Leverstock Green’s season got off to a very disappointing start as they were well beaten 5-1 by London Colney in the first round of the Herts Charity Shield on Saturday.
Paul Hunt’s side had several key players missing, but that can’t excuse a poor display against a very well-organised Colney.
It was the visitors who had all of the early chances, Archie McClelland heading wide and Greg Shaw going close twice.
Colney finally got their long-overdue goal in the 38th minute when McClelland was put through to slot home a low shot past Joel Canning.
Leverstock should have been level within two minutes. Curtis Donaldson chested down a through ball and raced clear but his attempted chip over the visiting keeper was not high enough as Tom Cowans reached up and grabbed the ball. In first half stoppage time Ben Butler had a shot blocked inside the six-yard box.
However, six minutes into the second half Colney doubled their lead as again a corner wasn’t cleared and McClelland lashed home a shot from a yard out. The game got further out of Leverstock’s reach just past the hour as Russell Gallagher shot home.
Things went from bad to worse. On 65 minutes Dan Holliman came off the bench to replace Dan Hartley, but within a minute was being shown the red card for pulling down a Colney forward just outside the box, and had not even touched the ball in his brief spell on the pitch.
McClelland completed his hat-trick in the 69th minute following a mistake from Canning, and substitute Jon Clements made it 5-0 with 16 minutes still to play against a dispirited ten-man Leverstock side.
However, there were no further goals conceded, and five minutes from time there was a consolation goal for the Green side as Karl Thomas headed home a Donaldson corner to leave a final score of 5-1.
The two sides meet again at Pancake Lane on Saturday in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.
Huny expects to have his full side available for that game which will hopefully see a much better effort from the Leverstock side.