Leverstock Green delivered a superb display on Bank Holiday Monday to inflict a 4-3 defeat on runaway SSML Premier leaders London Colney.
Scott Dash’s side had to overcome adversity to get the result as they were without centre-backs Shane Wood and Jack Watts, who were both suspended, young keeper Mark Berg played with a hamstring injury, and two players had to leave the game through illness at half time.
Lewis Bowers switched from centre-forward to centre-back and gave a man-of-the-match performance.
The game got off an excellent start for the Green side. In the third minute a superb through pass from Jonathan Lacey allowed Curtis Donaldson to outpace the last defender and take the ball past keeper Tom Cowans before slotting into the empty net for the opening goal.
The visitors came close to levelling in the 10th minute as Tom Silford got to a cross ahead of Berg but headed wide. Their eventual equaliser came in the 30th minute through Archie McClelland.
Four minutes later McClelland was in again. George Biggadike came in with a sliding tackle from behind and appeared to get the ball, but the referee blew for a penalty. Colney skipper Greg Shaw netted the spot kick to put his side 2-1 ahead.
The visitors’ attacking play was beginning to show why they were top of the league, and they might have been expected to go on and win the game. However, four minutes later Zak Howells delivered an excellent cross into the box from deep, and Tremayne Charles thundered into the six-yard box to volley home from close range.
Two minutes into first half stoppage time, London Colney won a free kick in a dangerous position near the goal line. The initial cross was headed away, but when Gregg Douglas crossed the ball in again, Clements was unmarked to head his side into a 3-2 lead despite protests that he was offside.
But within a minute Green had won a corner at the other end. The ball was not cleared, and as a shot from Lewis Davis was blocked on the line, Danilson Vicente came in to net the rebound and send the sides into half-time level at 3-3.
At half-time both Tremayne Charles and Ben Darby had started the game suffering from illness and neither were able to continue. Louis Smith and Luke Marsh came on. Despite their problems, it was Leverstock who made much the better start to the second half.
In the 49th minute a corner from Donaldson went right across the face of goal and was headed wide by Davis at the far post. Seconds later Lacey played a one-two with Vicente before hitting a shot that was saved by Cowans.
Another corner in the 54th minute saw Leverstock take a deserved lead. Donaldson’s corner was met by a header from Bowers which was blocked on the line, but Vicente followed up again to net the loose ball for a 4-3 lead.
Leverstock continued to enjoy more of the possession, but the visitors still threatened. On the hour Berg produced a spectacular save to tip a looping header from Mark Riddick onto the bar.
There was almost a fifth Leverstock goal nine minutes from time when Lacey crossed for Donaldson to turn and shoot, but Cowans pulled off a good save.
Berg produced more heroics during stoppage time, firstly coming off his line to block Clements, who was clean through. Leverstock then conceded a free kick in a dangerous position to the left of the penalty area. As the cross came over, a header looked goalbound, but Berg somehow managed to clear the ball off the line.
Leverstock remain in ninth position and go to Stotfold on Saturday.