Golders Green looked like having a bad time against Hertford Town at Claremont Road on Saturday, for in the first half the visitors showed distinctly better form and their passing and ball control were strikingly good. Golders Green secured an early lead, but Hertford quickly equalised and were generally more dangerous than the home side. In the second half, however, the visitors slowed down, and towards the end they played like a tired team, while the Green pressed with more vigour, and only good work by the Hertford goalkeeper kept many shots out of the posts.
Graves, playing at centre-forward, scored all three Golders Green goals, but credit for them must be shared, for Evans and Cochrane did good work in preparation. Cochrane, despite his lack of inches, gave a display which fully earned him his place in the team. He is a good shot on the run, and Powell did well to keep him out.
Hertford won the toss and put Golders Green to face the wind. Play opened scrappily, with Hertford rather more aggressive, and Barlow soon had to run out to clear when a pass was pushed too far forward for Halls. But Golders Green were the first to promise a score, when Cochrane broke through and shot on the run, driving the ball just wide of the post. Graves got his head to a centre from Breagan, but Powell was ready. Following a few thrusts by Hertford, Robson got the ball to Cochrane, who passed smartly to Evans, and the winger made a good run for goal but missed the net by a foot. At the other end, Barlow held a header from Halls, following a corner.
A hefty clearance by Fred Boston started the next home movement, and Graves and Cochrane combined in a nice try, but Powell held Cochrane's shot.
After ten minutes Graves opened the score, turning in a well-placed pass forward from Lovell, but five minutes later [E.] Neal equalised after Halls had struck the foot of the upright. Weak defensive work helped Hertford to this success, and soon the right wing was let through again, but from the centre Halls shot high over.
Graves lost a golden chance of restoring the lead when, well served in front of goal, he sent in a weak kick which gave Powell no trouble. An unproductive corner ended a push in which Cochrane and Breagan worried the goalkeeper, and in the next attack Graves got offside.
A thrilling moment came when Bill Boston, taking a free-kick, landed the ball in front of goal and Cochrane struck the crossbar, followed by Graves shooting across the goalmouth when a goal looked certain.
For most of the first half Golders Green starved Breagan, which was the main reason why scores were still level at half-time.
Hertford pressed at the restart, but could do no good, and when the Golders Green halves remembered Breagan their chances looked better. With Ellison, the little winger worked well, and it was bad luck when he finished with a running drive across the goalmouth. At the other end Barlow had some anxious moments, and at one time Hertford were certainly all over the Green. When the Green did get away again Graves shot straight at the goalkeeper from a dozen feet out.
He was thoroughly unlucky, however, when Breagan took a long pass from F. Boston and passed short to the centre, The goalkeeper came out, but Graves got the ball past him, only to see it roll along the goal line and clear the post.
Golders Green took the lead again through excellent work on the part of Evans, who beat the defence and centred for Graves to score. Another nearly came from Evans, and then Powell did well to save a shot taken on the run by Cochrane.
Barlow brought off a grand save from Brown to stop an equaliser, and at the other end Graves struck the upright. Near the end Golders Green put new life into the game and Hertford gave the impression of having been tired out, but their goalkeeper did splendid work and saved a considerable score against them.
Close on time the Green's third goal came, Graves nodding the ball in from a free-kick by Caswell. Twice more Graves - now playing his true game - nearly headed in off Breagan, but from a free-kick against Graves, Hertford took the ball to the other end for Brown to reduce the lead.
Luck and good goalkeeping by Powell held the score to the one-goal margin.