ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
BELLE VUE SOCIAL FC: 1 TIPTREE HEATH FC: 4
Date: Saturday 25th November 2017. Venue: Mile End Playing Fields, Colchester
Top versus fourth in Division Two this week, both clubs were new to the ESBFL last season and gained promotion at the first attempt, so how are they faring this season! Belle Vue had played ten matches losing just three but scoring too few goals and conceding too many goals to just give them a slender plus goal difference. On the other hand the youthful Tiptree Heath FC are free scoring, averaging just over six goals a game in their eleven league matches to date, their only defeat back in mid-August was to second placed Bures United FC who remain undefeated with nine, now ten straight victories.
This match, on a freezing cold afternoon was officiated, by Christopher Green, a late replacement after his original scheduled game was postponed, quite why the council authorised the use of the pitch located furthest away from the changing rooms when the six other vacant and nearer ones were not used I can’t fathom, quirk of the grounds-men’s mood perhaps or is it rotation., rotation., rotation!
Right its cold and the forecast is for more of the same especially when the bright sunshine dips over the trees in the distance, Tiptree kicked off and a positive start saw home keeper, Clarke punch away a left footed shot from Chesney. Precisely on one minute and nine seconds, Tiptree took the lead, keeper Clarke was guilty of a poor short clearance towards team-mate, Henry, where the alert Green took possession before passing to Chesney who played the ball further to the right side where the unmarked HARRY HAZELL had a simple task to put the ball into the back of the net. Definitely not the start that Belle Vue will have wanted but they reacted by forcing a free-kick inside the Tiptree half this for a foul on Weir by Turner. When Chesney handled the ball whilst defending, Weir embarked on a trademark run down the left side using both feet to control the ball past several players until Tollhurst made a timely challenge. Tiptree keeper Hawkins (P) launched a long ball forward into the home half where Henry, then Martyr won decisive headers and as their team pushed forward a mistake by Tollhurst set Weir through on goal but he rushed his left footed effort and the ball flew harmlessly wide. Home keeper Clarke made another blinding reaction save when Chesney, six yards out, got a soft but effective touch to a cross from Hazell, and Tiptree had already set themselves up to attack from all areas. Chesney found Turner who rounded Lewis but Debenham conceded a corner, taken by Chester (J) finding the head of Hawkins (M) but Henry cleared off the goal-line at the far post.
On fifteen minutes Tiptree increased their lead when CHARLIE GREEN latched onto a loose ball, again poor defending from Belle Vue, who despatched a goal-bound shot past the keeper with home defender Lewis unable to stop the ball entering the net. Due to a colour clash, keeper Clarke, who had been wearing a green jersey, was forced to a wear an orange bib as players became confused inside the penalty area. Already, Belle Vue had been forced to defend in numbers as the expansive passing game of Tiptree had given them a two goal lead and threatened to provide more as the half progressed. A fine cross field ball from Green found Turner running forward on the right side to find Chesney, whose lay off to Green, resulted with the ball screaming just over the cross-bar. Belle Vue won their first corner after twenty-two minutes when Weir forced Turner to concede, taken by Grimes but Hawkins (P) plucked the ball out of the air inside the six-yard box. Tiptree, through Green with a low cross, found Chesney who should have scored a third but from two yards out managed to scoop the ball over the cross-bar with keeper Clarke helplessly watching proceedings. Chester was firstly fouled by Quinney, then Debenham with the referee bringing play back to the half way line but when the free-kick was cleared, Belle Vue defender, Lewis, received a head injury and the game was stopped.
Galvin, for Belle Vue strode forward on the half-hour point, passing to Grimes and on to Weir whose fine goal-bound shot was met by an excellent full length save by Hawkins (P), however the loose ball fell to Quinney who had the simplest job to put the ball into the empty net from inside the six-yard box, that was until Briggs appeared and cleared the ball off the goal-line and Hawkins (P) recovered to pick up the loose ball, so would Belle Vue rue that golden opportunity! Belle Vue pushed forward again through Weir, Martyr took a long throw-in with Grimes trying a volley which was blocked then cleared by Thurston for a corner. Defenders Henry and Debenham made a timely block on Green having initially lost sight of the high ball in the bright sunshine, with Gasson-Davies completing the clearance to Weir who ran forward with Galvin, Davis and Grimes in support but they overplayed the final ball and Hawkins (P) collected. Hawkins (M) and Ward forced Clarke to parry a shot with Hazell blasting a decent effort high and wide whilst at the other end Weir fouled keeper Hawkins (P) when chasing a through ball from Grimes. From the restart the long ball from Hawkins (P) fell into the path of Hazell but he was stopped when Clarke advanced to take the ball off his toes but it should have been the third goal. With five minutes of the half remaining, Grimes was spoken too by the referee, this after tripping Ward, the free-kick from Thurston found the head of Hazell whose return ball into the penalty area was headed wide by Ward. On forty-three minutes an individual goal was scored by CAMERON WARD who ran on to a clinical pass from Thurston, this after the ball had cannoned back off the referee who little chance to dodge the flight of the ball when turning into the low sunshine, Clarke then saved a Green free-kick, diving to his right side with Ward putting the loose ball into the side netting. We did not have to wait long for goal number four, which came two minutes into time added on, as with Tiptree still pressing the ball was played into CHARLIE GREEN who hit a fine left footed shot from the edge of the penalty area that curled away into the side netting inside the goal on the far side and the half finished with Green volleying over another chance created from excellent build up play.
HALF-TIME: 0 – 4.
So what would the second half bring, apart from the cold, would Tiptree add to their goal tally or would the overworked home team salvage some pride, well we did not have long to wait! Belle Vue had replaced the injured Lewis with Ennew and they won an early corner, taken by Weir with the header from Grimes hitting Tollhurst who cleared. Again, the unfortunate referee impeded the flight of the ball as Belle Vue attacked with purpose leading to a caution, for dissent by Grimes, however the home team had come out this half with more purpose and starting to ask a few questions having been clearly over-run in the first half. Martyr showed some neat footwork when defending against Hazell and this led to a throw-in taken long by Galvin from which JOSH GRIMES slotted home as the visitors defence dithered inside the penalty area. Clarke saved again from Ward with Henry clearing the loose ball off the goal-line and this game had definitely livened up with Thurston fouling Weir, a constant threat for Belle Vue however the free-kick was cleared. Weir thought he should have had another free-kick when seemingly fouled by Turner and voiced his discontent.
Tiptree replaced Hazell with Jones on fifty-seven minutes, Tollhurst fouled Grimes, taken by Davis to Ennew whose run and cross found Galvin, but with his back to goal he could not turn quickly enough to get a shot in. On the hour mark, my feet were now feeling a bit numb, despite two pairs of thick socks so how did a supporter feel when wearing just a thin pair of trainers, not my problem I thought but please dress for the occasion! Good hold up play from Ward allowed him to set up Chester, who fired wide. Jones was caught off-side trying to reach a forward pass from Ward but defenders Martyr and Henry looked far more composed this half, whether Tiptree had dropped off from their attacking style or whether the home defenders were playing better I’m not sure. On sixty-six minutes Tiptree replaced Thurston with Speller whilst Belle Vue replaced the injured Grimes with Hazlewood, Briggs fouled Weir whilst Gasson-Davies conceded a free-kick just on the edge of the penalty area when he fouled Chesney. Green took the free-kick but Clarke saved comfortably or so we thought but Jones chipped the loose ball over the cross-bar from the edge of the penalty area.
Hazlewood unfairly wiped out Chester as he raced through, Chester took the free-kick finding Turner whose effort was saved, Tiptree replaced the impressive Green with Newman on eighty minutes and Hazelwood obviously had not learnt from his previous lecture from the referee as he cynically took out Chesney to receive a caution, could have been worse though! Belle Vue continued to put attacking moves together with Ennew finding space on the left side but like Weir and Grimes before they found a resolute Tiptree defence not willing to concede again, making their final substitution with Moakes taking the place of Debenham, his only action being to foul Ward.
FULL TIME: 1 – 4.
Tiptree Heath had done all the hard work in the first half, they continued to be dangerous throughout the second half without scoring again, but Belle Vue did defend better, scored an early goal but could not add to their own tally, a legacy of their season so far perhaps.
Now, for my Man-of-the-Match choice, for Belle Vue, keeper Clarke may have been beaten four times but was on hand to save on numerous other occasions, Martyr and Henry played better in the second half, Galvin and Grimes grittily battled away up front with Weir their best player, often selfish on the ball, but a willing runner with good close ball control. Now for Tiptree Heath, this was very much a team effort, they are a young side that has been together for some time and their pass and move ethic is a credit to the management team who have high hopes of some silverware this season. Defensively they were hardly troubled but in midfield through Chesney, Hawkins and Chester and up front through Ward and Hazell they have a potent strike force who both took their goals well, but Green with two goals and an impressive midfield display, to me, stood out, his range of passing was excellent as were his free-kicks and his second goal was a picture that had his teams supporters raving from the moment the ball left his foot, it was special.
BELLE VUE SOCIAL FC: Colours: Blue & White Striped Shirts, Blue Shorts and Blue Socks.
Billy Clarke., Ryan Martyr., Michael Lewis., Wesley Henry., Ryan Debenham (C)., Daniel Gasson-Davies., Joseph Davis., Leighton Galvin., Josh Grimes., David Weir., Ben Quinney.
Player Manager: Jack Thorndike.
Used Substitutes: Ash Moakes., Jamie Ennew., Shaun Hazelwood.
Unused Substitutes: Jack Thorndike., Stuart Russell.
TIPTREE HEATH FC: Colours: Green & Black Shirts, Green Shorts and Green Socks.
Paddi Hawkins., Toby Turner., Luke Thurston., Charlie Briggs., Jack Tollhurst., Max Hawkins., Joe Chester., Jamie Chesney (C)., Charlie Green., Cameron Ward., Harry Hazell.
Manager: Steven Chester.
Assistant Manager: Ian Dobbins
Used Substitutes: Ryan Jones., John Newman., Reece Speller
Unused Substitutes: Steven Chester.
Referee: Christopher Green (Colchester).
Man of the Match: Charlie GREEN (TIPTREE HEATH FC)
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