Tilbury travelled into the heart of the East End to face Leyton FC on Saturday. The Dockers named an unchanged starting line-up that beat Thamesmead Town 1-0 at Chadfield’s mid week.
Leyton under the new management of Ex Grays Athletic manager Craig Edwards.
The Dockers were first to threaten in the 15th minute, a corner whipped in by Joe Keith onto the head of Christian Wheeler, whose effort was kicked off the line at the back post by Alex Fiddes.
The Dockers continued to press down on the Leyton defence, Kayan Kalipha and Chris Taylor combining well but resulted in Leyton’s keeper parry the ball over the bar.
33 minutes gone and Tilbury came close, Kalipha headed from a set piece which rocks off the bar to Wheeler whose effort goes out of play.
40th minute and Kalipha caused the home defence all sorts of problems goes solo, as he shrugs off challenges by the chasing pack, and manages to break free and let loose a shot which goes across goal and out for a goal kick.
Into injury time in the first period and Leyton’s first real chance of the half saw Reis Stanislaus test Andy Hall.
The Tilbury keeper claws the ball from the air seconds before the match official blows for half time.
Second half and the hosts come out the blocks first, a long range free kick into the box onto the head of Gary Bowes – once more Hall on hand to make a competent save.
Leyton continue to press the Dockers defence and have a flurry of chances in the opening 6 minutes of the half, the best of which falling to Alex Fiddes whose half volley from the edge of the box resulted in a full stretch save by the Tilbury keeper to his right to push the ball out for a Leyton corner.
Confusion in the Leyton goal as keeper Adam Rafis gifts the ball to Kayan Kalipha on the edge of the 18 yard area, Kalipha looked unprepared and off balance as he drove his shot wide of the post!
56th minute and Leyton surge on the Dockers goal, Gary Bowes with the ball at his feet attacks down the centre of the pitch, as he twists and turns the Dockers last defender right then left, Bowes now to the edge of the box fires in his shot which Andy Hall looks to have covered but the ball bends sharply at the last moment and ricochets off the post and out for a goal kick.
The Dockers looked to pick up the pace, Christian Wheeler and Ben Bradbury connecting well, Wheeler sends the ball into the penalty area,
Bradbury in the box with his back to goal, slides the ball to his left and across goal but no one there to take advantage of the loose ball.
Tilbury playing some tight controlled football, Daniel Smith battling hard wins back possession and sends the ball to Rickie Hayles who in turn sends a great ball over the top of the advancing Leyton defence, and into the path of Chris Taylor who sets off down the right hand side, almost to the by-line whips in a delightful ball into the box, Kalipha once again ahead of his defender but Rafis on hand to claw the ball away for another Dockers Corner.
The Dockers continue to push the Leyton defence, Glen Golby with a long headed clearance to the feet of skipper Jamie Wallace, Wallace sends a-pin-point pass to Kalipha who sets off down the left almost to the by-line and lays the ball across goal, Chris Taylor makes up much ground to arrive at the back post and with a sliding effort as he tries to nudge the ball into the net but the balls runs out of play.
The Dockers make a double substitute, Ben Bradbury off for Courtney Mclean and Chris Taylor made way for Manlee Brown.
Leyton continue to try and sniff out a goal, this time Leyton’s number 11 Sebastian Schoburg goes solo down the right and passed Golby to set up his shot, Schoburg’s effort dealt with competently by the Tilbury Keeper as Hall scoops the ball up.
73rd minute and Wallace on a mazy run into the heart of the Leyton defence, the versatile player skips past a challenge by Daryl Plummer to cruise into the box, Wallace looks up to shot but instead decides to lay the ball from 10 yards out across to his right to Kalipha, but
Leyton defender Junior Luke spotting the danger clears the ball up field.
Manlee Brown nods the ball on from a long throw into the path of Joel Barnett, Barnett flicks the ball into the path of Kalipha, once again the pacey striker leaves the chasing pack in his wake strikes the ball from just inside the box and into the side netting.
Leyton with a free kick 30 yards + out of the Tilbury goal, Richard Thomas with an ostentatious direct effort, looking to go top right hand corner, thankfully for the Dockers Keeper Andy Hall was alert to the danger as he makes a good save to push the ball over the bar.
83rd minute and Leyton miss the chance of the game to take the lead, Substitute Walid Matata onto a long ball into the Dockers half, beats the offside trap, the nippy striker does well to bring the ball under control and sets off towards the Tilbury goal and with Just Hall to beat lashers the ball over the bar.
A flurry of chances at both ends but the game finally brought to an end after 2 minutes of injury time added.
The 0-0 draw sees the Dockers not concede a goal in over 270 minutes of football, a result that any manager would be pleased with.
Dockers Boss Graham Chester spoke briefly after the game. He said” We could have nicked it in the first half, I thought the lads showed the same passion and spirit that was witnessed in both the Northwood game last Saturday and Thamesmead Town mid week. We have a great set of lads at Tilbury and I believe in this current squad of players. 3 games now without conceding is a fabulous achievement at any level, we must keep focused and continue to defend strongly as we battle to achieve our overall objective – which is a place in the play-offs come the end of the season”
Man of the Match
Kayan Kalipha – Busy striker with awesome pace.
Leyton : Adam Rafis, Junior Luke, Daryl Plummer, Alex Fiddes, Steve Sheehan, Cedric Ngakamleybou, Laurent Hamici, Richard Thomas, Reis Stanislaus, Gary Bowes, Sebastian Schoburg, Substitutes, Yomi Dada, Elliot Justham, Walid Matata, Louis Sprosen, Ismael Baker.
Tilbury : Andy Hall, Daniel Smith, Joe Keith, Rickie Hayles, Glen Golby, Jamie Wallace (Capt), Joel Barnett, Christian Wheeler, Chris Taylor, Kayan Kalipha, Ben Bradbury, Substitutes, Lee Hodges, Lee Hayes, Courtney Mclean, Manlee Brown, Jack Avery.
Referee: Mr R.D Smith
1st Assistant: Mr G.K Bellingham
2nd Assistant: Mr R.Kipikasa