A dominant second-half display ensured Berkhamsted Raiders U13s Blues enjoyed the win they deserved as they beat Chinnor 6-3.
Raiders had the better of the first-half and went ahead after 11 minutes when they were awarded a penalty for hand ball. Ollie Pitblado’s spot-kick was superbly tipped on to the bar by the keeper but Paddy Read reacted fastest to thump home the rebound.
But, having been on the back-foot, Chinnor hit back with two goals in five minutes to lead 2-1 at the break.
Raiders turned on the style after the restart and the equaliser that had been coming duly arrived in the 46th minute. Finnlee Ferguson played a neat one-two with Jude James before unleashing a ferocious shot from 20 yards that flew into the top corner.
Raiders raced into a 4-2 lead with a couple of excellent strikes from Luke Mathison. His first was a sweet half-volley after lobbing the ball over a defender, and he followed that by taking Will Smooker’s pass, cutting in from the flank and finishing with a low curling shot.
Chinnor made it 4-3 but Ed Stubbs put the game out of reach with a smart finish on the hour mark, and in the last minute Mathison completed an excellent hat-trick when he made the most of Ferguson’s lay-off with a crisp first-time shot.
Little Gaddesden went down 8-3 at Hemel Town in the West Herts U15s league.
A lack of belief, staying power, porous defending and more than a few poor decisions put paid to what seemed a fine Gadd start.
Gadds went 1-0 up early on through a terrific Will Green shot.
Alex Porter was energetic in the Gadds goal and it was a cheeky lob that eventually beat him to level it at 1-1.
Straight after the break Gadd retook the lead after a cross from Ted Holland put striker Luke Wilson clear and his effort was parried but he buried the rebound.
The lead didn’t last long and a counter attack saw Hemel equalise.
A clumsy back-pass was seized on by Wilson to secure his brace for 3-2.
Hemel piled on the pressure and a free header was despatched to make it 3-3.
Then what looked like a chest block was given as a hand ball and Hemel tucked away the penalty.
Heads went down after much remonstrating and all fight drained from the plucky visitors. Other decisions didn’t go their way and the floodgates opened.
A spirited display from man of the match Ben Barden couldn’t rekindle a fightback and Gadds went away licking their wounds.