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1st Team - Match centre

Witham Town
VCD Athletic
Sat 5 Nov 15:00 - The Ryman Football League - North Division Full time Attendance 67






The Vickers’ inconsistent form again came to the fore when an excellent performance at Hornchurch on Tuesday evening was followed by a poor display from almost the same players just four days later. The visitors had enough chances in the first half to make the game safe but failed to capitalise, and were finally undone by a strange piece of officiating by the referee in the second half. It has to be said that this was one of the most inept displays by a set of officials that we have seen for a very long time, with the man in the middle often bemused by the goings on, and not being helped by his assistants who were equally ineffective. That said VCD had enough of the play to comfortably take the points so must equally take some of the blame. The Vickers kicked off against a strong wind on a poor surface which made passing difficult, resulting in both sides getting the ball forward early and it was Witham that had the first chance when Luke Mallett burst forward , only to see his shot deflected behind. VCD responded quickly and thought they had won a penalty when Tyrus Gordon-Young was barged in the back in the area from Frantz Tchonang’s long throw, but the referee, poorly placed turned down the appeals much to the visitors’ surprise. However, it was not long before another chance came along when Kojo Awotwi, who constantly posed a threat down the right, got into the box where he was upended by a clumsy challenge from Tyler Hayes. This time there was no doubt, with the referee pointing to the spot but Kris Newby’s firmly struck penalty was too close to keeper Lewis Snelgrove who pushed the ball away. Town then won a free kick just outside the area but Kofi Gyebi wasted the chance, firing at the defensive wall. Then, from a throw, the ball was worked in from the left to James Regis, but Nik Freund comfortably dealt with his effort, turning it over the bar. The Vickers then spurned another great chance when Ricardo Joseph burst down the left flank in space before delivering a perfect ball into the 6 yard box, but Connor Hogan failed to get his head on it from two yards out. Witham always looked dangerous on the break with their pace, but some good defending and wasteful finishing kept Nik Freund relatively untroubled. Hogan was just inches short in converting Newby’s excellent ball in, before just as the half ended, Tyrus Gordon-Young’s throw was flicked on by Joe Bruce to Hogan, who hooked it over the bar from a good position.
With the strong wind in their favour VCD fancied their chances in the second half, but it was Witham who nearly made the breakthrough when Mallett sidefooted Usman Adeniji’s cross wide. The Vickers then began to exert pressure on the home defence, but play was continually broken up by the referee who began causing frustration among the players with some strange decisions as he looked to be losing control, and indeed at one point both assistants had their flags up with the referee totally unsure of what was going on, making things farcical. Town were kept pegged back but VCD continued to play without width, pumping balls down the middle on the wind that were comfortably dealt with by Lance Akins and James Regis in the home defence. The game was crying out for attacks down the flank to get behind the home defence, but VCD persisted in going more direct and failed to get the ball in positions to trouble keeper Snelgrove. On one such occasion when Tyrus Gordon-Young did get wide, he played the ball square to Jack Stevenson but his shot went inches wide of an upright. Neither side looked as if they would be able to get an all important goal, but Witham were given a helping hand by another strange decision by the man in the middle. The ball was played through to Adeniji who made ground before being met shoulder to shoulder by Joe Bruce, with the ball rolling through to keeper Freund. The referee waved play on, but then, for some strange reason changed his mind and awarded a spot kick much to everyone’s surprise. The appeals from VCD were waved away and then both sides got involved in a melee, before Tim Monsheju stepped up to send Freund the wrong way from the spot kick. Such was the frustration of both sets of players that both sides just wanted to get the game over with, and it finished without much further incident.

VCD Athletic: Freund, Tchonang (Gorbell 57), Joseph, Hogan, Bruce, Hallam, Newby, Duncan, Gordon-Young, Awotwi, O’Neill (Stevenson 46)

Subs not used: Rees Akpele, Pearce

Attendance: 67
Report by Brian Norris

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League table

# Team Pl Pts
13. Witham Town 46 59
14. Brentwood Town 46 56
15. VCD Athletic 46 56
16. Romford 46 56
17. Thamesmead Town 46 54
18. Dereham Town 46 54
19. Soham Town Rangers 46 53

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