Leverstock Green delivered an excellent performance against title-chasing London Colney on Tuesday night, but they ended up on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline.
There was little to choose between the sides, but the odd goal in three decided the match in favour of London Colney.
Leverstock were without skipper Curtis Donaldson, scorer of a 10-minute hat-trick on Saturday, but they got off to a very good start.
With less than a minute on the clock Ashley Addison had a great chance, but home keeper Jack Smith pulled off a superb save to deflect Addison’s shot over the bar.
Another swift break on 10 minutes saw Lewis Cruwys lay off to set up Timi Salako with a shooting chance, but it went just wide.
On 16 minutes Addison was in again as he took the ball around Smith, but having been forced wide, his shot was cleared from the six-yard box.
Three minutes later a cross from Alex McCarthy found Dan Griggs unmarked in the penalty area, but as Griggs brought the ball down, Smith came quickly off his line to charge down the shot.
Up to this point London Colney hadn’t had an effort on target, but on 21 minutes a ball down the middle from Russell Gallagher put Lee Armitt through, but Liam Jahn came off his line to claim the ball.
A minute later former Green player Louis Bircham had a great chance, but shot over the bar. Soon after, Jahn produced another great save to keep out an effort from a corner.
Armitt was through again on 27 minutes, only to be again denied by a save from Jahn, but on 31 minutes Armitt finally found the net as yet another ball down the middle put him clean through. It was almost 2-0 three minutes later but this time Armitt hit the post.
Early in the second half Leverstock had a free-kick just outside the Colney box, but McCarthy’s effort went just wide.
However, on 55 minutes the Green got their deserved equaliser, as a pass from Addison found Griggs in space again, and this time he stabbed the ball past Smith to level the scores at 1-1.
The game was decided from a free-kick awarded to London Colney on the right side of the penalty area after the officials had failed to spot an earlier foul on Ollie Buckley.
The free-kick was played into the box and cleared by a Leverstock defender, but only as far as Gallagher, who hit a shot from just outside the box through a crowd of players which beat the unsighted Jahn into the corner of the net.
There were few chances for either side after that, but Jahn pulled off two more excellent saves to ensure that Leverstock stayed in the game until the end, firstly on 75 minutes when Armitt was clean through again, and on 85 minutes diving acrobatically to palm away Jack Woods’ downward header from a corner.
Next up for Leverstock is a home game against Biggleswade United on Saturday.
London Colney: 1. Jack Smith, 2. Dan Power, 3. Dave Corran (14. Sam Campbell 79 mins), 4. Sam Dollan, 5. Tom Smith, 6. Charlie Smith, 7. Jack Woods, 8. Greg Shaw, 9. Lee Armitt, 10. Louis Bircham (12. Spencer Clarke-Mardle 54 mins), 11. Russell Gallagher. Sub not used: 15. Jon Clements.
Leverstock Green: 1. Liam Jahn, 2. Tommy Walsh, 3. Dan Bourne, 4. Ollie Buckley, 5. Jack Copson, 6. Joe Horwood, 7. Dan Griggs (14. Dan Barnes 74 mins), 8. Alex McCarthy, 9. Ashley Addison, 10. Lewis Cruwys, 11. Timi Salako (12. Stefan Chiriac 79 mins). Subs not used: 15. Shane Wood, 17. Callum Woods.