ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
TIPTREE ENGAINE FC: 0. FLITCH UNITED FC: 2.
Date: Saturday 8th September 2018. Venue: Burches Meadow, Colne Engaine.
What a day for goals, no fewer than one hundred and sixty-three goals were scored in the twenty-six matches played, an average of six+ per match, so how come I only saw two as Flitch United FC beat previously undefeated Tiptree Engaine FC over at Colne Engaine, was it a poor weekend for goal-keepers, defences or were forwards on fire! Tiptree Engaine FC are the result of the merger of Tiptree Park FC who last season, finished fourth in Division One and Colne Engaine who decided to call it a day after several years in the ESBFL. The pitch at Burches Meadow, Colne Engaine looked in good condition with numerous improvements to the ground perimeter appearance this season. Flitch United FC had only started their season with a comprehensive win over Cressing last weekend and with a only small squad of players, Manager, Peter Monk was forced to play, in fact both managers week on the pitch at kick-off.
The referee, who would be assisted by club linesman was Keith Mitchell, good to see him back with the ESBFL this season, and after a brief discussion about the home keepers red jersey clashing with the red shirts of the visitors it was off to kick-off.
Flitch kicked off with Coopersmith (C) getting the ball to Burton (D) and then Butler sent the ball forward to Morgan who was caught marginally off-side on the edge of the penalty area, and Flitch were awarded the first free-kick, taken by Coopersmith (M), long towards home keeper McKay who caught the ball on the goal-line. With the pitch being shorter than most it allowed both keepers to launch long balls to each other and when the Tiptree Engaine defence headed one such ball out, it fell to Burton (D) who played in Buckland whose ball forward was controlled on the right side by Morgan who was helped by an error by defender Aves, and with space to turn Morgan found CHARLIE COOPERSMITH who ran on to smash the ball home off the under-side of the cross-bar. The home team restarted the match and Galvin raced onto a pass from Rogers (C) with keeper Taylor saving low at the near post, and Galvin tested the keeper once again running onto a ball from Hart with the keeper repeating his save. Tiptree Engaine were asking for every decision as their frustration started to show, undefeated in the league but now one goal behind, what could they do to get back on level terms!
Flitch kept up their dogged defensive duties but when keeper, Taylor sent the ball forward to Sykes he passed to Pyne who was fouled by Hart, where from twenty yards out, Coopersmith (C) crossed into the penalty area where Aves headed clear to Burton (D) who volleyed way over the cross-bar. Butler fell over the stooped back of Runicles (M) and the free-kick taken by Reynolds was cleared by defender Buckland, then keeper Taylor found keeper, McKay with a searching long ball that just reached the home custodian just before Pyne could gain possession. Hart fouled Sykes, to earn the first caution of the match, just on the edge of the penalty area, this after Rogers (T) had lost possession when dribbling out of his penalty area and when the ball was cleared Runicles (M) went down injured, only to eventually limp away. Keeper, McKay found Galvin with a long clearance before he fed Runicles (M) only for Coopersmith (M) to defend stoutly and gain the first goal-kick of the match. The injured Runicles (M) was now unable to continue and was replaced by Bergin in the twenty-fifth minute, then Pyne for Flitch used his pace to get around Reynolds and keeper McKay saved with his feet at the near post.
A long free-kick taken by Burton (D) was headed out for a throw-in by Bate and from the long throw-in, taken by Morgan, keeper, McKay intercepted the ball just inside his penalty area and from his clearance Burton (D) headed clear as the home team upped their attacking tempo. Szmodics fired over the cross-bar, Monk was lucky to get away with a push on Runicles (H) inside the penalty area, not seen by the referee but the player did fall too easily. A long throw-in by Reynolds sent Runicles (H) on a chase forward but from his curling cross to the far post, Galvin was unable to gain sufficient ground to get his head to the ball and another chance went begging. A weak shot from Hart, from a pass by Runicles (H) failed to trouble keeper, Taylor whose usual long clearance was headed out for a corner by Rogers (T), taken by Burton (A) with Buckland rising to head over the cross-bar. Flitch keeper, Taylor was caught on the shoulder by a high foot from Galvin, missed by the un-sighted referee and play continued with keeper, McKay finding Galvin who fouled Burton (A) much to the frustration of Rogers (C) who kicked the ball away to receive a verbal warning. A long ball forward from Buckland set Sykes up for a chase forward but he was caught off-side and then with five minutes to half-time Flitch scored again, when the visitors pressurised the home defence and Eaves turned the ball back to his keeper, who despite reaching he edge of his penalty area was beaten to the ball by SHANE PYNE who ran on to turn the loose ball home with his left foot. With frustrations again to the fore, Morgan was cautioned after an altercation with Reynolds wide on the far side.
HALF-TIME: 0 – 2.
Tiptree Engaine kicked-off the second half looking for a goal that could get them back into this game, defensive errors had led to them conceding two first half goals but to be fair Flitch had defended well when the home team threatened. Galvin found Hart and from a cross by Reynolds, Galvin dived in to clatter the keeper who had made a save at the near post and the attacking intent from the home team was clear. When Hart dithered in attempting to clear for Tiptree Engaine he was robbed by Morgan only for Bergin to retrieve the situation, Morgan then found Burton (A) who shot directly at keeper, McKay who cleared up-field to Hart who was fouled by Coopersmith (C), Rogers (T) took the free-kick with Buckland heading clear. A throw-in by Burton (A) towards Monk was intercepted by Galvin who played in Reynolds running in from the right side, but the shot lacked accuracy and flew wide of the goal. Reynolds had been pushed further forward this half and was seeing more of the ball in attacking positions but for a second time Galvin played Reynolds in for a shooting opportunity but once again the scuffed shot flew wide. A cross from Galvin was fielded by keeper, Taylor and Rogers (C) went over the keeper who had saved from a Galvin shot on the turn, but no foul was given with the keeper still in possession.
On fifty-three minutes Tiptree Engaine replaced Rogers (T) with Gemmell, keeper, Taylor was quickly out at the feet of Rogers (C) to gather the ball and the keeper was in action again catching a high cross from Szmodics and from the keeper’s clearance Butler sent Coopersmith (C) through but Eaves covered for a goal-kick. Two minutes later and Reynolds chased a wide ball from Galvin to gain a corner off Butler, taken by Reynolds and headed over by Rogers (C) with Reynolds going down injured to be replaced by Pomphrett and another change of formation from the home team but this was not a classic match by any means. After an hour Morgan was replaced by Rivett, perhaps tactical in view of his first half caution, Rogers (C) broke through to volley a pass from Runicles (H), over the cross-bar from six-yards out but would have been flagged for off-side in any case but another chance goes begging! Flitch, just after the hour mark put together probably the best passing move of the match, started by Butler, with Monk, Pyne, Rivett involved before the ball was played back to keeper, McKay by Bate and the home frustrations continued as their brand of football failed to produce goals.
Flitch caused more problems on sixty-seven minutes, Buckland found Pyne then Rivet took the ball on before releasing Pyne whose shot flew just wide of the goal, Tiptree Engaine then had a chance themselves as play went from end to end. Eaves found Gemmell whose cross found Galvin leaping highest but too high to score and his towering header cleared the cross-bar and with the home team continuing to attack the Flitch defence cleared at least two more chances before breaking away through Pyne, with only keeper, McKay to beat, this time the keeper thrashed the ball into touch for a throw-in. Hart put in a high challenge on Coopersmith (C) which his team defended and break forward through Aves who set Galvin up with a cross that was blasted high and wide, those missed chances kept coming and going unrewarded! Defender Buckland set off on a run down the right side, hurdling challenges from Szmodics and Runicles (H) before being clattered by Hart, who was perhaps fortunate not to receive a second yellow card! A shot from Pomphrett hit keeper, Taylor, the pass coming from Runicles (H) and Flitch made a final change with Wickham replacing Coopersmith (C). The home team should have scored when Szmodics found Hart and on to Runicles (H) whose cross was held high above Galvin by keeper, Taylor.
With ten minutes remaining Galvin should have scored running onto a defence splitting pass from Runicles (H) but he took his eye off the ball which ran through for a goal-kick, then Runicles (H) scuffed a weak shot to keeper, Taylor. Just five minutes remained when a cross-field ball from Buckland towards Pyne was handled by Bate, who was cautioned, as was Rogers (C) for dissent, however Buckland blasted the free-kick over the goal and beyond. A short corner from the home team saw the eventual cross reach Pomphrett but Burton (D) was on hand to defend, Gemmell set up Szmodics for a volley, hit straight at keeper, Taylor and with four minutes of added-on-time it was left to Galvin to do what he had done regularly, miss the target from ten yards out!
FULL TIME: 0 – 2.
As I said earlier, not a classic match by any means, Tiptree Engaine were seemingly out of sorts from the very start, conceding an early goal then another from a mis-placed back-pass just before half-time, perhaps this is the wake-up-call they need if they are to challenge for Division One honours this season. Credit to Flitch United who scored when given the chances in the first half and then defending well throughout as on another day the home team’s chances might have gone in and I was advised that no fewer than seven home shots had gone over from good scoring positions, but I’d call that poor finishing!
Now for my Player-of-the-Match choice, players from Tiptree Engaine would probably look back on this game as a bad day at the office, three injuries would not have helped neither did all those missed chances so over to Flitch United. Keeper, Taylor has a good pair of hands and dealt competently with everything kicked at him, the defence of Buckland, Butler, Burton and Coopersmith (M) was sound, in midfield Monk, Coopersmith (C), Sykes and Burton (A) battled throughout leaving Morgan and Pyne with his pace to cause problems up front. So, for me, a team effort but I’ll single out Burton (D) who did well throughout against much bigger opposition players.
TIPTREE ENGAINE FC: Colours: Yellow Shirts, Blue Shorts and White Socks.
Cailan McKay., Patrick Bate., Elliot Aves., Tyler Rogers., Ryan Hart., Michael Runicles., Harry Runicles., Jack Szmodics., Leighton Galvin., Callum Rogers (C)., Ben Reynolds.
Manager: Michael Runicles.
Used Substitutes: Kyle Bergin., David Pomphrett., Ryan Gemmell.
FLITCH UNITED FC:
Colours: Red Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.
Andrew Taylor., Charlie Coopersmith., Jake Buckland., Nicholas Butler., Peter Monk., Daryl Burton., Shane Pyne., Billy Sykes (C)., Matthew Coopersmith., Adam Burton., Mike Morgan.
Manager: Peter Monk.
Used Substitutes: Neil Rivett., Matthew Wickham
Referee: Keith Mitchell (Cold Norton)
Player-of-the-Match: Daryl BURTOn (FLITCH UNITED FC)
Additional Reporting – FACEBOOK (x2) & TWITTER
This season the ESBFL is widening its match-day reporting coverage, in addition to a full report written by Brian Reed, the league has enlisted the help of a young volunteer, Spencer Hume, who will also attend games using Facebook and Twitter to communicate up-to-date information and replicate other match reports, please make him welcome.
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