ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
WEST BERGHOLT FC: 0. TIPTREE HEATH FC: 4.
Date: Saturday 15th December 2018. Venue: Lorkin Daniel Field, West Bergholt.
Where better to go to on Saturday than Lorkin Daniel Field, West Bergholt where second placed West Bergholt FC, on 34 points, took on third placed Tiptree Heath FC, on 30 points, a team in their first season in the ESBFL Border League, Premier Division, that said, the visitors have three games in hand. The weather forecast looked grim before kick-off and ended up being everything that had been forecast, being freezing cold, with a biting wind and later some rain that added to the mix which did not seem to deter these two teams.
The match official was the experienced Adrian Arnot, who would be assisted by Stephen Viera and Jack McKechnie and after the usual pleasantries we were ready for kick-off.
I’ve just said, ready for kick-off, well Tiptree Heath FC did start the match, playing the ball back before getting forward and after four passes down the left side, Chesney, a player who is always in the thick of the action passed to Green who played the ball behind Springett from where JAMIE CHESNEY crossed left footed towards goal, keeper, Bethell (L) came towards the unguarded near post but only managed to palm the ball which fell behind him and inside the goal at the far post, the time, thirty-nine seconds. I certainly hadn’t written that into my thoughts for the match and this was definitely a case of poor defending so early in this crucial match. The pace of the game did pick up, but the visitors were much more positive with their overall passing and movement with the home team rarely keeping the ball for any period, of time. A free-kick conceded by Kensale for a foul on Bethell (J) let them put the Tiptree Heath defence under pressure but Abrehart-Briggs headed clear then Bloomfield sent in an excellent cross from the left side that Hawkins held comfortably inside the six-yard box. A high free-kick, awarded for a foul by Webb on Chester, from just inside the West Bergholt half by Chesney almost deceived keeper Bethell (L) as when the ball bounced it took a high trajectory with the keeper scrambling to catch the ball he had parried behind him. From the keeper’s long clearance, a fine header on by Keeble found Bloomfield but full-back Grimshaw made an excellent tackle to stop any further progress. When Green beat Springett with his pace and control he was thwarted by a fine save by keeper, Bethell (L) and the home team were forced to defend regularly as the quick visitor players broke forward, almost at will.
From a spectator point of view, and there were a good few hardy souls who had braved the elements this match had the makings of a classic, but the wind was clearly going to spoil that hope, blowing predominantly across the open pitch. On twenty-two minutes Tiptree Heath increased their lead, again poor defending, well I thought so, the ball was played forward, a defender, not sure who, played a poor back-pass to his keeper who reached the ball at the same time as CAMERON WARD whose challenge saw the ball bounce once then roll agonisingly towards goal from ten yards beating the chase, in vain, from White. Another mazy run from the half-way line by Green was only stopped by a desperate challenge from Kiley, back helping his defence, then a teasing cross from Chesney was headed out for a corner by Davison.
On forty minutes, West Bergholt had their first of three real chances, Bloomfield set up Keeble who fired high and wide from inside the penalty area and when Springett played the ball to Weir his quick turn and shot flew narrowly wide of the far post and finally Keeble persisted to gain a corner which was taken by Bloomfield but Farthing missed the ball with his head when well placed. The rain had now arrived and was driving straight across the pitch making my note taking a real test of my patience but I was able to note a forward ball from Chester being played back by White to keeper, Bethell (L) who totally miscued his clearance forcing the keeper to chase back and clear the ball off his own goal-line as Ward closed in.
HALF-TIME: 0 – 2.
Before the second half started West Bergholt replaced White with Murrells but within minutes Ward and Springett collided with the unfortunate home captain having to limp off after treatment to his knee and he was to be replaced by Gibson forcing a change of formation for the home team. A foray down the left side by Kensale saw his low cross be missed by defender Farthing however, Hazell miscued his first time shot and the ball flew wide. When Chesney was adjudged to have handled the ball, it was driven at him by Bloomfield, from three yards distance, Bethell (J) took the free-kick with defender Tollhurst having plenty of time to head clear from the six-yard line! A strong back pass from Farthing almost put keeper, Bethell (L) in trouble again as the ball squirmed away meaning the keeper had to chase after the ball and clear out of play. Ten minutes into the half and Tiptree Heath scored again, Ward picked up a stray pass out of defence, his pace took him past Farthing and when keeper, Bethell (L) advanced, Ward passed to his left where Green shot goal-wards, keeper, Bethell (L) made a fine initial save but as the ball ran loose CHARLIE GREEN fired home from close range.
Whether it was out of frustration for a poor performance so far, the home team conceded some silly free-kicks, then Murrells dived in recklessly on Chesney, to earn the first caution of the match, and without heeding that warning Keeble dived in on Chester to earn a similar caution with the free-kick from Chester being held under his cross-bar by keeper, Bethell (L). A quick break involving Chester, Green, Ward and Chesney almost paid-off as they split the retreating defence forcing Davison to put in a timely challenge on the right side. On seventy-two minutes West Bergholt should have scored, a patient build up from mid-field saw the ball worked in to Weir who turned to toe-poke the ball goal-wards where keeper, Hawkins, a virtual spectator so far, was forced into an excellent save low to his right side and he was quickest to react when Murrells tried to score from the loose ball, two fine saves from the keeper, with defender, Tollhurst, getting back to clear any further danger.
A break from Hazell down the right side saw him blaze wide from out-side the penalty area with the West Bergholt defence caught too far up-field and three minutes later Tiptree Heath replaced Ward with Hunt. Davison became the third home player to be cautioned, again a poor challenge and Webb fouled Green just as he was about to break away. A cross from Scillitoe found Hazell but Davison cleared the danger and at the other end a deep cross from the right side by Weir eluded the Tiptree Heath defence, but Murrells could only head the ball wide. With two minutes remaining Tiptree Heath replaced Hazell with Thurston and before he could touch the ball Green worked his way into the penalty where Gibson, made an honest attempt to tackle, whilst he may have played the ball, his momentum took Green down and the referee awarded a penalty kick. With almost the last kick of the match CHARLIE GREEN stroked home the spot kick and give Tiptree Heath an emphatic four goals to nil victory.
FULL TIME: 0 – 4.
Definitely not a classic match, maybe spoilt by the weather, West Bergholt were caught out very early in the match, the quickest goal I’ve seen this season and they did not recover as too many mistakes were made throughout the match, with home club supporters trying to remember when their team last lost by four clear goals. The eventual score-line, in favour of Tiptree Heath, to me, was well deserved, despite all four goals coming from defensive errors but there was enough quality football played for it to have been more. This win moves Tiptree Heath within one point of West Bergholt who stay second, and the visitors now have consecutive home games against sixth placed, Alresford Colne Rangers FC and then Gas Recreation FC who still top the table.
Now for my Player-of-the-Match choice, and, it has, to be a Tiptree Heath player as they dominated this match, Grimshaw, a seventeen, year old had a fine game in defence, whilst Scillitoe, Tollhurst and Abrehart-Briggs looked solid although they were rarely tested. It’s from midfield where Tiptree Heath are strongest, the running of Chester, Chesney with one goal, Kensale and Hazell to support Ward also with one goal and Green with two goals. For an all-round performance both covering his defence, winning the midfield battles and getting forward whilst covering most of the pitch my choice is Chesney, as the captain, leading by example.
WEST BERGHOLT FC: Colours: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts and Blue Socks.
Luke Bethell., Liam Springett., Connor Davison., Anthony White., Nicholas Farthing., Jack Kiley., Jake Bethell., Kieran Webb., Daniel Keeble., David Weir., Luke Bloomfield.
Manager: Chris Tracey.
Coach: Marc Farting.
Used Substitutes: Johnny Murrells., Gareth Gibson.
Unused Substitutes: Jake Harrington.
TIPTREE HEATH FC: Colours: Green & Black Shirts., Black Shorts and Green Socks
Paddi Hawkins., Pacey Grimshaw., Ryan Scillitoe., Charlie Abrehart-Briggs., Jack Tollhurst., Ben Kensale., Joe Chester., Jamie Chesney., Charlie Green., Cameron Ward., Harry Hazell.
Manager: Steve Chester.
Coach: Garry Wood.
Used Substitutes: Luke Thurston., Callum Hunt.
Unused Substitutes: Toby Turner., Reece Speller.
Referee: Adrian Arnot. (Colchester)
Assistant Referees: Stephen Veira.
and Jack McKechnie.
Player-of-the-Match: Jamie CHESNEY (TIPTREE HEATH 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.
Reminder to Club / Fixture Secretaries
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