By Paul Tandy
Enfield Town 4, Tilbury 3
Ryman League Division 1 North Saturday 22nd August 2009
Tilbury back on their travels this time around the M25 and into Middlesex to face old rivals Enfield Town” Last seasons encounter at the Goldsdown Ground back in April 2009 saw the Dockers lose by a single goal by the Town’s Ellis Remy.
Tilbury continues to battle with a shortage of options up front. Last seasons top scorer Chris Stowe ruled out through injury however Stowe named on the bench against the Town on Saturday, bustling striker Manlee Brown continues to carry a muscle strain leaving the Dockers only option upfront, Chris Taylor to take the lone role!
The game gets off to a blistering start; the Dockers control the early exchanges, Rickie Hayles doing a sterling job in the Tilbury defence to contain the lively Fabio Valenti.
Tilbury bare their teeth first, from a trade-mark long throw-in by Rickie Hayles into the Town box which saw young talent – Ben Bradbury head the ball from close range onto the crossbar, the ball deflects downwards at pace into the path of Chris Taylor whose effort goes wide of the post.
14th minute into the game and Fabio Valenti breaks loose down the right and from 25 yards out he squares the ball across goal to Stuart Blackburne who heads the ball into the net passed the outstretched hands of Andy Hall.
19th minute sees the Town awarded a controversial penalty, a wayward back pass by Daniel Smith to Andy Hall saw the keeper come out of his goal and collide with a Town player, however, Tilbury protest that Hall connected first with the ball, however, Tilbury’s attempt to reason with the match official Mr O’Donnell were in vain as a penalty is awarded. Rudi Hall steps up to score 2-0 to the Town.
21st minute and the Town awarded their second penalty, Rickie Hayles adjudged to have handled the ball in his own box, once more Match official turned away from the Tilbury appeals to protest that is was blatantly obvious that it was ball to hand rather than “Hand-Ball” The youthful Mr O’Donnell appeared unsympathetic and once more points to the penalty spot! Rudi Hall once again steps up to take the penalty however, this time Andy Hall manages to get a hand to the blistering effort to keep the score-line at 2-0 to the Town.
28th minute and the Town extend their lead further, a corner driven to the far post and to the delight of the cheery home side fans saw Stuart Blackburne on hand to stroke the ball into the net making it 3-0 to the Town.
Dockers Boss Graham Chester makes a few alterations to his line-up as he looks to beef up the front attack, Ben Bradbury pushing up behind Chris Taylor to add some support to the lone striker.
33 minutes gone and Tilbury claw one back from the spot, Chris Taylor was adjudged to have been failed in the box, once more questionable decision making by the match official as the soft penalty was awarded this time in Tilbury’s favour! The experienced Joe Keith steps up to drive the ball into the net 3-1.
50th minute and Tilbury pull one back from a corner kick, Joe Keith sends the ball into the box, Christian Wheeler’s effort is parried down by keeper Rob Blackburne, only as far a Ben Bradbury who places the ball into the net from close range, 3-2.
The Dockers continue to press the Town defence, Chris Taylor comes close after Lee Hodges sent the tireless striker in on goal, Rob Blackburne goes down low to keep the score line at 3-2.
The Town up in arms this time as Stuart Blackburne gets his second yellow card for arguing with the match official. The Town now down to 10 men.
55th minute and the Dockers equalise, Tilbury skipper Jamie Wallace bringing the ball out from his own half and spots Ben Bradbury making his run from an onside position, the ball sent over Bradbury’s shoulder and lays nicely on the floor with just Rob Blackburne to beat sees the talented youngster stroke the ball into the net, 3-3.
72nd minute and the Town attack, the ball knocked over the advancing Tilbury defence and into the path of bustling front man Adam Wallace who does well to bring the ball under control and place the ball goal-bound, The Dockers Christian Wheeler reading Wallace’s actions manages to sweep the ball off the line to keep the score level.
The game turning into a nail biting finish, with some good football being plated by both sides, however, Tilbury turn up the pressure, Lee Hodges showing his silky smooth skills as he brings the ball under control from 25 yards out and smashes the ball goal-bound, the Towns Keeper Rob Blackburne has it covered as the ball sails a few inches over the bar.
Tilbury make their second substitute, Dean Stannard still carrying an injury makes way for Lee Hayes.
Chris Taylor is sent sprawling just on the edge of the Town’s penalty area, Lee Hodges steps up and blasts the ball inches wide of the post.
Final substitute for the Dockers sees Zubair Hazeem make way for Ex Gillingham youngster – Taylor Thomas.
5 minutes left on the clock and The Town once more take the lead, a long ball scrambled out of defence falls nicely to Fabio Valenti 10 yards into the Tilbury half, Rickie Hayles who had done a diligent job quietening the lively Town player all afternoon was left in the shadows as Valenti broke loose on goal with just Hall to beat – swept the ball into the net to the joyous celebrations of the Town’s vocal supporters behind the Tilbury goal. 4-3 to Enfield Town.
Tilbury try to pull the score level when Rickie Hayles challenged for a 50/50 ball against the Town’s keeper, however, Rob Blackburne looked to take a knock which resulted in a free kick to the Town and a few minutes run off the clock!!
The Match Official finally bringing this lively affair to a close, a truly great game to watch for the neutrals. This game was a fabulous advert for the Ryman League. Two totally committed teams with their eye firmly on the win.
Man of the Match
Ben Bradbury – Lively Midfielder, scorer of 2 Tilbury goals.
Enfield Town FC: – Rob Blackburne, Fabio Valenti, Darryl Ellams, Dave Allen, Chris Wild, Ross Edwards, Paul Marks, Andy Jones, Stuart Blackburne, Adam Wallace, Rudi Hall, Subs: Dave Blower, Matt Thomas, Shane Jonson, Jason Holmes.
Tilbury FC: Andy Hall, Danny Smith, Joe Keith, Rickie Hayles, Glen Golby, Ben Bradbury ,Jamie Wallace (Capt), Christian Wheeler, Zubair Hazeem, Chris Taylor, Dean Stannard Subs: Taylor Thomas, Lee Hayes , Chris Stowe, Lee Hodges.
Referee: Mr C.O’Donnell
1st Assistant: Mr B.Trinder
2nd Assistant: Mr D.Kight