Football: Millermen earn a point in pulsating draw
Date posted: 19-08-2012
By Scott Hately
For all the news on Aveley FC go to: www.pitchero.com/clubs/aveley/
Ryman Div One North
Aveley 2 v 2 Maldon and Tiptree
Aveley began their Ryman League North campaign with a hard fought 2-2 draw with Maldon & Tiptree in a pulsating game at Mill Field.
In the baking August sunshine Aveley flew out of the blocks scoring after just two minutes through Junior Dadson. Maldon equalised through an Ollie Berquez header midway through the first half, but Aveley will have felt aggrieved not to have gone into the break with the lead after dominating much of the half and creating by far the better chances.
Maldon looked the most likely to score early on in the second period, so it was slightly against the run of play that Aveley retook the lead through Paul Burnett’s scuffed effort, but the spoils were shared after a back and forth game which ended with Ellis Sands seeing red for a professional foul on Mitchell Das with Jamie Guy smashing in the resulting free kick into the top corner to share the points.
Justin Gardner said during the week him and his team would be judged by today’s result after a disappointing end to pre-season, so his heart would have been in his mouth as Maldon had a chance to take the lead through Mitchell Das after just 20 seconds. After some poor defensive play from Aveley, the ball rebounded to Das on the edge of the area. In a two on one situation Das decided to go for goal rather than play his team mate in, but only connected with thin air, allowing Aveley to get the ball away.
It was a chance that Maldon were going to rue as almost straight away Aveley opened the scoring through the returning Junior Dadson after two minutes.
After some neat build up play down the right hand side the ball was worked over to the left where Dadson found himself clear of the Maldon back line. Dadson struck low and hard, across the face of the Maldon goalkeeper, and into the bottom corner expertly, to the delight of manager Justin Gardner who couldn’t have dreamt of a better start to his side’s league campaign.
After the quick start, the game evened itself out until the half-way point of the first half when Maldon managed to get back on level terms.
After Paul Burnett forced a good save from Maldon goalkeeper, Joe Wright, with a rasping shot from the edge of the area which was palmed away low to his right, Maldon went straight up the other end to grab an equaliser on the counter attack.
A cross from the right was drilled in towards the near post where Jay Leader flicked the ball away but only towards the back post where Ollie Berquez was lurking. The midfielder managed to dip low enough to head the ball towards goal and squeeze it between the post and the scampering Dave McCartney to grab an equaliser after 23 minutes.
The goal momentarily unsettled the home side who began giving the ball away easily and Maldon looked like they might be able to get a stranglehold in the game. It wasn’t long until Aveley wrestled the initiative back and began looking the stronger side once more, creating two glorious opportunities for their centre back pairing of Leader and Carl Patten.
The first of Aveley’s chances came from a corner from the right hand side. The ball was looped long towards the far post before being headed back across goal and back into the danger area. The ball back across caught Patten a little by surprise as he stood inside the six yard box, and with little time to react, Patten couldn’t get enough spring in his jump, getting underneath the ball and heading over from four yards out.
Patten’s chance would have to be put down as a half chance, but Aveley could and should have taken the lead just a few minutes later through Leader, who almost made amends for his unintentional assist for the Maldon goal.
A free kick wide on the right was whipped in by Jack Stevenson at pace, and with three Aveley players attacking the ball it was Leader who was closest to it. From eight yards out and completely unmarked, the Millers’ captain couldn’t get anything on the ball at all, leaving him with his head in his hands as the chance went begging, with Aveley feeling unfortunate not to have a lead going into the break.
In the second half it was the away side who started the stronger of the two, having a sustained period of possession in the early minutes of the second half that brought about a number of corners, but brought little in the way of chances.
Almost predictably then, it was Aveley who created the first clear opening and another chance to take the lead after 53 minutes.
Facing his own goal, centre back Jonathan Glowacki looked favourite to win the ball and clear up any immediate danger, but striker Shane Oakley put the centre back under pressure and managed to wriggle his way in front of his man, forcing Glowacki to poke the ball wide and away. With Oakley too far to the right to pull the trigger, the striker laid the ball back for Marc Sontag who had joined the attack, and after riding two challenges, Sontag managed to dig out a shot, but it was well smothered by Wright before being cleared away.
Despite the heat the game was being played at a cracking pace in the second half and after Aveley came close it was Maldon’s turn to threaten the home side’s goal through Das.
Maldon won themselves a corner which was taken from the right hand side. The cross was played right into the heart of the Aveley penalty area and attacked by Das, whose free-header from eight yards whistled past the post to the relief of Gardner, who was screaming at his defenders for their slack marking.
However, just like in the first half, Aveley made Maldon pay for missing their opportunity as the home side retook the lead through Paul Burnett after 63 minutes thanks to a classic route one goal.
A long ball over the top had the Maldon back line retreating and facing their own goal. The centre back allowed the ball to bounce, but in doing so he gave Burnett the chance to muscle his way in and win the ball. With the goalkeeper hurtling out towards the striker, Burnett got just enough on his left foot effort to wrong foot the goalkeeper and see his effort dribble into the back of the net to make the score 2-1 to the home side.
The goal delighted manager Gardner so much that he ended up getting sent to the stands because of it. After running half the length of the pitch to celebrate with his players, the referee, D. Bushell, decided enough was enough for the exuberant manager who had left his technical area on numerous occasions and sent him from the dug out for the rest of the game.
The goal and the reaction of Gardner seemed to light a fire under the Maldon players and from that moment on it was them who did most of the pressing and attacking. Ultimately looking the most likely to score next it was an individual effort from Maldon’s James Robinson that brought them close to parity.
Quick one touch passing from the Maldon players in the final third resulted in the ball finding Robinson in the Aveley penalty area. After turning the defender not once, but twice, Robinson was able to manufacturer enough space to try and curl an effort into the far corner, only for his effort to be brilliantly saved by McCartney before hurriedly being cleared.
Maldon continued to apply the pressure, looking to get back on level terms once again and their pressure finally paid off with ten minutes remaining in an incident that saw Aveley finish the match with just ten men.
In a very similar way to how Aveley took the lead earlier in the half, it was the long ball over the top that was the home side’s undoing this time. The ball was allowed to bounce by Ellis Sands which allowed Das to get the wrong side of the defender. Sands tugged at the shirt of Das outside the penalty area, but the striker managed to get free just enough to poke his shot underneath McCartney and just wide.
However, referee Bushell pulled the play back for the original foul and with Sands being the last man the referee had no choice but to show the Aveley centre back a straight red card for a professional foul.
From the resulting free-kick second half substitute, Jamie Guy, stepped up and ripped a blockbuster of a strike into the top corner with McCartney standing little chance of saving it.
Despite being down to ten Aveley continued to create the best of the chances but were unable to grab a deserved winner, with Billy Holland coming closest with the last kick of the game, skying a half volley over the top from 12 yards out as the game finished as a draw.
Gardner was delighted with his team after the game saying his was “proud of the boys” before continuing by saying “we deserved to score five or six goals today. To play one of the teams that are meant to be favourites for the league I’m lost for words the way the boys put in a shift today. I’m proud of them, I feel like a dad who’s just had a new born baby.”
Aveley: Dave McCartney, Carl Patten, Lee Sontag, Jack Stevenson, Jay Leader, Ellis Sands, Marc Sontag, Ricky Edwards, Shane Oakley (Junior Appiah 88′), Paul Burnett (Tom Querry 81′), Junior Dadson (Billy Holland 69′)
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