ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
BOXTED LODGERS FC: 1 TIPTREE JOBSERVE FC: 2
Date: Saturday 07th October 2017. Venue: Cage Lane, Boxted
This week a first visit to a Division One match, eleventh placed Boxted Lodgers FC hosting fifth placed Tiptree Jobserve FC and the teams had already met on the first Saturday of the season with Tiptree winning by four goals to one. Sadly Boxted Lodgers FC Reserves had been forced to call off their scheduled Division Two league match due to a lack of available players, a trend that seems to have surfaced in the league much earlier this season!
Today, the match official, Stuart Hannam, was, officiating his third game involving the home team in their eight outings to date this season and throughout he was on the spot, making clear decisions and having control with only one caution, for dissent late in the game.
With the strong breeze blowing across the hard but well prepared pitch, Tiptree Jobserve FC kicked off, lost possession and allowed the home team to attack down the left side but this foray was short-lived as Tiptree gained confidence to attack themselves, being quicker to the ball. Watts took a full blooded cross from Lamb, into his nether region and needed some treatment before returning after stand-in goalkeeper Halls held a long throw-in on the left side. Barham was caught off-side from a pass from Lamb, his goal-bound effort being saved by Halls with James putting the loose ball into the net only to hear the referees whistle sound for the obvious off-side situation. Adams for Boxted and Billimore for Tiptree were spoken too for a centre-circle spat, we used to call it “hand-bags” but after being calmed down play resumed with a free-kick to the visitors. Halls made a fine save from Billimore who ran onto a flicked headed forward pass from Trussler. With ten minutes elapsed this game was already competitive but some players were panicking when on the ball as they invariably had no time to dwell on the ball before being challenged.
A long free-kick from Brace was gathered by Ponta, he advanced he called and gathered from just in front of Howard. Defender Lavender fouled Boyton, the free-kick taken by James was high and Seldon headed clear as Wiggett challenged and Boxted seemed to have sat back and were letting Tiptree dictate the passage of play, Adams had to track back to stop Trussler and Lavender chose row “Z” for a clearance. Barham and James linked up to find Boyton who won a throw-in launched long and headed clear by Watts. On twenty minutes a long chase by Rowe led to Hudson heading clear for a corner, taken by Angel with Ponta opting to punch clear and Boxted were now competing across the pitch with Rowe over-running the ball when driving forward at the Tiptree defence. Keeper, Halls advanced from his penalty area to clear when Joyce got past Watts and Osborne and Howard made a decent break forward until the intended cross from the right side failed to materialise, it’s that final ball syndrome again and Howard was a willing runner to any long ball forward. A break from Tiptree led to a corner off Lavender, taken by Joyce and headed clear by Adams and on twenty-five minutes, a goal, slightly against the run of play, as Boxted went in front when a quick break, two defenders against two forwards, saw Osborne find CONOR HOWARD who ran through the gap and despite the advancing keeper, Ponta, parrying the ball it had enough strength to keep rolling into the empty net.
Buoyed by this lead Boxted had another chance when Angel found Howard with Ponta again forced to save at the feet of Howard, then Adams sent a long ball forward towards Goddard but Wiggett intervened and cleared up-field. Boxted did not want to relinquish their slender lead and put in some telling tackles and then break forward with Trussler fouling the industrious Rowe, Angel took the free-kick and Watts just failed to connect with his head at the far post. Trussler headed against the cross-bar as Tiptree retaliated, this from a cross from Joyce and the pace of the game did not drop when a long diagonal ball from Watts found Brace galloping down the left side to beat Lamb and cross into the six yard box where Ponta gathered. Ponta was again in action a minute later saving at full-stretch from a shot by Adams and from his clearance Halls plucked a high cross out of the air from a break by Joyce as his defence, marshalled by Seldon and Watts snuffed out any real chances to score. Goddard held the ball up well for Boxted and a rare error from Wiggett almost cost a goal when he gave the ball away with an under-hit pass allowing Brace to find Goddard whose run and shot just cleared the corner of the post and cross-bar, decent effort but they must be taken in a game as tight as this!. Rowe continued to harass the Tiptree defence and when they cleared, long, Osborne found Barham but with his back to goal his high effort was never going to test the home keeper, Halls and half-time was reached.
HALF-TIME: 1 – 0
Tiptree Jobserve replaced Boyton with Williamson immediately at the second half restart as Boxted kicked-off with Lavender stooping low to head the ball away, missing it completely with the ball hitting his standing foot and going out for a throw-in, comical defending perhaps but effective if nothing else! Boxted continued to press forward with the advantage of the slight slope. When Halls made a right hash of clearing a back-pass the ball fell to Barham whose first touch let him down only for him to go to ground under a soft challenge from Seldon, no free-kick was given and the home captain cleared forward to Rowe. Goddard was caught marginally off-side as Tiptree pushed quickly out of defence and at the other end James was likewise caught off-side as Boxted pushed out to a high position. When James picked up a loose ball on the half-way line his penetrating run past three defenders was thwarted by a fine save by the feet of Halls at the near post, conceding a corner. Barham for Tiptree was like Adams and Rowe for Boxted covering a lot of the midfield playing area and captain Seldon admonished his team for some sloppy play as Tiptree raised the tempo of the game.
Ten minutes into the second half and Hudson pulled up when chasing Osborne who ran on to draw the keeper, Ponta, who made a fine save whilst the unmarked Goddard screamed for the cross-field pass. Tiptree made their second substitution with Captain, Hudson unable to continue leading to Harvey entering the game in a forward role and Barham taking over the captains armband. A break by Howard should have led to a goal but Ponta saved right on the corner of the penalty area and another chance went begging when Goddard found space, received the ball but blasted it well wide with only the keeper to beat, a costly miss perhaps! Joyce forced a corner off Seldon and with the ball not cleared by the home defence DEAN HARVEY took on Watts before driving the ball home across the face of the goal and past several defenders into the far side netting and a long awaited equaliser, a potential game changer of a goal. Twenty-five minutes still remained so who knows what might happen, I certainly thought the next goal might be a winning goal but who would get it as a draw certainly looked likely at this stage. A Tiptree free-kick taken by James led to a corner on the right side, taken by Trussler with the unmarked Harvey heading wide at the far post, so close! Boxted replaced Goddard with Lopez-Suarez with for Boxted Lodgers, Lavender, Adams and Rowe playing well and with Barham and James instrumental for Tiptree Jobserve.
Adams was involved in another clash, this time with Williamson, not sure what actually happened but sensible refereeing saw the incident result in another lecture for both players and a free-kick to Boxted. From the free-kick Angel drove the ball forward with Seldon just failing to get a long leg onto the free ball on the six-yard box and fifteen minutes remained when Boxted replaced Angel with O’Donovan, Trussler fouled Adams, who took the free-kick himself with Ponta punching clear before being clattered by the late arrival of Watts at the far post. Halls made a timely fingertip save to deflect a ricochet when Brace and Williamson challenged for the ball, the ball just clearing the empty goal, Trussler took the corner and Halls elected to punch clear. A strong run and cross by Harvey down the left side just eluded Williamson who had found space wide on the right side and we entered the last ten minutes of normal time. Both teams made their final substitutions with Tiptree replacing Billimore with Anderson and Boxted replacing Brace with Lawson and as both teams looked for the winning goals, gaps started to appear. Ponta made a great save to stop a low cross-cum-shot from O’Donovan then a long free-kick from Watts was held on his goal-line by Ponta leading to Osborne charging down a clearance by Wiggett but his pass inside found O’Donovan in an off-side position.
Both teams kept plugging away and a draw still looked certain, Halls saved a long range effort from the half-way line by Lamb and with five minutes remaining Howard was cautioned for dissent following a close off-side decision going against his team. Williamson picked up a throw-in from Trussler to weave his way across the pitch before firing over from twenty-five yards then Watts fed Howard with Rowe fouled firstly by Barham then Harvey with play being brought back for the first offence. A late free-kick through Brampton to Wiggett saw Seldon head clear to Halls and when we entered injury time, Lavender was adjudged, correctly, in my opinion, to have challenged Harvey, not for the first time either, from behind just inside the Boxted half. The ball was launched long by Lamb and with the Boxted defence failing to do their job KEVIN BARHAM slide in to direct the ball goalwards only for keeper Halls to let the ball squirm under his body and into the back of the net. I suppose persistence pays off but it was cruel blow to Boxted Lodgers who deserved at least a point whilst Tiptree Jobserve accepted their “get-out-of-jail” chance and there was no time to restart the match.
FULL TIME: 1 – 2
Both teams deserve some credit for their footballing efforts in another entertaining game which was a close affair, a draw probably would have been the fairest result until that killer goal deep into stoppage time, now what did Alex Ferguson used to say about the duration of a match!
Now, for my Man-of-the-Match selection, both teams had players who worked their socks off, for Tiptree Jobserve, keeper Ponta made several important saves, joint player-manager Barham was everywhere, Billimore looked a useful player as did James whilst the introduction of substitute Harvey turned the game his teams way with their equaliser and for drawing the foul which led to the winning goal. For Boxted, stand-in keeper Halls had done well until his last minute faux-pas, defenders Seldon and Watts looked solid with Lavender playing his part, Adams worked tirelessly in midfield, Goddard will rue missing two glorious goal-scoring opportunities but for me it was Rowe who caught my eye with an all action display for Boxted Lodgers FC.
BOXTED LODGERS FC: Colours: Red Shirts, Red Shorts and Red Socks.
Jacob Halls., Brett Angell., Scott Brace., Daniel Watts., Alan Seldon (C)., Christopher Lavender., Luke Adams., James Osborne., Conor Howard., Paul Goddard., Jordan Rowe.
Managers: Stefan Falla and Steven Driver.
Used Substitutes: Daniel O’Donovan., Christian-Chope Lopez-Suarez., Andrew Lawson.
Unused Substitutes: Ashley Stallan.
TIPTREE JOBSERVE FC: Colours: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts and Blue Socks.
George Ponta., Michael Lamb., Kurtis Brampton., Mark Hudson (C)., Glen Wiggett., Ryan Trussler., Harry Billimore., Kevin Barham., Jake Boyton., Bradley James., Sam Joyce.
Manager: Glenn Wiggett and Kevin Barham.
Used Substitutes: Michael Anderson., Dean Harvey., Ben Williamson
Referee: Stuart Hannam (Walton-on-the Naze).
Man of the Match: Jordan ROWE (BOXTED LODGERS FC)
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