Tilbury travelled to Wodson Park on Saturday to play Paul Halsey’s Ware FC. The Blues having a frustrating season so far go into the game second from bottom in the league and are struggling to find their form.
Graham Chester’s Tilbury, however, remain unbeaten in their previous 7 League games and appear full of confidence – once again Chester naming an unchanged side to face the Blues on Saturday.
The Dockers kick-off in the bright autumn sunshine and quickly get into their stride. A nice flick on from Joe Keith in the middle of the park over the shoulder of Kayan Kalipha who set off towards goal but some good recovery defending by Ware’s skipper Danny Wolf who does enough to force the Tilbury striker to hit the ball a few yards off target.
5 minutes later and Kalipha this time was the provider: the pacey striker set off down the left hand-side, almost to the by-line and sends the ball across goal to the feet of Christian Wheeler who fired in his effort from 8-yards out into a wall of blue shirts, the ball then rebounded out for a Tilbury corner.
Ware counter with some good work by Jimmy Martin down the left as he skipped past a white shirt, placed the ball into the path of Kai Ramshaw whose effort goes inches past the post.
A good spell for Ware as they continue to try and sniff out opportunities . A long ball out by Matt Turpin was headed on by Michael Sharman into the path of Thomas Mustapha who set off towards goal, Tilbury’s Andy Hall reading the game well came out to the edge of his box sliding towards the ball and managed to scoop-up the ball leaving Mustapha needing to jump clear as Hall came through.
20 minutes gone and Tilbury in creative mood. A long ball up-field by Glen Golby was met by Joel Barnett. Barnett showed great awareness as he spread the ball across field to Jamie Wallace. Wallace with the ball at his feet sprinted past Mark Burton before sending the ball across goal to the edge of the area to Ben Bradbury, Bradbury showing fabulous skill, firstly to bring the ball under control and then in almost one sweeping movement flicked the ball over the top of the advancing blue shirts into the path of Kalipha with just Ricketts to beat, however, once again some no nonsense defending by Ware’s Matt Turpin cleared the ball into Row Z.
24 minutes gone and Tilbury awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal, Joe Keith looked to take the shot but instead it was Joel Barnett who curled the ball into the net past the outreached hands of Wares keeper Harry Ricketts, 1-0 to the Dockers.
The game continued to be battled in the middles of the park with both sides sharing chances at either end.
The Dockers come close to extending their lead, a corner taken by Joe Keith met by the towering presence of Golby which is cleared out to the edge of the area, Christian Wheeler with a spectacular overhead kick looked to have dropped into the net but instead lands only centimetres over the bar.
Ware picked-up the pace and looked in more determined mood, the hosts pinned the Dockers back in their own half and looked the more threatening midway through the second period.
The Dockers defence needed to stay firm and hold their nerve. Daniel Smith received a yellow card for a challenge on the edge of the box.
Ware continue to press the Dockers defence, the ball driven across goal onto the glancing head of substitute Ben Andreos. The ball destined goal-bound but was clawed away by the outstretched hand of Andy Hall who took valid applause from the 122 spectators in the ground for pulling off what can only be described as an unbelievable one handed save.
Joe Keith takes a free kick 30 yards out of the Ware goal. Ben Bradbury controls well and turns his defender in the box and set off towards goal, not many options for the Tilbury youngster instead decides to shot, however watches helplessly as the ball spins just over the bar.
Last five minutes of normal time and the Dockers having a good spell surge on the Ware goal. Joel Barnett creating some space in the centre of the park spreads the ball wide to Kalipha down the left, Kalipha does well to skip past the last Blues defender and from a tight angle tries a cheeky lob over the head of Ricketts, Kalipha gasps as the ball lands on the roof of the net.
A nail biting extra four minutes injury time was announced as Ware continued to seek out an equalizer. The Dockers defending like their lives depended on it as Mr. Rea – Match Official eventually brought the game to a close to the relief of the Travelling Dockers.
Man of the Match
Rickie Hayles – Rock-Solid Defending.
Ware : Harry Ricketts, Mark Burton, Daniel Roles, Danny Wolf (Capt), Matt Turpin, Jimmie Berry, Michael Sharman, Phil Turner, Kai Ramshaw, Thomas Mustapha, Jimmy Martin, Substitutes, Michael Toner, Ben Andreos, Sam Rose, Joe Hatcher, Charlie Moxom.
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, Bradley Barnes, Lee Hodges, Julio Barnes, Jack Avery, Manlee Brown.
Referee: Mr S.Rea
1st Assistant: Mr I. Skull
2nd Assistant: Mr B.V.O’Toole