Blofield’s first home game of the season saw Bennett, Robinson and Cox all unavailable.
Aaron Hooper, Shaun Dunthorne & Calum Cox came into the starting line up with Medina, May & Sims on the bench.
Blofield Starting XI: Ian Stones, Andrew Fulcher, Darren Critchlow, Aaron Hooper, Isaac Mace, Calum Cox, Shaun Dunthorne, Ryan Frankland, Adam Bellingham, Ben Morgan, Rob Fryers
Bradenham Starting XI: Davison, Chapman, Fuller, Melton, Thurley, Pease, Spalding, Hunt, Childerhouse, Brien, Taylor, SUBS: Barnes, Stockwell, Gunner
Bradenham were the first to show their hand as early as the second minutes as Taylor’s long-distance strike had Stones scrambling the ball to safety.
Blofield responded and Mace’s free kick was comfortably saved by Davison.
Some great footwork by Cox in the 13th minutes saw him dance past three defenders, but his subsequent shot was smothered by the visitor’s defence.
The home side were having plenty of possession in the opening period without creating anything too clear cut and they were made to pay for this as Hooper’s rash tackle on Pease in his own penalty area in the 22nd minute, gave the away side the chance to go one up from the spot, which they did as Spalding’s effort nestled into the roof of the net.
Ten minutes later, Blofield equalised. Initially Fryer’s turn and shot saw Davison tip the ball onto the post and out for a corner. The initial danger was cleared, Frankland then played the ball back to Bellingham whose deep long pass found Dunthorne free at the back post. He controlled well and slotted his effort past the keeper to make it 1-1.
This set up the home sides best period of the game and in the 35th minute a move involving Fulcher, Cox and Dunthorne set up Morgan whose effort was well tipped over the bar from Davison.
Three minutes later, Blofield took the lead. Great work by Mays (who had come on for Fryers) saw a long ball played down the channel for Cox who expertly chipped the ball past the on-rushing Davison into the net to make the score 2-1 to the home side at half time.
Half Time: Blofield Utd 2 Bradenham Wanderers 1
Bradenham showed their intent early in the second half as a defensive mix up between Bellingham and Fulcher saw Pease through with only Stones to beat. However, his weak effort was saved by the home keeper.
Bradenham were now on top and in the 53rd minute, it looked like their pressure had earnt another penalty as Critchlow (in my eyes) appear to haul down Spalding in the penalty area. The away dugout and most of the Bradenham players seemed certain a penalty was going to be given but to their astonishment, the Referee played on.
This was not the end of it though as the assistant on the far touchline, then waved his flag, presuming to inform the Ref he thought he was wrong!!! After a lengthy decision between the two, Referee Kevin Batty stuck by his initial view that it was no penalty much to the surprise of the Bradenham contingent (& to be honest, me as well!).
This did not deter Bradenham who continued to dictate proceedings. Firstly, Brien dragged his shot wide following a corner and then Childerhouse’s turn and shot was saved by Stones.
Both Brien and Taylor both had shots go narrowly wide before finally, in the 72nd minute, the away sides pressure told as a flowing three pass move saw Spalding slot past the overworked Stones to make the score 2-2.
Little had been seen of the Blofield attack but incredibly after soaking up the all that pressure, they went ahead once again a minute later. A brilliant solo run by Cox saw him waltz past two defenders and his ‘dinked’ cross was headed by Dunthorne at the far post to give Blofield a 3-2 lead.
They couldn’t hold on though and five minutes from time, Bradenham equalised for the second time as Brien’s shot was saved only for Pease to tap in to make it 3-3.
There was still time though for Blofield to miss arguably the best chance of the half as bad back pass from Fuller saw May through 1 on 1 with the keeper but his shot was parried away by Davison.
This entertaining game finished all square at 3-3 and really was a game of two halves. Certainly, Blofield had the better of the first half but Bradenham were by far the better team the second half and will argue they created enough chances to win the game. Certainly, Ian Stones was the busier of the two keepers and made several important saves.
Home manager Didwell will be pleased with his first point of the season though and will be welcoming players back next week for the tough looking home fixture against CEYMS.
Updated 19:16 - 27 Aug 2018 by Paul Warman