Louis Bircham and Chris Blunden each scored hat-tricks as Leverstock Green regsistered an emphatic 8-1 win over Colney Heath in Saturday’s SSML Premier Division encounter.
The first chance of the game came in the 12th minute when a shot from Tommy Walsh was turned round the post by visiting keeper Ollie Leslie.
Seven minutes later, Callum Wright was brought down in the box by a challenge from defender Ed Gray. The referee pointed straight to the spot and Bircham converted the penalty to open the scoring.
There had been little threat from Colney over the opening half-hour, but in the 31st minute they broke quickly, and Chinua Phinn-Archer got the better of James Budden before hitting a shot that beat Liam McDonagh at his near post for an equaliser very much against the run of play.
However, five minutes later Leverstock had the lead again as Jack Gilmartin pulled the ball back from the bye-line for Bircham, who finished for 2-1.
A minute later Leslie pulled off a great save to keep out a shot from Curtis Donaldson, but in the last minute of the half Wright got to the bye-line and squared across goal for Bircham to score with a simple tap-in and complete a first half hat-trick.
Leverstock continued to utterly dominate the game in the second half. In the 55th minute Wright crossed to Donaldson, whose header was saved by Leslie.
Seconds later a pass from Wright put Bircham clean through, but Leslie deflected his shot wide with his legs.
The fourth goal came in the 57th minute as Wright trapped the ball near the touchline. The linesman flagged for handball, but the referee waved play on. However, the Colney players had all stopped, leaving Bircham all alone to slot home his fourth goal of the match.
Bircham gave way to Chris Blunden shortly after, but the fifth goal came from Luke Preedy, who got on the end of Wright’s ball into the box with a superb strike on 64 minutes.
Further goals were inevitable, and Blunden notched his first of the game on 75 minutes when Ricky Dash’s square ball set him up with a simple tap-in for 6-1.
A minute later Blunden was denied as Leslie kept out his shot with a great save, and also turned a shot from Walsh wide on 78 minutes.
However, three minutes from time Blunden struck an excellent shot from the edge of the penalty area for goal number seven, and in the last minute he completed his hat-trick with a shot that squirmed through the unfortunate Leslie’s hands for an 8-1 final score.
The result is a testament to the hard work that has been put in on and off the field by the players, management and committee of the club this season, and will be a great confidence booster for games coming up, starting with next Saturday’s visit to Sun Sports in the league.
Leverstock Green: 1. Liam McDonagh, 2. Damien Cruickshank, 3. Joe Horwood, 4. Gavin Smith (16. Ricky Dash 70 mins), 5. James Budden, 6. Tommy Walsh, 7. Jack Gilmartin (12. Timi Salako 67 mins), 8. Curtis Donaldson, 9. Luke Preedy, 10. Louis Bircham (15. Chris Blunden 61 mins), 11. Callum Wright. Sub not used: 14. Jack Halcomb.
Colney Heath: 1. Ollie Leslie, 2. Sam Russell, 3. Adam Andreau, 4. Ed Gray, 5. Harry Gruchy-Caswell, 6. Andrew Hannon, 7. Boris Bonket (14. Rak Hudson 71 mins), 8. Charlie Ward (16. Stellios Christodoulou 28 mins), 9. Chinau Phinn-Archer (12. Caric James H/T), 10. Joe Longworth, 11. James Lawrence. Subs not used: 15. David Leon, 18. Craig Clark.