Strong defences mean a goals stalemate
By dave garwood
Maldon and Tiptree had to settle for just a point from a close game at Thurrock where both teams found goal scoring chances at a premium
Thurrock FC v Maldon and Tiptree FC
Jammers manager Kevin Horlock put out the same team and bench as had won the last few previous games.
A first half that only spluttered into life at irregular intervals saw the visitors get the first effort in on goal when Matt Lock tried a lobbed shot that went over the bar before Thurrock responded with Hussain Jaffa heading Glenn Poole's free kick over the bar. The Jammers Kyle Hammond then hit a low shot from all of 25 metres that flew wide before the home side almost opened their goal account when Mark Onyemah played in Charlie Stimson but he saw his low shot hit the outside of the post before going behind. Stimson then saw his cheeky back heel from another Poole free kick saved by Jammers keeper Daniel Wilks before a quick break from the visitors saw Liam Nash play Sam Newson in to move forward before getting a shot away that flew wide of the post. Both Adam Mills and Newson hit first time half volleys that home keeper Bobby Mason saved before Thurrock's Poole hit a 20 metre low drive wide. After 34 minutes the home side produced the best chance of the game when Stimson beat the visitors offside trap before pulling the ball back inside but then hit his clear chance from close range well over the bar. A scrappy, stop start half with few direct efforts on goal, not helped by some annoying decisions by the referee, ended with the Jammers Rhys Henry getting over a good cross that found Mills but his shot was saved by Mason.
Half Time Thurrock FC 0 Maldon and Tiptree FC 0
The second half saw a continuation of the first with both defences standing strong to deny the opposing forward lines much in the way of clear goal scoring chances. Early on Maldon and Tiptree were thankful to Billy Roast for a great tackle to clear the ball from Harry Cook's feet as the Thurrock forward went through on goal before the home sides Onyemah hit over from an acute angle on the by line. Plays from free kicks seemed the best way for the home side to score and they almost succeeded when Jaffa's header from another Poole corner was scrambled off the goal line at the post. The Jammers best chances came from quick breaks up field but after Nash had wriggled through the defence he hit his shot into the side netting before one of the few good passing moves saw the ball played quickly between Jerry Kamanzi (pictured), Mills and Newson to give substitute Tyler Brampton, a shooting chance but his effort was saved by Mason. Maldon and Tiptree's central defensive partnership of Roast and Gavin Greenfield were dealing well with Thurrock's aerial bombardment and virtually shut out the home forward line from direct threats on their goal and it was the visitors who put the better looking attacks together but actual strikes on goal were few and far between. After Newson had done well done the left his cross into Mills was then played into Nash but he shot over before the one direct effort that did find the goal saw Mills strong shot turned round the post by the diving Mason. Almost on the end of normal time visiting keeper Daniel Wilks was called on to produce an equally good save when home substitute Michael Pindy got free wide on the right to fire in a strong shot that the keeper clung on well to. So both teams had to settle for a hard earned but well deserved point from each clubs first goal less draw of the season.
Final score Thurrock FC 0 Maldon and Tiptree FC 0
Bobby Mason, Reece Morgan, Remi Sutton, Hussain Jaffa, Mark Onyemah, Joran Clark (Junior Aspiah 74), Harry Cook (Michael Pindy 64), Glenn Poole, Charlie Stimson, George Winn, Ronnie Winn
Connor Wheatley, Ross Glead, Nathan Okoye
Maldon and Tiptree FC
Daniel Wilks, Kyle Hammond, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Matt Lock, Billy Roast, Gavin Greenfield, Jerry Kamanzi, Rhys Henry (Tyler Brampton 69), Sam Newson, Liam Nash, Adam Mills
Montel Agyermang, Joe Claridge, Blayne West