Millers delight on Friday night
By Jamie Manktelow
Two late Aveley goals made sure of all three points against Witham Town.
It was a tough game for the Millers in really tough conditions, swirling wind and rain didn't affect what was a good competitive game which saw the Millers eventually come out 3-1 winners with goals from Harry Gibbs, Conor Mead and Bobby Vaughan.
Sam Cowler was in between the sticks for us, making his second appearance of the season, last coming back in August in the FA Cup against Potters Bar Town. New signing Sam Bantick, who signed on the Monday prior to the game, made his debut against Witham.
Five minutes into the game and the visitors got themselves a penalty, Conor Mead took down Toby Aromolaran, ex-Miller Johnny Ashman stepped up and just about scored from the spot. He went to the keepers' bottom left hand corner, Sam Cowler got a hand on it, pushed it onto the post but the ball hit the inside of the post and went into the goal. Aveley 0-1 Witham Town.
We came back into the game through Sam Bantick who came in from the right hand side, fired towards goal but saw his effort blocked away by Pat Ahern. James Love played a ball down the right hand side, finding Sam Bantick who whipped in a dangerous ball into the box towards Alex Akrofi but Jack Kemsley got enough on the ball to take it away from Akrofi.
Jason Raad was next to take aim on the edge of the area but he as denied by Witham's keeper Collins. Collins was next on hand to deny Sam Bantick who turned and volleyed towars goal, but the keeper did well and the rebound was scrambled clear.
The visitors almost doubled their lead from a corner kick. Johnny Ashman whipped a ball into the box, it evaded everyone and neither Coyle or Ahern could get the touch needed to take it into the goal.
Alex Akrofi and Sam Mvemba both had half chances but both had their shots blocked from close range with Collins blocking Akrofi's effort and then Mvemba being denied by a block from Coyle.
It was a frustrating first half for the Millers, we did have a shout for a penalty a minute before half time, but it was adjudged to be accidental handball in the area.
Half Time | Aveley 0-1 Witham Town.
We started the second half well, Jason Raad had two bites of the cherry with Collins first denying him and then the second effort going just past the right hand post. Harry Gibbs then tried a speculative 25 yard effort which went out for a goal kick.
The Millers should've drawn level moments after Gibbs' effort, from a free-kick Jason Raad delivered to the back post, it back to Alex Akrofi who peeled off his marker to the back post but fired the ball over the bar.
In the 69th minute of the game, we finally made the breakthrough on the Witham Town goal. The corner was half cleared, Jason Raad played it to James Love who crossed into the box, it was met by a thunderous header from Harry Gibbs who found the top corner of the goal to pull us level. Aveley 1-1 Witham Town.
Massively against the run of play the visitors almost re-took the lead, the ball was given away poorly, Johnny Ashman took aim but Sam Cowler was on hand to superbly tip the ball around the post.
The Millers kept going and Tom Richardson almost found the finishing touch to divert a cross into the goal, midfielder Jason Raad was then denied again by Collins who was in inspired form.
With time ticking away, two minutes to go we finally found the goal to put us infront. Conor Mead did good work down the right hand side of the pitch, he cut back crossed towards goal, Bobby Vaughan almost got a touch on it, but the cross went all the way past everyone and found the bottom corner of the goal. Aveley 2-1 Witham Town.
Deep into added on time we got ourselves a free-kick around 30 yards out. Bobby Vaughan, signed from Stenhousemuir a couple of weeks ago, stepped up and magnificently curled this free-kick perfectly into the top left hand corner of the goal to seal all three points for the Millers, Bobby's first competitive goal for the club, and what a goal. Aveley 3-1 Witham Town.
Full Time | Aveley 3-1 Witham Town.
Millers XI | Sam Cowler, Conor Mead, Sam Mvemba, James Love, Harry Gibbs, Connor Witherspoon, Jason Raad (Bobby Vaughan 79), Amir Berkane (Tom Richardson 63), Andy Freeman, Sam Bantick, Alex Akrofi (Freddie Gard 90).
Unused Subs | Loui Hazelwood, Elliott Brock.
Witham Town XI | Luca Collins, Siju Odelusi, Kevin Coyle, John Watson, Pat Ahern, Jack Kemsley, Johnny Ashman, Sam Owusu, Tom Monk (Kurt Smith 71), Toby Aromolaran (Tom Blackwell 83), Luke Foster (Fergal Looney 82).
Unused Subs | Liam Whipps.