ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
BURES UNITED FC: 4 CONNAUGHT RED STAR FC: 1
Date: Saturday 14th October 2017. Venue: Bures Recreation Ground
This week a first visit to a Division Two match, second placed Bures United FC against eighth placed Connaught Red Star FC, both teams had joined the ESBFL last season and gained promotion in their first season so today would be an indication how these clubs have progressed, or not as the case maybe.
To be fair the home team had played seven games with one defeat, that being against the now defunct Holland FC “A” so a league table adjustment will be forthcoming. Connaught Red Star FC on the other hand had played only three games with another being postponed last weekend when Boxted Lodgers FC Reserves were unable to raise a team so another adjustment of points is in the offing! Connaught had signed two players on before kick-off and had Troy, normally an outfield player, in goal and would be hampered by what looked like a broken collar-bone to defender Taylor after only five minutes.
Today, the match official was Keith Barron who would be assisted by the respective Club linesmen and in a game played in an excellent spirit, there were no cautions, so to every other team in the league, it can be achieved!
Bures kicked off on an excellent looking flat pitch that had recently been cut, there was no noticeable breeze and even I managed to leave my coat in the car such was the temperature at three o’clock. Connaught played the ball long out of defence and Bures did likewise particularly from the respective goal-keepers, but on five minutes a long high ball from Waterfield bounced once before Wingfield and Taylor challenged in the air with the unfortunate Taylor landing heavily. With Taylor unable to take any further part of the game, Lewis entering the game in a straight defensive position swap, the early diagnosis for Taylor was a broken collar-bone, we wish him well for his earliest recovery. Bures picked up the pace as Connaught sought to reorganise, Wallis, Durey and Wingfield linked up to release Hubbard who had strayed off-side. Durey, a tricky winger, waltzed through and round three tackles before keeper, Troy timed his interception to claim the ball. Dorey for Connaught used his extremely long throw-in technique to launch the ball towards the far post where Carter just failed to make contact as Wanmer challenged. Connaught attacked again through Carter, Howe, Hynes and Walker with Dorey heading over the goal.
Bures took the lead on fifteen minutes, a long ball from Waterfield found Wingfield who controlled and laid the ball into the path of COURTNEY PRINCE who ran on to score with ease. Connaught were back on their heels again soon, when Wingfield skipped past Thurston forcing Troy to save low down to his left side whilst at the other end new signing Hammon sent over a long cross that had Waterfield back-pedalling before the ball landed on the roof of the net. On twenty-two minutes a foul, wide on the right side by Walker on Prince stopped a potential break for Bures, Hubbard took the free-kick, Wingfield, miscued the ball wide where Durey retrieved to send the ball back across the penalty area but too long to cause any danger. Connaught had not read the danger signs and new signing Sambou was guilty of a rash challenge on Wingfield right on the penalty spot from where JACK HUBBARD fired home giving Troy no chance to save. The response from Connaught saw Thurston cross towards Howe and a throw-in from Dorey found Lewis whose deep cross was taken under the cross-bar by Waterfield. Bures replaced Prince with Smith on twenty-nine minutes and three minutes later another long throw from Dorey was headed back to Waterfield by Wood.
It had taken more than half an hour for Connaught to have a decent shot at goal when Hynes sent one in which Waterfield held before kicking left footed to Wingfield who was dumped on the ground by Lewis, a no nonsense defender! Hubbard took the free-kick, Thurston cleared to Durey whose cross found the unmarked Smith who headed straight at Troy, easier to score than miss!. Midfielder Finch and Durey forced a corner off Thurston, taken by Durey finding Smith whose close range header was turned onto the cross-bar by the athletic Troy with Sambou clearing up-field with an overhead kick. It was clear that Connaught needed to hold the ball up they were not playing badly but gave the ball away too easily with rushed passes which made the game comfortable for Bures to defend. Finch used his feet to dance through two tackles and when he found Durey the winger nut-megged Thurston to run onwards before Lewis got across to cover at the expense of a corner. Sambou was beaten for pace by Wingfield and Lewis again covered for his defensive partner, the same two players having another tussle soon afterwards and the half ended with Kenny and Hammon clashing inside the centre-circle.
HALF-TIME: 2 – 0
Connaught started the second half with Isom, Dorey and Isom again finding Howe who rounded Wallis to cross into the penalty area where Wanmer cleared towards Wingfield who fouled Lewis but a more positive start from the visitors. Wingfield and Lewis rekindled what seemed like a personal battle and when Lewis found Hynes and then Dorey the final ball found Howe who was tackled by Knebel. The passage of play continued fairly evenly, lots of effort but no end result, Lewis was hard and fair into challenges whilst Sambou cleaned out both Wingfield and Hubbard in one over enthusiastic tackle. Hubbard took the free-kick curling the ball just too high and wide of the goal and at the other end Howe jinxed one way then the other to turn and shoot weakly towards Waterfield. On the hour mark Carter for Connaught showed some nice touches and close control, in tight situations, and he was even prepared to chase down any ball played forward with Hammon and Thurston also pushing forward but these attacks lacked a decent final cross.
On sixty-two minutes Waterfield sent a long ball wide to Wallis stationed on the far touch line and from his left foot cross, advancing keeper Troy called for the ball but CHRISTOPHER SAMBOU intervened to head into his own goal. A goal for Connaught followed two minutes later when JONATHAN CARTER turned sharply inside the penalty area, this from a free-kick from Thurston and he rolled the ball wide of the dive of Waterfield, is this the sign of a come-back! Keeper Troy made an excellent save to deny Wingfield who latched onto a pass from Durey who had left Thurston behind with his pace. On sixty-eight minutes Bures replaced Hubbard with Liskus and Connaught replaced Sambou with Cole only for Smith to receive a head injury inside the centre-circle which required treatment and a short stay off the pitch. Isom and Walker then Hynes got the ball forward to Howe whose shot took a big deflection off Wood before bouncing to Waterfield. A long throw-in from Dorey led to a foul on Hammon by Kenny in central midfield, Carter stepped up to place the curling ball over the defensive wall but straight into the arms of the home keeper.
Connaught kept up their belated pressure efforts with Isom finding Howe and from his ball forward Dorey took the ball in his long stride before Waterfield blocked the effort on goal right on the edge of his penalty area. The frustration of Howe led to a poor challenge through the back of Wingfield, probably the only tackle of its kind throughout this game, which earned a verbal taking too, but no caution. Connaught made their last change with England replacing Thurston with ten minutes remaining but he had not even touched the ball when Bures scored their fourth and final goal. Wallis took a throw-in down the left side with Smith chesting the ball down into the path of HARRY LISKUS who ran on to stroke the ball home across the face of the goal giving Troy no chance to save. Carter for Connaught made a determined run through midfield but over-played the final ball with colleagues up with him and the final attack saw a cross from Walker made Waterfield work to catch a high cross just under the cross-bar with Isom challenging.
FULL TIME: 4 – 1
A decent tight game despite the score-line, especially from the home teams perspective, Connaught fought all the way but Bures just had enough players who could score goals to control and win this game, aided by a penalty and an own goal meaning Bures stay second in Division Two and Connaught stay eighth with games in hand.
Now, for my Man-of-the-Match selection, for Connaught, Troy played well despite conceding four goals, the loss of Taylor clearly hampered his team but Lewis was a more than adequate replacement and played well, Dorey and especially Carter ran their hearts out with little end result other than the goal from Carter who looks a good prospect. Now to home team Bures, Waterfield looked assured throughout with good distribution from the back, Knebel was confident and prepared to get forward, not shirking any challenge either. Durey on the left will always cause problems with his pace, non-stop running and commitment, likewise Hubbard and Finch, both more of the grafting type with Wingfield prepared to hold play up and try to use Prince who looked lively when he scored but sadly departed with an injury. To be fair, Bures looked a useful team so singling out one player was difficult but I’ll go with their managements choice, defender Knebel, who looked effective in the first half but when playing in front of me during the second half showed more of his ability to both defend and attack with good distribution.
BURES UNITED FC: Colours: Black & White striped Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.
Kurt Waterfield., Oscar Knebel., Hunter Wallis., Shane Wanmer., Jake Wood (C)., Adam Kenny., Jack Durey., Jack Hubbard., Lloyd Finch., Tom Wingfield., Courtney Prince.
Managers: Denis Handley.
Used Substitutes: Darren Smith., Harry Liskus.
Unused Substitutes: Harry Fryer.
CONNAUGHT RED STAR FC: Colours: Red & White Shirts, Black Shorts and Red & White Socks.
Daniel Troy., Kieron Hynes., Sam Walker (C)., Craig Isom., Nathan Taylor., Christopher Sambou., Jack Thurston., Matthew Dorey., William Howe., Jonathan Carter., Keith Hammon.
Manager: Craig Isom.
Used Substitutes: Michael Lewis., Steven Cole., John England
Unused Substitutes: Jake Dow.
Referee: Keith Barron (Boreham).
Man of the Match: Oscar KNEBEL (BURES UNITED FC)
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