ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE
LITTLE OAKLEY FC RESERVES: 4. DEDHAM OLD BOYS FC: 2.
Date: Saturday 18th August 2018. Venue: War Memorial Ground, Little Oakley.
It was a warm welcome from Little Oakley FC when I visited last Saturday to watch the Premier Division match between the local Reserve Team and Dedham Old Boys FC, the afternoon was also warm with a slight breeze across the pitch, a pitch which once again looked in fine condition, a testament to the groundsmen at the club, which operates teams at all levels through youth to three adult Saturday teams. As is perhaps usual these days players come and go, the home club have lost some to local rivals Harwich & Parkeston FC whilst having others return from Brantham Athletic FC, but early indications are that youth players will still be promoted into these teams. Dedham on the other hand had players missing but did sport some new faces and consequently appeared under-strength but still gave a good account of themselves in a flowing match.
Today’s referee was Lee Miller who would be on his own in the middle for this match with the respective clubs providing, assistance and I have to say they all did a good job.
Little Oakley kicked off and after a slow start Little Oakley started to impose themselves winning a throw-in which Dedham defended to break forward with Valentine setting up Vitelli for a shot and Valentine got into the act himself with a shot that was blocked by Rusby who was injured in the process, requiring treatment. On thirteen minutes Sims caught a high cross over the head of Valentine and Dedham looked lively with Little Oakley having to defend with Pratt fouling Purser then Valentine got back to defend as Caudill threatened to by-pass Ruffles and a goal-kick resulted. When Little Oakley got going Pratt found Geen then Caudill forced a corner taken by Rusby with Dedham’s, new keeper, Tulley advancing to catch, Welham was hard into a challenge on Selwyn, Geen raced off down the right side with his shot deflecting off Campbell to keeper, Tulley. After fifteen minutes the pace of the game had clearly quickened with the home side more dominant, Brundle found Pratt who beat Ruffles with Valentine once again defending to win the ball and run forward only to be scythed down from behind by Pratt who received a stern taking too!
On twenty minutes Caudill found Selwyn whose left foot shot was well wide then from half-way defender Barrowcliff lost the ball to Valentine who broke forward to find Vitelli whose left footed curling effort drifted just too high and wide. From a Little Oakley corner, Geen was adjudged to have backed into keeper, Tulley, but from his clearance on the half-hour mark Little Oakley pushed forward with Purser fouling Caudill just on the edge of the penalty area, FRANKY SELWYN lined up a shot and proceeded to beat the defensive wall and the dive of keeper, Tulley, with the ball going under the keeper into the back of the net. Geen fired wide when, well-placed but made no mistake on thirty-one minutes when Purser was dispossessed which allowed MATTHEW GEEN to run along the goal-line where the keeper retreated rather than advanced to leave the near post exposed and a goal duly followed, a result of poor defensive work by the visitors!
Undeterred Dedham hit back and within two minutes JOHN VITELLI had run through to slot past keeper, Sims. Before, play resumed Dedham replaced Campbell with Baister, Welham forced keeper, Sims to save a long shot, but Little Oakley still looked dangerous especially when Geen and Selwyn were on the ball. Geen set Pratt away with Welham covering his defence and the half ended with Moseley running forward to cross but too long for any goal attempt.
HALF-TIME: 2 – 1.
Dedham restarted the match, Geen found Pratt whose cross towards Geen found the forward fouled by Halsey, another free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, Pratt stepped up but only hit the defensive wall with Vitelli fouled by Eagle as he broke away. Geen headed down a ball out of defence to run forward through the Dedham half to win a corner off Baister, the last defender. Little Oakley again looked the sharper of the two teams especially when going forward, Dedham tried to attack using various options, but the home team looked solid at the back. A run and cross from Pratt saw the ball headed away by Went then Windred (H) launched the ball forward to find Rusby whose driven cross-field ball found MATTHEW GEEN who ran around Ruffles to easily beat keeper, Tulley. On fifty minutes Windred (H) fouled Vitelli just on the edge of the penalty area, not sure what devised method they had planned but the referee was caught in the way of the first intended pass and the chance went by.
Just before the hour mark TRISTAN MOSELEY persisted against Eagle, inside the penalty area and won the ball before running at goal before slotting home at the near post to make the scores three goals to two in the home teams favour, hello, I thought, have Dedham woken up, can they now get an equaliser! Selwyn fouled Baister wide on the right side with Windred (H) heading clear to Geen who ran clear, no off-side but shooting wide. Peters, for Dedham looks a decent prospect and he was instrumental in many of the Dedham attacks but his team went to sleep on sixty-two minutes when Geen played the played the ball over the high defence allowing FRANKY SELWYN to run on, beating Baister for pace and score his team’s fourth and final goal. Harte for Little Oakley set Pratt away finding Selwyn whose left foot shot forced keeper, Tulley to save low to his right side. On sixty-three minutes Little Oakley replaced Geen with Eade who immediately ran onto a pass from Selwyn with the keeper forced to save.
Pratt set up Selwyn for another shot, again saved by the over-worked keeper, Tulley. Dedham through Peters fed Moseley who set up Welham for a volley that flew wide, but Little Oakley where now dictating play and threatened more goals, Windred (H) picked out Selwyn whose cross fell to Eade who shot wide as he slid in towards goal. When the Dedham defence stood off Eade he chanced, his aim with another volley than whistled wide of the goal and twenty minutes remained. Moseley found Halsey whose cross was headed clear by Eagle to Windred (H) whose long ball forward fell to Selwyn who rounded Baister before volleying well wide. At the other end Peters found Moseley who moved the ball onto Valentine who shot over and Dedham followed this with Halsey finding Peters whose deep cross was headed narrowly wide of his own goal and his keeper by Eagle for a corner.
Halsey took the corner kick with keeper, Sims clutching the header from Went just under the cross-bar, a direct run by Valentine saw Vitelli try to flick the ball on but Harte cleared with Ruffles gaining a corner off Barrowcliff. The corner from Valentine forced keeper, Sims to palm the ball away only to be fouled, then a long free-kick taken by Harte fell to Selwyn whose shot was well saved by keeper, Tulley. With time running down Little Oakley replaced Selwyn and Caudill with Heath and Brown, two more youngsters from the conveyor belt, and the home team remained in control with Pratt caught off-side wide on the left side. Vitelli worked an opening for a shot which keeper, Sims saved low down and with a minute to go Dedham were awarded a penalty when Vitelli was tripped Eagle. Vitelli stepped up to take the spot kick which keeper, Sims saved, clearly this was not going to be Dedham’s day!
FULL TIME: 4 – 2.
Despite the fine playing conditions this match was not a classic, two teams who on another day would probably have a closer battle, the home team deserved to win, if only for capitalising on mistakes by an under-strength Dedham team which saw goals scored from these errors.
Now for my Man-of-the-Match choice, for Dedham, I thought Peters played well, Valentine showed some nice touches and Vitelli is always likely to score goals, he just needs the service which on Saturday was sadly missing. For Little Oakley, more a concerted team effort but with two goals apiece Geen and Selwyn caught the eye but if summarising on the number of times each had the ball then Selwyn gets this week’s vote!
LITTLE OAKLEY FC RESERVES: Colours: Blue & Black Shirts, Black Shorts and Black Socks.
Sam Sims., Reece Brundle., Toby Barrowcliff., Reece Harte., Harry Windred., Daryl Eagle (C)., Robert Pratt., Brandon Rusby., Matthew Geen., Franky Selwyn., Josh Caudill.
Manager: James Good.
Coach: Matthew Windred.
Used Substitutes: Jamie Eade., Owen Heath., Keenan Brown.
Unused Substitutes: Matthew Windred.
DEDHAM OLD BOYS FC: Colours: Red Shirts, Black Shorts and Red Socks.
Jordan Tulley., James Ruffles., Dominic Purser., Liam Peters., Myles West., Robert Campbell., Tristan Mosely., Henry Welham (C)., George Valentine., John Vitelli., Matthew Halsey.
Manager: Paul Kettley.
Coach: Chris Welham.
Used Substitutes: Simon Baister.
Unused Substitutes: Philip Mason., Keenan Oboy., Samson Graham.
Referee: Lee Miller (Colchester)
Man of the Match: Franky SELWYN (LITTLE OAKLEY FC RESERVES)
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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