ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
TOMMY THOMPSON CUP – ROUND 1.
COLNE ATHLETIC FC: 1. BURES UNITED FC: 1. (AET)
BURES UNITED FC WIN 4 – 2 FROM SPOT KICKS.
Date: Saturday 16th December 2017. Venue: The Bayard Recreation Ground, Brightlingsea
Another cold Saturday afternoon, bright and sunny at the start but pretty gloomy at the end, after two hours of open play and a penalty shoot-out between, two evenly matched teams for this Tommy Thomson Cup Tie. League newcomers Colne Athletic FC, currently second, have so far swept aside every team in Division Three winning thirteen straight matches, scoring 79 goals with only 7 goals against. Bures United FC are lying second in Division Two having won all of their eleven matches so far scoring 50 goals with only 5 goals against. So two unbeaten teams, albeit from different divisions but knowing that one or the other would lose today, my pre-match prediction was a tight game, few goals but with extra-time and probably penalties to decide the eventual outcome, so got it spot on this week!
The match official was Robert Cox, who, by quirk of the appointments system had refereed the home team the week before, personally I don’t think that should happen but I have no influence on that. It was also clear that both teams, who I had already watched this season, were hampered by unavailable players, either injured, working, suspended, maybe Christmas shopping, one whose partner was in labour, that said, Bures had arrived with only the bare eleven players.
Bures kicked-off and early free-kicks followed with Homewood fouling Wood then Prince did likewise on Thomson and a long throw-in from Vaughan was held under his cross-bar by keeper, Waterfield, Knebel played Durey inside and he found Wingfield whose first time pass fell to Prince who was caught off-side. With the short and narrow Bayard Recreation Ground pitch both teams still adopted a long ball approach as both teams had quick wingers who could use their pace to get round the respective defences. Keeper, Waterfield possesses a huge left foot clearance and Schofield headed away for a throw-in from where both Yearling and Wood received injuries and when Bures attacked from the restart a goal-mouth scramble was cleared but the consistent use of the Waterfield clearance was forcing the home defence deeper to deal with the fall-out with Thomson, Edmonds, Smith and Vaughan having to make sure their first header or control was good as Bures were looking dangerous if they slipped up. Colne perked up for their first attack of note with Rogers getting the ball down to Yearling whose shot was weak and Waterfield saved and in the next attack a long cross from Smith towards Milburn was comfortably held, again by Waterfield, jumping on his goal-line. Wood was pulled up for a high foot but Milburn had also stooped low to head the ball and already the game was punctuated by numerous free-kicks.
Hubbard put a free-kick just over the cross-bar from the half-way line and his next curling effort almost found the head of Wingfield after Homewood had fouled Knebel however on twenty minutes of fairly even play another free-kick from Hubbard was headed home by JACK DUREY who left his marker standing to run across the home defence to send a great header past Ringe who had little chance to save. Thomson headed clear a high clearance from Waterfield but Milburn caught Finch with a late challenge to earn the first caution of the match, Hubbard took the free-kick but Prince fouled Thomson with the free-kick finding first Schofield and then Milburn who returned the ball into the path of Schofield who over-ran the ball before colliding with Knebel. When Finch fouled Rogers the home player was cautioned for dissent, born out of frustration, with the free-kick taken by Vaughan failing to trouble the keeper but probably doing more damage to the garden behind the goal. Colne Athletic were not having much time on the ball as Bures chased every move down with only the persistence of Schofield whose control and drive forward almost set up Yearling but another weak shot was gathered by Waterfield whose long clearance bounced once before being caught by his opposite number, Ringe.
On thirty-three minutes Ringe saved at the feet of Wingfield after a poor back-pass from Homewood put the advancing keeper in trouble until he dived backwards to gather the ball just as Wingfield was about to pass the ball into the empty net. Two minutes later and Colne equalised, a free-kick from Thomson was held up by Rogers and when he laid the ball back, JOSHUA MILBURN rifled the ball home through a crowd of players. A short goal-kick from Ringe almost put Edmonds in trouble as Prince chased him down across the penalty area and Vaughan made a timely interception when a ball from Knebel was worked forward by Durey to Hubbard and then Wingfield. When Smith charged forward down the right side his pass inside to Homewood was fielded by Tucker and Smith had to chase all the way back to rescue the situation but concede a corner, taken by Hubbard with Prince flashing a header just wide. A teasing cross from Durey found Prince who stayed on his feet despite the close attention of Thomson with Ringe saving low to his left side. Bures keeper, Waterfield has hurt when taking the ball away from Milburn and he limped away, however his long kicks continued and in the last minute of the half we all thought Schofield, for Colne, had scored when he met a fine cross from the right side by Smith but his towering header just drifted wide.
HALF-TIME: 1 – 1.
Colne Athletic restarted this close affair Knebel, for Bures winning a tackle and playing the ball forward to Prince who was fouled by Edmonds with Smith clearing the free-kick taken by Hubbard, out for a throw-in, Waterfield continued his long ball delivery with one lower trajectory kick falling into the path of the energetic Durey who ran before being dumped on the ground by Smith, whilst back at the other end Waterfield held a high cross from Vaughan. Five minutes into the half and Colne replaced the injured Milburn with Kerridge and Rogers cleverly dribbled his way through several challenges to test Waterfield with a low shot. Another passing move from Colne through Schofield, Rogers, Kerridge and back to Schofield ended when Wood recovered and get across to clear the ball out for a throw-in. Ringe was guilty of another poor clearance which put his defensive colleagues under pressure, fortunately Prince was over elaborate with his control and the chance passed by. Cheeky Durey, nut-megged not one but two Colne players on the right side when playing himself out of a tight situation to release Tucker on the far side, however his cross from the left cleared the cross-bar.
Just as in the first half there were far too many niggly fouls by both teams, Hubbard only found Ringe when Schofield up-ended Prince, a lively forward who often got his slight frame in front of a defender to almost encourage a foul. A better clearance from Ringe forced Wood and Finch to clear the ball out for a corner, taken by Vaughan but just hit too long for Kerridge to reach at the far post. On the hour mark Bures constructed a decent move themselves, started by Durey, who else, with Prince getting the ball to Wingfield who forced Ringe to save low at the near post from ten yards out. Another, soft foul, by Maiden on Prince saw Hubbard strike the ball directly to Ringe whose clearance fell to Homewood who tried his luck from a mid-half position but clearing the cross-bar, a shot at goal but from some distance and clear cut chances were not really happening in what was still a very close game, next goal the winner then! Another move started from defence by Wood to Prince then Hubbard, and Knebel set up Prince but he was crowded out by Thomson and could not get a shot away.
Rogers, although fouled was allowed to continue his run and passed to Smith, overlapping down the right side and Waterfield produced a fine one-handed to re-direct the ball as it fizzed across the six-yard box towards the head of the unmarked Yearling, stealing in from the left side. Midfielder Schofield made a decent run through midfield passing to Yearling who with his back to goal turned to get a shot away but Waterfield saved diving to his right side. Yearling fouled Knebel, Hubbard kick was cleared and Vaughan sent in a driven cross at the other end with Wanmer heading over his own goal to clear then Wood and Dolling set Tucker away with Edmonds covering in defence. When Dolling fouled Rogers , Vaughan sent in a free-kick which was met by Homewood and as the ball fell Waterfield made a great save at the feet of Rogers to concede a corner, although Rogers clearly though he had been fouled inside the six-yard box. As we entered the last ten minutes, Hubbard turned Vaughan to cross from the right side, with Maiden heading clear with Ringe beaten and as the game drifted towards extra-time this game had seen very few clear cut chances, hardly any this half and two further fouls followed, Kerridge on Hubbard and Finch on Schofield but both came to nothing and extra-time it was to be.
FULL-TIME: 1 – 1.
Colne kicked-off, Wanmer made a fine block from Rogers, Ringe made a great save from Tucker who latched onto a pass from Knebel, Waterfield saved a bouncing effort from Schofield, still end-to-end you see, Ringe caught a cross from Durey and Wood made a timely tackle on Schofield, just a she was about to pierce the Bures defensive line. With ten minutes of the first period gone Kerridge caught Hubbard with Tucker and Thomson vying for the loose ball with Durey just heading wide with a diving effort. A minute later and the Waterfield clearance found Durey scampering away down the left side with Thomson using his experience to cover the danger however, Thomson then upended Prince with a challenge that really didn’t need to be made with a penalty kick being awarded. Hubbard stepped up to blast the ball to the left of Ringe who made a fine diving save and apparently this was the first ever miss by Hubbard from the penalty spot! Could this be the turning point for Colne, was it their get out of jail card as still one goal might win this tie, the first fifteen minutes finished with Vaughan fouling Prince and be cautioned for dissent about the decision.
EXTRA-TIME HALF-TIME: 1 – 1.
Ringe made a great save to deny Prince from a lay-off by Wingfield, a Hubbard corner found Wanmer who released Tucker whose cross-cum-shot smashed against the underside of the crossbar and when it fell back into play Prince drove his shot against the foot of the post, again Colne were riding their luck by failing to clear the danger earlier. Knebel, once a winger now an attacking defender made a strong run down the right side and from his driven cross, Prince just failed to connect at the far post. Five minutes into the second period of extra-time Colne replaced the impressive Schofield with Short, maybe he can take penalties as that’s where we seemed to be heading. Rogers, in possession of the ball was adjudged to have fouled Prince, who to me had stepped across the player, with the free-kick given against the bewildered Colne player. Hubbard free-kick was cleared by Maiden then Prince won a corner from where Colne broke forward through Rogers and Yearling whose cross was headed over by Smith supporting the attack from defensive duties. Maiden shoved over Prince, Vaughan fouled Hubbard and Smith was cautioned for dissent as decisions seemed to go against his team with Prince taking the free-kick but totally missing the target and Homewood received the last caution for disputing another decision whilst Yearling planted the last free-kick over the cross-bar after he had been fouled by Wanmer. So it’s now penalty kick time or as the rule states “if the score is still level at the end of extra-time, kicks from the penalty mark should be taken to determine the winner”.
EXTRA-TIME FULL-TIME: 1 – 1.
Bures United FC started the “spot-kicks” with Hubbard striking the first firmly past Ringe but Thomson stepped up for Colne but drove his kick wide of the left upright, advantage Bures (1 – 0). Finch scored, as did Rogers (2 – 1). Prince scored as did Edmonds (3 – 2). Durey scored but Maiden struck the cross-bar (4 – 2) to give the visitors a hard fought victory.
PENALTY KICKS: 2 – 4.
So a very close game, just as I thought it would be, not a dearth of goals which I often witness on my travels but both teams virtually cancelled each other out during the whole two hours, A penalty shoot-out is always a bit of a lottery, who is brave enough to take one, epitomised by Hubbard who had one saved in normal time whilst home captain, the ageless Thomson who put his neck on the line only to miss! I seem to remember the great Denis Law being quoted as saying if you miss a penalty you are a mug, easier said than done but as a former goalkeeper myself you make a decision to dive one way and hope it comes off but credit those who did score, they were excellent penalty kicks.
Now, for my Man-of-the-Match selection, for Colne Athletic FC, Thomson, back playing after a charity trek in the Sahara, led his team by example, Edmonds alongside him was a robust foil, Schofield, a player I had not seen before was dominant in midfield whilst Rogers looked back at his best when running with the ball against a retreating defence. For Bures United FC, Waterfield is big and brave goalkeeper who possesses a huge kick, Knebel, a winger turned defender was always probing, Captain, Wood and Wanmer missed very little in defence and live-wire Durey and the elegant Hubbard from midfield were the play makers, however with only a bare eleven players available, let’s not pick an individual so let’s call it a collective team effort, well done.
COLNE ATHLETIC FC: Colours: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts and Navy Blue Socks.
Elliot Ringe., Daniel Smith., Josh Vaughan., Jamie Edmonds., Jamie Thomson (C)., Joshua Milburn., Craig Maiden., Luke Rogers., Scott Yearling., Daniel Homewood.
Assistant Manager: Scott Yearling.
Used Substitutes: Matthew Short., Mark Kerridge.
Unused Substitutes: Peter Smythe.
BURES UNITED FC: Colours: Black & White Shirts, Black Shorts and Black & White Socks.
Kurt Waterfield., Oscar Knebel., Adam Dolling., Shane Wanmer., Jake Wood (C)., Lloyd Finch., Jack Durey., Jack Hubbard., Courtney Prince., Tom Wingfield., Connor Tucker.
Manager: Denis Handley.
Referee: Robert Cox (Holland-on-sea).
Man of the Match: The Team. (BURES UNIETD FC)
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