ANDREAS CARTER ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
TIPTREE HEATH FC: 2.
BURES UNITED FC: 1.
Date: Saturday 22nd April 2017. Venue: Feering Community Centre.
It was still all to play for in Division Three as the six new teams command the top positions with Flitch United FC starting the day in second place behind Connaught Red Star FC who have completed their fixtures, Tiptree Heath FC lay in third place and Bures United FC in fifth place but a crucial match takes place next Saturday when Flitch United FC visit Tiptree Heath FC, more about that later though. It was also my first visit to Feering although I had travelled past it almost every day for forty-one years and it’s fair to say that all those new clubs have acclimatised themselves to ESBFL football and taken the championship title right to the wire.
On a bright afternoon, the official for this Division Three match was experienced referee Andrew French who ensured the “Respect” handshake was undertaken before kick-off, this was much to the surprise of these teams, however, get used to it because the league will insist that it happens in all matches next season.
Bures United FC were to kick-off and Tucker used his feet to wriggle past Brumpton inside the penalty area having controlled a cross from Durey on the right wing and the same player was denied by a fine tackle from Briggs leading to the first corner. When Tiptree Heath FC got hold of the ball they pass and move it across the narrow pitch with ease and from an early stage it was clear both teams could play football. After five minutes, Brumpton was forced to chase back to tackle Bailey on the left side as Bures pressed towards keeper Greenwood. Three minutes later and a goal was scored when the persistence of JOE CHESTER saw him run down the right wing, cut in along the goal-line a fire goalwards where an un-named defender deflected the ball into his own net, think we can credit the named scorer as he had done all the hard work! The response from Bures was immediate with Durey using his pace to get forward but firing his shot well wide but he was clearly a danger man on the ball.
When the referee brought play back after a challenge by Brumpton on Bailey failed to lead to any advantage, keeper, Greenwood called confidently and caught the high free-kick taken by Hubbard and Durey used his pace giving chase to a long forward ball from Smith with Scillitoe getting back to make a timely tackle, in fact winning a goal kick. Chesney and Scillitoe linked up for a short corner playing the ball into Jones whose volley was held by keeper, Waterfield then Wallis at the other end saw his cross fielded by Greenwood. Chester and Hawkins worked the next opening with Tollhurst shooting wide of goal and the injured Eady was replaced by Binfield and with the visiting full-backs changing sides Dolling conceded a corner when Scillitoe tried to get round the defensive back-line. When Waterfield received an under-hit back pass from Wood, under pressure from Chesney his first time clearance scudded across the surface to reach Chester who, with an unoccupied goal only managed to lift the ball over the cross-bar from twenty yards. Waterfield suddenly became the busier of the two keepers saving at full length from Chesney who latched onto a forward pass from Chester.
When Bures tried a quick break, with Tiptree Heath up-field on an attack the ball was handled inside the centre-circle by Speller but with Bures still in possession the referee waved play on as Bailey had possession and when play eventually stopped the home defender was rightly cautioned. When Wanmer tried a back-pass to his keeper, Waterfield showed some excellent footwork to reach the ball ahead of Chesney and then dribble the ball out to clear. Bures had started brightly but as the half progressed Tiptree Heath had raised their game and were the more dominant side as we reached the half-hour point but the skill of Durey running in from the left side this time almost set up Wallis who opted to return the pass to Durey who shot wide. A long range effort from Hawkins almost tested Waterfield with the ball bouncing up in front of him on the hard bumpy surface and Waterfield made a fine save to deny Chesney whose shot was definitely goal-bound until the keeper reacted.
Durey continued his positive attacking approach down the right side and Briggs was forced to block a driven shot out for a corner which was cleared up-field by Newman to Chester and Chesney whose interplay broke down when keeper, Waterfield intervened. On thirty-seven minutes, Wood, the Bures captain, was spoken to by the referee after he thought there had been a foul committed in the lead up to the last Tiptree Heath attack, didn’t see it that way myself! On forty minutes a pass from Smith fell kindly in the path of JACK DUREY who stroked home a fine volley from the corner of the penalty area giving keeper Greenwood little chance to save. Durey was then hurt in a goalmouth scramble whilst back defending, falling awkwardly but requiring treatment, and when Tucker swung a careless leg in an attempt to clear a bouncing ball he missed the ball completely but caught Jones who was running past and a caution followed. A home throw-in from Brumpton fell to Binfield of Bures and from his pass Durey rifled a low shot just past the post with Greenwood scampering across to cover and in the last minute of the first half Hubbard linked up with Durey who crossed towards Bailey who only managed to foul Brumpton and the half ended all square.
HALF-TIME: 1 – 1
Tiptree Heath continued their attacking game straight from the restart winning a corner taken by Scillitoe to JOE CHESTER who headed home from close range and this goal forced Bures to up their own game with Durey volleying wide after Greenwoods punched clearance, under pressure from Wallis fell at his feet. Five minutes into the half Tiptree Heath replaced Newman with Hornsby whose first touch set Chester away until Wood dived into a challenge, only to get injured and be forced to retire with Kenny taking his place and keeper Waterfield taking the captains armband. The combination of Chester and Chesney always looked threatening for Tiptree Heath and only a last ditch tackle by Dolling saved the day at the expense of a corner. Smith for Bures, who had dropped back into the back four was then injured in a challenge, was forced to leave the field after treatment, meaning his team had to defend a free-kick with only ten players on the pitch!
Another foul throw-in by Tollhurst, his second, led to Bures attacking through Durey who tricked one way then the other to win a corner off Scillitoe, taken by Hubbard but Chesney headed clear and Bures were almost caught out as Chesney broke through the defence forcing Waterfield to save with his feet, the ball looping up with Jones following up but fouling Smith who was covering for his keeper. Hawkins set up Jones for a snatched volley and Tiptree Heath were doing most of the pressing with Tollhurst defending well when Durey threatened for Bures. Smith for Bures took a free-kick finding Durey, whose first time shot was blocked by Tollhurst and at the other end Scillitoe found Hawkins whose header was cleared by Smith, almost out of the hands of his keeper, Waterfield. Minutes later and Hawkins threatened again with Waterfield to the rescue and with the ball out of play Bures made their third change with Smith being replaced by Stephens and Bures had almost a completely different defensive line-up to the one that started the match.
When Wallis was fouled by Hawkins right on the “D” in a central position, Hubbard took the free-kick only for Tollhurst to rise and head clear and Tollhurst was involved at the other end delivering a free-kick into the six-yard box which bounced once before going over the cross-bar, a close call. Five minutes remained when Kenny dived heavily into a challenge on Brumpton leading to a free-kick, Bures pushed again with Stephens finding Bailey only for Greenwood to be well placed to catch the ball. In the last minute Chester ran through only to be sandwiched between both Binfield and Dolling, no free kick was given, as play continued but with the player, lying on the ground the referee stopped the action whereupon Tollhurst needlessly ran from the half-way line to remonstrate only to receive a caution for dissent.
FULL TIME: 2 – 1
A close fought game, a credit to both teams at this stage of the season, the pitch is long, narrow and bone hard with Tiptree Heath prevailing by two goals to one but Bures caused enough problems as they look to end the season with three games remaining meaning they could finish fourth, a fine achievement plus they have the Suffolk Junior Cup final to look forward too. Home team, Tiptree Heath, now guaranteed of third place, have one remaining fixture, next Saturday, against the new leaders Flitch United FC who overcame Great Bentley FC Reserves by a single goal to overtake Connaught Red Star FC who are now guaranteed at least a runners up medal. That might still change as a win for Tiptree Heath FC against Flitch United FC by four goals or more would mean Connaught Red Star would prevail on goal difference, takes a bit of working out that one!
Now for my Man-of-the-Match selection, I’ll start with Bures United Fc first, Hubbard battled throughout, Smith was a rock in midfield and then defence as injuries took their toll and in Durey, scorer of a fine goal, they have a potential match-winner. Turning to Tiptree Heath FC numerous players stand- out, Scillitoe, an under-rated but reliable full-back, Tollhurst a tower of strength in defence who blotted his chances with a needless caution, Jones and Hawkins are a threat but Chesney and Chester liven things up with goals so by scoring two Chester is my nomination this week.
TIPTREE HEATH FC: Colours: Green & Black Shirts, Black Shorts and Green Socks.
Lee Greenwood., Connor Brumpton., Ryan Scillitoe., Charlie Briggs., Jack Tollhurst., Reece Speller., Joe Chester., Jamie Chesney (C)., Ryan Jones., Max Hawkins., John Newman.
Manager: Steve Chester.
Assistant Manager: Ian Dobbins.
Used Substitutes: Joseph Hornsby
Unused Substitutes: Louis Olymbios., Cameron Ward.
BURES UNITED FC: Colours: Black & White Striped Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.
Kurt Waterfield., Thomas Eady., Adam Dolling., Shane Wanmer., Jake Wood (C)., Darren Smith., Jack Durey., Jack Hubbard., Connor Tucker., Hunter Wallis., Thomas Bailey.
Managers: Denis Handley.
Used Substitutes: Adam Kenny., Peter Stephens., Ashley Binfield.
Referee: Andrew French (Halstead)
Man of the Match: Joe CHESTER (TIPTREE HEATH FC)