It was Premier Division Hertford Town entertaining Division Two Hale Leys United on Tuesday evening at Hertingfordbury Park in the Spartan South Midlands League Challenge Cup First Round and what a game it turned out to be!! With noisy bunch of home fans singing support for their team it was the away side with some impressive and very pacey counter attacks who took a 0-2 deserved lead into the break at half time. Hertford came back to make it 1-2, Hale Leys then missed a penalty before the home side equalised to make it 2-2. Hale Leys didn't give up and right on 90 minutes looked like they were going to win it, when after another impressive counter attack, the ball was heading towards the back of the net only for a miraculous headed clearance off the line from a Hertford Town defender to leave the game all square at 2-2 (the away side had had another effort cleared off the line in the second half).
In extra time Hertford scored twice - the first featuring a brilliant bit of skill from 'for the love of cars' (a nod to him in the headline) star and local football legend Anthony Anstead (who had come on as substitute in the second half of normal time after arriving late to the ground due to a hold up on his train journey) to set it up and the second being a fantastic volley from outside of the box by Leigh Rose.
The game has caused quite a stir in local football circles as extra-time shouldn't of actually been played. During the summer the Spartan South Midlands League had agreed for Challenge Cup games to go straight to kicks from the penalty mark - At this time of writing I don't know what decision the league has made as to if the result will stand or not?
Both teams can take an immense amount of credit from this game and neither really deserved to lose. For Hale Leys it was so close but yet so far to a cup upset and for Hertford Town the work-rate and sheer determination they showed to come back to 2-2 and subsequently win the game will have pleased their boss Paul Halsey immensely.