Leverstock Green bounced back after a midweek defeat to Wembley with a well-deserved three points against Hoddesdon Town on Saturday.
Curtis Donaldson was still injured but Shane Wood, George Biggadike and Lewis Bowers were back in the side for this SSML Premier clash. As with the meeting between the two clubs in the Premier Division Cup ten days ago, this was a game between two well-matched sides.
The best of few first half chances fell to Jonathan Lacey in the 25th minute, but he shot wide after a cross from Ross Adams had been headed down by Bowers. Three minutes before the break Bradley Hedges robbed Hoddesdon’s Brett O’Connor and ran at goal, but his shot was gathered by keeper Harry Smart. In the last two minutes of the half there were a couple of moments of danger in the Leverstock box as Connor Scully hit a shot just wide, and Fraser John delivered a ball into the six-yard box which was claimed by Liam Jahn.
Karl Davidson replaced Bowers at half time and was heavily involved in Leverstock’s opening goal in the 52nd minute. He ran at goal and hit a shot from the edge of the box which had Smart beaten but came back off the post. The rebound fell for Lacey, who showed the composure to slot the ball into the corner.
Leverstock were looking good value for their lead and were rarely being troubled at the back, but a bolt from the blue levelled the scores on 63 minutes, Jordan Watson’s low shot from almost 30 yardswhich left Jahn motionless as it flew into the bottom corner.
However, Leverstock continued to look the better side, and they went back in front on 77 minutes. Zak Howells played a great pass to Lacey, who was careful to stay onside and went clean through to take the ball round Smart and slot into the empty net for 2-1. There could have been a third goal a minute later when Oliseh Okwudi was through on goal, but Smart deflected his shot wide.
Hoddesdon made a double substitution with four minutes left, and came close to levelling twice during five minutes of stoppage time, firstly when a ball from Watson flashed across the face of the Green goal, and in the final seconds when a header from Watson was tipped onto the bar by Jahn.
Paul Hunt dedicated the win to outgoing chairman Brian Barter, who leaves the post on Monday.
Leverstock now sit in sixth but now turn their attention to the cups, with two away ties coming up in the next week. On Tuesday night they are away to Holmer Green in the first round of the Challenge Trophy, and next Saturday they travel to Harefield United in the second qualifying round of the Buildbase FA Vase.