ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
TOLLESBURY FC: 1 COLNE ATHLETIC FC: 3
Date: Saturday 09th September 2017.
Venue: The Victory Recreation Ground, Elysian Gardens, Tollesbury.
Time for a change of Division this week, two new clubs to the ESBFL this season and a venue I had not visited since season 1983/1984, when I ran the line for Weeley Athletic FC that day when they defeated Tollesbury FC in the semi-final of the CEEFL, Amos Cup, which they went on to win on Boxing Day 1983, when a certain Mick Willmore was Manager!
Tollesbury FC were members of the ESBFL before withdrawing mid-season last year, but by retaining a strong Reserve Team last season they have rejoined and will hope to emulate their clubs previous rise to a higher Division. Under Manager John Hill they have raised thousands of pounds to refurbish and upgrade the facilities at The Elysian Gardens, Tollesbury and their large and flat pitch looked in very good condition in the bright sunshine that greeted the players.
Colne Athletic FC are a totally new Club, based around Brightlingsea and Wivenhoe who were formed over the close season but with numerous players who have played both at a higher level and with Border League experience will be most people’s favourites to gain promotion this season, a fifteen goals to nil victory last Saturday, will sadly, for them, be squashed as New Field FC have reluctantly withdrawn their club from all competitions.
The Chelmsford based match official was the jovial Alp Yavuz, a new official to the Border League and with many years experience was, in welcoming and talking to him before the match, looking forward to the challenge, and he certainly got one, as both teams went all out from the start in what was an entertaining but hard fought game.
Tollesbury kicked off and Milburn raised a high foot in the first challenge, this on defender McMillan and when play resumed Connell caught Southern, then Bright was adjudged to have fouled Thomson who lowered his head to a ball just as Bright tried to clear. Clearly both teams were fired up and when Tiffin and Barnard tangled the referee had cause to speak to Barnard who just would not let the issue go, first warning of the game! By five minutes the home team had been the slightly better team, a long throw-in from Vaughan was cleared by Wright with Machin sweeping up for his team as Tollesbury pushed forward. Home keeper, Morrissey showed excellent catching ability when he plucked a cross from Milburn out of the air, despite being clattered by his own player, Lewis. In fact I had counted ten fouls inside the first five minutes, Southern legitimately stopped a run by Milburn and as Tollesbury pressed a low corner from Lewis fell to Longdon whose, first time shot was cleared off the goal-line by Homewood.
As Colne Athletic got into gear they scored on eleven minutes, Lewis cleared up-field for Tollesbury where Barnard headed the ball forward from wide on the right side to find Rogers, good to see him playing again, and from his flicked pass inside SCOTT YEARLING ran through to slot past the advancing keeper and if that is how his team celebrate a goal then all clubs should be warned! Tiffin for Tollesbury used his pace to attack the visitors goal a challenge from Barnard followed, big shout for a penalty kick, the on-the-spot referee waved play on but I’ve seen them given but the fouls count did continue to rise. Gooch for Colne Athletic held off a strong challenge from Lewis, turning to shoot and keeper Morrissey made an excellent save when tipping the ball over the cross-bar. Gooch was then guilty of fouling his opposite number Tiffin and received his verbal warning as Tollesbury tried to use the long ball and the pace of their forwards. MacMillan received a head injury in a goalmouth scramble and the game was stopped when Smythe put the ball out of play at the other end. Vaughan got the better of Bright when blocking his run down the right side and Southern saw his long range left footed effort drift well wide as Tollesbury chased for an equaliser with good build up play from Lewis and Hill’s lay off.
At the half hour mark this game was still evenly poised, both teams were, as they say, having a go, no holds barred, despite the numerous fouls that stopped the game, keeper Morrissey almost made a costly error when he advanced to try to take the ball low down at the feet of Homewood, but by losing the ball, Milburn should have had the simplest of chances but failed to control the ball and allowed defenders to get back, with Milburn standing on the ball for a goal-kick. Another move started by Lewis found Tiffin who beat Thomson, good contest this, and from the cross Vaughan was forced to head out for a corner. Gooder took the corner and when Lewis headed down Tiffin reacted, under the close attention of Barnard, but only managed to lift the ball over the cross-bar from six yards out, a great chance. A long throw-in from Wright found Tiffin but Thomson again put his head down for the second time in this match, to clear and win a free-kick but that could hurt one day!
Home Captain, Lewis pushed the ball forward to Longdon who released Tiffin but keeper Smythe advanced to make a great save and managed to stop the rebound at the near post to concede a corner. Both these teams have some big robust but fit players and some challenges were heavy but fair, at least in the eyes of the referee who seemed to be enjoying himself. Rogers took a ball forward in his stride wide on the right side and his cross was headed away by MacMillan, I knew I had seen him before, Connaught Red Star FC last season. Yearling (S) hit the side netting from a Rogers and Milburn break and at the other end a throw-in from Southern to Tiffin was headed away by Thomson and when Southern and Barnard seemingly clashed the award of a free-kick to Tollesbury was over-turned to a drop-ball as the player pleaded guilty of feigning contact, honest players all of a sudden! Rogers again showed his experience to slip past two defenders and lay he ball off to Yearling (S) whose left foot volley flashed past the far post, would have been a great goal, if it had gone in but at half-time the match was still up for grabs despite the visitors having a slender advantage. As we left the field for half-time, the referee came up to me and said he was thoroughly enjoying the game, the standard and pace of the game had surprised him and the competitiveness was even more surprising.
HALF-TIME: 0 – 1
Colne Athletic restarted the match, some dark clouds were gathering on the horizon and my trusty umbrella was back in the car about a hundred yards away, let’s hope it stays away until the final whistle. Barnard, not for the first time, crashed into Tiffin, wide on the left side by the touch-line but the free-kick from Southern was way too long as Colne Athletic replaced Rogers with Hawkins. Thomson fouled Longdon with Southern driving his free-kick straight through the defensive wall to hit Thomson and get a corner. The visitors made headway themselves with Gooch playing in Yearling (S) whose left foot shot was comfortably held by keeper, Morrissey, then Gooch played in Milburn who beat Morrissey but defender Wright was on hand to clear with the goal beckoning with Gooch continuing to hassle any defender to win a corner taken by Yearling (S) but cleared off the goal-line by Wright at the near post with his team having to defend deep. Ten minutes into the second half and a jubilant Colne Athletic increased their lead, Barnard took a throw-in to Milburn, a quick turn, a burst of pace and a low cross that was turned home from six yards by SCOTT YEARLING, simple but effective and the stoppage allowed time for Hill to be replaced by veteran, Jones.
Two minutes later and the score was three nil to the visitors, Tollesbury were careless in defence having failed to deal with a break by Barnard and Milburn whose cross fell to RYAN GOOCH who pounced to win a loose ball and his shot on the turn took a deflection off defender Wright to enter the net at the near post. More noisy celebrations followed as Colne Athletic had probably done enough to win this game but Tollesbury did not give up the fight as a Gooder free-kick was cleared by Barnard, to Hawkins who standing in his own half turned to try a lobbed effort at goal from inside his own half, one bounce later and the ball cleared the cross-bar with keeper Morrissey still outside the penalty area. On sixty-two minutes Colne Athletic replaced Connell with Smith but Tollesbury attacked through Bright and from his low driven cross, the outstretched foot of Tiffin was inches away from making contact inside the six-yard box. Tollesbury replaced Southern with Ponder with twenty-five minutes remaining but Colne kept up the pace with Gooch finding Yearling (S) who forced keeper, Morrissey to save with his feet and the same player pulled off a fine save to deny Yearling (S). When Yearling embarked on a solo run at goal he was unceremoniously dumped on the ground by Lewis, some choice language followed but the referee had little option but to issue the first caution of the match, Yearling (S), on a hat-trick took the free-kick himself but the ball flew harmlessly over the cross-bar.
Colne Athletic made their last change with Vaughan being replaced by Edwards and Tollesbury, through Jones kept going with Longdon forcing a fine save from Smythe. A long throw-in from Wright, on the right side found Longdon but his fine shot on the turn hit keeper, Smythe to be cleared out to Jones who fouled Thomson. More chasing by Gooch forced MacMillan to foul Yearling (S) and when Morrissey came out to clear the ball fell to Yearling (S) whose curling effort drifted just wide of the far post. On eighty minutes Bright found Longdon and from his lay-off a rising shot from Keeble (S) took a huge deflection for the first of three corners, taken by Gooder with one being headed off the goal-line by Machin. Jones received his usual caution for dissent and it was from his prompting that a cross from Bright almost fell to Tiffin who was upended inside the penalty area giving SCOTT LEWIS the chance to reduce the deficit from the spot-kick. Gooch, a non-stop player who covered a lot of ground put pressure on Lewis and MacMillan as they tried to play the ball out of defence, another long throw-in from Wright found the head of Jones, the smallest player on the park and Smythe caught the ball under the cross-bar. In the dying minutes Machin blotted his copybook for a foul on Tiffin and was cautioned for time wasting as Tollesbury tried to get the game restarted, bit needless really with the game almost over a two goal advantage as well!
FULL TIME: 1 – 3.
I thought this was a thoroughly entertaining game, it was a close affair, there were more chances for goals for both teams but the game was played at a fast pace, there were committed challenges, some good football was played with perhaps the only disappointment being the number of free-kicks but don’t blame the referee who I thought had a good game. Once again after the match he said he enjoyed the match, the three cautions were avoidable but try telling that to the players concerned and he hopes to come back and do another ESBFL game in the future! Even at this early stage of the season I would expect both these teams to be challenging for honours and Division Three, once again will probably be the new teams taking centre stage in a Division that is now down to twelve teams.
Now, for my Man-of-the-Match selection, for Tollesbury, Keeble, MacMillan and Lewis looked steady in defence, Longdon worked hard in midfield as did Tiffin and Hill in attack whereas for Colne Athletic the defensive line of Barnard, Thomson, Machin and Vaughan looked solid and took no prisoners, strong challenges and big first time clearances when required. In midfield Milburn, Connell and Homewood stood out with forwards Yearling (S) throughout and Rogers, in the first half, looking dangerous in front of goal, however, midfielder Gooch was everywhere, in defence, in midfield but supporting his attack whenever possible and scoring the third goal with the aid of a deflection but you have to be in the right place to take advantage and he was.
TOLLESBURY FC: Colours: Red Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.
Lorcan Morrissey, Mitchell Wright., Philip Southern., Scott Keeble., Scott Lewis (C)., David MacMillan., Tom Gooder., Lewis Longdon., Jonathan Tiffin., John Hill., Jamie Bright.
Player Manager: John Hill.
Used Substitutes: Nathan Jones., Lewis Ponder.
Unused Substitutes: Ben Keeble., Martyn Robinson.
COLNE ATHLETIC FC: Colours: Claret Shirts, Blue Shorts and Claret Socks.
Peter Smythe., Ross Barnard., Josh Vaughan., Jamie Thomson (C)., Gary Machin., Ben Connell., Joshua Milburn., Ryan Gooch., Luke Rogers., Scott Yearling., Daniel Homewood.
Player Manager: Ben Connell
Used Substitutes: Jamie Edmonds., Daniel Smith., Joe Hawkins.
Unused Substitutes: Luke Kerridge., Marc Yearling.
Referee: Alp Yavuz (Chelmsford).
Man of the Match: Ryan GOOCH (COLNE ATHLETIC FC)
Reminder to Club / Fixture Secretaries
Once again this season the fixtures, results, referees and “kick-off” times will be shown automatically on “The FA Full-Time / The Whole Game System” ( http://full-time.thefa.com ) but would all Club / Fixture Secretaries please advice any agreed changes, as required, to Alison Willmore ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) especially for evening games and for those matches being played under floodlights etc.
KO is 3:00pm from: August to October
KO is 2:00pm in: November, December & January
KO is 2:30pm in: February
KO is 3:00pm from: March to end of season
Kick-Off times for ESBFL cup matches, are generally 30 minutes earlier than those shown above but check competition rules beforehand.
Kick-Off times for Essex County Football Association cup matches are published on the ECFA web-site.