going to press.
It was a bad night all round for Leverstock last Tuesday, with the Linsell injury coming on the back of another injury blow to defender Zak Howells in the eighth minute.
Linsell cracked a bone in his ankle and sustained ligament damage, while Howells fractured a metatarsal in his foot. Both full-backs will be out for eight weeks.
Edgware took the lead in the 23rd minute through substitute Hanni Berchiche.
Leverstock levelled a minute before the break with a stunning 25-yard shot from Linsell straight across the keeper into the corner.
Edgware went back in the lead at 2-1 in the 51st minute when Fergus Moore netted a rebound from a free-kick.
The Green levelled again in the 64th minute when a great cross from Linsell was met with a superb diving header from Lawrence to make it 2-2.
A controversial goal put Edgware back in front in the second minute of stoppage time.
Linsell was clearly fouled in the build-up, but the referee gave nothing, and the eventual Edgware cross took a big deflection and Mooney was left with a tap-in from just a yard out.
After last night’s game, Levy then travel to St Margaretsbury the following Tuesday, August 22.