Bowers and Pitsea FC v Maldon and Tiptree FC Bostik League One North Saturday 20 October 2018
Jammers boss Wayne Brown made just one change to the starting line up from the FA Trophy win against Chalfont St Peter with returning new signing Lewis Dark introduced to replace Callum Anderson.
In summer temperatures on Bowers and Pitsea's fine new artificial playing surface it was the home side who threatened first with Ben Sartain firing a volley over the bar from 25 metres before, after only 8 minutes, Maldon and Tiptree made and missed what turned out to be the best scoring chance of the whole game when Matthew Briggs's strong run down the length of the pitch ended with a pin point centre onto Shane Cojocarel's head and he powerfully headed goal wards but home keeper Andrew Wilton pulled off an excellent save to dive full length and push the ball round the post. Bowers and Pitsea responded with two corners just being cleared before Jamie Dicks sent over a wicked cross that was missed by all his fellow home forwards then Lewis Manor headed over Quenton Monville's cross when well placed in front of the visitors goal. Monville was featuring strongly and his cross cum shot skimmed off the visitors cross bar before being cleared then a long clearance by home keeper Wilton was headed on by Max Cornhill to Dicks but he scuffed his shot when in space inside the visitors penalty area. The Jammers central defensive pairing of Billy Roast and Jack Cawley with Lewis Dark operating just in front of them was giving nothing away although all over the pitch no player was given any time on the ball with the result that hurried passes were often going astray and neither side found it easy to get a clear sight on goal. The visitors featured more strongly in the latter stages of the first half as Chris Millar's ball into Decarrey Sheriff gave the forward some space to get in a first time shot that went just over from the edge of the penalty area before Sheriff moved down the left before getting a pass into George Sykes whose cross shot flew just wide of the near post then Cojocarel did well to get to the left hand goal line from where his centre was headed over by Sammi McLeod.
Half time Bowers and Pitsea FC 0 Maldon and Tiptree FC 0
Any space did not get any easier to find in the second half with the game threatening at times to boil over as both teams tried to gain ascendency with strong challenges coming in thick and fast but it was the visitors who had slightly the better of things in the second period although the home side did have a decent scoring chance just as the half got underway with Manor wasting the opening after a fortunate rebound had left him in space but he opted to try to lob the ball in from all of 40 yards rather than move forward for a closer effort. The Jammers Matthew Briggs then put over a dangerous cross that was just cleared then home keeper Wilton was lucky when a floating centre caught him slightly out of position and he was grateful to see the ball go over his head and just clear the far post. Maldon and Tiptree's Crawley put a central 25 metre free kick over the bar then visitors substitute Callum Anderson freed Sheriff to move into a promising position on goal but at the vital moment he lost his balance and his effort slipped wide of the post. A game not helped by some refereeing decisions and that had only just remained reasonably calm exploded after 77 minutes when the home sides Richard Halle was dismissed for a dreadful, dangerous tackle then just three minutes later the visitors Matthew Briggs got his marching orders for a second yellow after a poor tackle which some could argue was only given to even things up after the first sending off. The remaining minutes passed uneventfully until in added time the Jammers Sheriff did well to gain possession to get to the goal line before turning well but then saw his close range shot blocked at his near post by Wilton then the referee took centre stage again when the home sides Ben Sartain was also shown a red card for another tackle which did not look like it warranted so severe a punishment.
Final score Bowers and Pitsea FC 0 Maldon and Tiptree FC 0