Fresh from their half-term break, the West Herts U14 boys hosted St Albans on Sunday in glorious early afternoon sunshine.
The game started with West Herts repelling waves of pressure from their visitors, but a swift counter-attack culminated in Matty Woods finding the net to take a 1-0 lead.
This helped the home side to grow into the game and begin to control the ball better.
However, the lead didn’t last long as St Albans fought back to score three goals in the next 15 minutes, two of which came from unmarked players in the West Herts D.
Nevertheless, West Herts reacted well to these goals and, just a few seconds before half-time, snatched a goal back, again through Woods, to go into the break 3-2 down.
At half-time, West Herts spoke about trying to maintain possession, and the second half started much more competitively than the first.
But a St Albans attacker found a way through and restored the visitors’ two-goal lead.
Then followed home sides’ best passage of play for the next 15 minutes or so, and a quick tactical switch to inject some pace in to the forward line paid off superbly.
The midfield won the ball back, finding Woods, who fed Harvey Spencer with a delicious through-ball. Spencer drove into the D and finished with aplomb – a sweetly struck reverse-hit strike on the stretch, reducing the deficit to a solitary goal again.
With West Herts pushing hard for the equaliser, goalkeeper Isaac Michaels was called upon to make a couple of superb saves, earning him the man of the match award.
There was still to be another goal, however, as St Albans netted again to secure a 5-3 victory.