Millers continue fine form to win in FA Cup
Date posted: 26-08-2012
By Scott Hately
THE MILLERS beat their Eastern Counties Division One opposition thanks to goals from Jordon Cox, Ricky Edwards and a late strike from Junior Appiah, but manager Justin Gardner was still disappointed with the display with the away side missing a string of chances.
After dominating the first half, Aveley finally made their pressure tell with a goal after 40 minutes from Jordon Cox, lifting the ball into the roof of the net from close range to get his third goal in two games.
As the half came to a close Aveley turned the screw with Ricky Edwards doubling the away side’s advantage with a shot across the face of the Whitton goalkeeper right on half time, after good work from Paul Burnett down the left.
The Millers secured their victory late on thanks to a simple goal from Junior Appiah, again set up by decent work by Burnett down the left wing, Appiah had the simple task of tapping in from close range to send Aveley through to the next round where they will face Hadleigh United who shocked Harlow Town in their cup tie at Burrows Farm.
With the Bank Holiday Monday game against in-form Cheshunt in mind, Justin Gardner made a couple of changes to his starting line-up to the one that played against Harlow on Tuesday night. Goalkeeper Ronnie Worster came in for Dave McCartney as well as Tom Querry starting at left back in place of Lee Sontag. Jordon Cox also started in place of Tuesday’s match winner, Junior Dadson, who had been recalled from his loan by his parent club, Billericay.
Two divisions separated Aveley and Whitton going into this F.A Cup tie and the difference in class showed from the start, as early on Aveley created a number of good goal scoring opportunities.
Jordon Cox, fresh off of scoring twice in the 4-3 comeback win against Harlow, will feel he should have given the away side the lead as early as the third minute, when a cross from deep from Tom Querry found Cox perfectly, and with the goalkeeper edging off his line Cox’s header towards goal looped harmlessly over the bar.
Two minutes later, same players, similar result, as another cross from Querry was met by Cox, and although the striker managed to get his header on target it went straight at Jason Markham in the Whitton goal for a comfortable save.
In a fast start for the away side, Aveley created another good chance after just seven minutes. Good work between Marc Sontag and Paul Burnett saw Burnett find space on the right. His low cross fell kindly to Billy Holland who struck his effort just wide.
With Holland heading over from a Burnett cross after 12 minutes making it four missed opportunities for Aveley, it was almost rough justice when Whitton almost took the lead in the 19th minute.
A foul from Burnett on Whitton’s Kris Nita – which saw the winger receive a yellow card – resulted in a free kick that was floated into the danger area from just inside the Aveley half. With a number of players challenging for the header, Jay Leader managed to win the ball but got caught underneath it slightly, resulting in his header heading towards goal and crashing off the bar before being cleared.
That stroke of luck appeared to put the bit between the teeth of the Whitton players as they created a good opportunity after 23 minutes when Virgilio Leitao beat Ellis Sands for pace before striking across goal, just seeing his effort miss the far post.
Aveley reasserted their earlier dominance after the scare and took control of the game once more, creating further chances through Sheldon Sellears’ dipping volley that was well saved by Markham, Marc Sontag’s sliced effort wide after being played in well by Holland and Cox heading over once again.
However, with five minutes left of the first half to play, Aveley’s superiority finally told as Cox grabbed a goal after 40 minutes. After receiving the ball from the right, the on-loan striker carried the ball into the area before lifting the ball high and into the roof of the net with Markham closing down the angle to make it 1-0.
It was the least that Aveley deserved after bossing the play in the first half, and their second goal right on the break was just rewards for that dominance, as Ricky Edwards made it two in the first minute of added on time.
Burnett, who had been a constant threat on the left, found himself in space once more. His cross evaded defenders and attackers alike, but fell nicely to Edwards who took one touch to compose himself before smashing his shot across the goalkeeper and in to send the Millers into the break with a two goal advantage.
The second half was a lot quieter in terms of chances for the away side, with Whitton continuously being kept at arms-length and Ronnie Worster having little to do, Aveley did not look in danger of letting their two goal lead slip.
Five minutes into the second period, Sontag forced Markham into action when his cross looped perilously towards goal, with Markham having to tip the ball away to avoid the ball dipping into his net, and just before the hour mark, Aveley almost extended their lead to three, when Burnett’s cross from the left found its way to Edwards at the far post, but the midfielder’s effort was cleared off the line to keep the deficit at two.
As the half wore on both sides began making changes, with Aveley bringing on Junior Appiah, Jack Stevenson and Shane Oakley for Sontag, Holland and Cox respectively and it was between those changes that Whitton created their best chance of getting back into the tie.
A long ball over the top had put the Whitton captain, Kevin Inglis, through on goal. Worster hesitated before deciding to try and get to the ball before Inglis, but failed as the Whitton midfielder toe poked the ball up and over the goalkeeper. With the ball coming out of the air, Inglis took one touch to control the ball and had an open goal to shoot at, but that touch gave Querry a chance to come all the way across from left back to clear the danger brilliantly and keep Aveley’s clean sheet intact.
With the clock ticking towards the final whistle and Aveley looking forward to a meeting with Hadleigh United in the next round, the Millers made the game safe in the 85th minute as Appiah tapped in from close range.
Burnett, who had a commanding game over on the left wing, was once again involved. After being played in by Holland down the left, Burnett was in acres of space and played a dangerous low cross across the six yard box. His cross missed everyone in the vicinity, but found Appiah unmarked at the far post who, from three yards, couldn’t miss, ending the game as a contest and sending Aveley into the next round.
Man of the match, Paul Burnett, after the game said “it wasn’t the best of performances from the lads, but it’s job done. We played good in spells, but we could have done a lot more. We’re not happy with our performance, but a win’s a win, clean sheet and we’re through to the next round of the F.A. Cup.”
Justin had similar words to say, saying that his side were “off the pace” and continued by saying “if I’m honest, it didn’t look like we got out of second gear today. Only positives to come of today was that we got a clean sheet. It might sound harsh, we won 3-0 and I’m disappointed, but I am. We’ve got a tough game against Cheshunt on Monday who are no mugs and if we play like we did today then we’ll struggle.”
Subsequently, Aveley’s game against Cheshunt, due to be played on Bank Holiday Monday, has been postponed due to Cheshunt requiring to play an F.A. Cup replay midweek after drawing 2-2 at home to Potters Bar Town.