Bishop's Stortford match report
match report by Taimour Lay
Hayden Bird's men are inventing a new kind of away win. The 2-1 thumping. The 2-1 shellacking. The dominant 2-1 on cruise control. The 2-1 at testimonial pace. The 2-1 without having to get out of third gear. The 2-1 that sends a message to the quaking league. The 2-1 where the three points are never in doubt...
Thus it was at Potters Bar. Comfortable as you like and a meaningless consolation late on for the home team. And again at Bishop's Stortford, a Kingsmeadowesque 1980s stadium next to Stansted airport where K's were on auto-pilot, interspersed by two worldie goals by the Barcelona of the Isthmian.
The first from Hall came after Stortford headed a corner to the edge of the box. The K's forward controlled the ball, adjusted himself and then sent a swerving right-foot strike low across the magnificently named keeper Frederick Burbage, who surely belongs in a Thomas Hardy novel vainly seeking the hand of a country wench.
It was a fully deserved lead and K's spent a lot of the half threatening to tear their hosts apart. It took until two minutes after half-time for it to be 2-0. Sean Clohessy, impressive as always as a marauding right-back, found himself in the box with a ball on the up and fired a sweet strike into the bottom corner, his first for the club. The attempt at a muted celebration was ignored by his team-mates who promptly lifted him triumphantly into the air, the first K's bumps since Bird flew at Macclesfield.
Thereafter, thoughts turned to the planes, new year's resolutions, substitute Eddie Dsane, and the fine acoustics of the terrace behind the goal.
And then: Jamie Cureton, legendary 44-year-old goalscorer, slotter of 40 strikes last season, came on to the field. In the 89th minute Stortford won a penalty, fairly awarded it must be said, and Cureton calmly rolled the ball to Rob Tolfrey's left. Then, deep into injury-time, Cureton was found with a raking pass, advanced on goal, seemingly one-on-one with the net gaping, K's fans wailed in fear as an equaliser loomed, the bench gasped, but the ball somehow skipped on, made it as far as Tolfs who trapped it between his sturdy legs before crumpling gratefully to the ground.
Like i said, a stroll. Never in doubt.
Bishop's Stortford: 1 - Fred Burbidge, 2 - Jordan Wescott, 4 - Jack Thomas, 5 - San Robbins, 6 - Ryan Henshaw, 8 - Alex Warman, 10 - Lawrence Mullins-Hammond, 11 - David Manu, 15 - Alfie Mason, 16 - Jayden Sweeney, 20 - Shomari Barnwell.
Subs: 7 - Matthew Campbell-Mhlope (for Alfie Mason, 51m), 9 - Jamie Cureton (for Lawrence Mullins-Hammond, 65m), 14 - Matt Baxter, 17 - Mark Haines (for Alex Warman, 55m), 18 - Bradley McClenaghan.