By Paul Tandy
Tilbury welcomed Leyton FC to Chadfield’s on Saturday. The visitors without a league or cup win since October 2009 were looking to kick start their season against the Dockers with no less than 6 debutants.
The Dockers almost at full strength, Donny Barnard missing due to a pulled calf muscle. A strong bench was named which included new striker Jared Small from Barking FC of the Essex Senior League.
Leyton kicked off in the bright sunshine, however, it’s Tilbury that take the initiative. In the 2nd minute of the game, Chris Taylor swings the ball across goal into the path of Ben Bradbury and from 8 yards out the Tilbury youngster smashes the ball into the net, 1-0 to the Dockers.
14 minutes and the Dockers kept the pressure on the visitors defence. Christian Wheeler tries a shot from the edge of the area; however, Leyton’s keeper is down low to his right to palm the ball away for a corner.
19 minutes and the Dockers extend their lead. Manlee Brown with a defence splitting pass over the top of the advancing Leyton defenders, Ben Bradbury timing his run to perfection as he collects the ball and with the keeper advancing coolly taps the ball over the head of the keeper and into the net, 2-0 to the Dockers.
Tilbury continued to pin back their guests look to extend their lead, Manlee Brown in a solo effort with just the keeper to beat from 10 yards out smashes the ball goal-bound, the Leyton keeper does well to block the ball which then falls kindly to Bradley Barnes, with the keeper stranded on the floor Barnes smashes the ball which sails over the bar!
37 minutes gone and Bradbury once more beating the offside trap and with just the keeper to beat picks his spot but Leyton’s keeper does well to palm the ball out for another Tilbury corner.
Second period and the Dockers once more open up the Leyton defence, Bradbury in on goal with two defenders in toe, Bradbury 12 yards from goal hesitates before shooting and looked to have be brought down from behind, Match Official Mr. McCoy waves play on as the stranded Bradbury looked bewildered sitting in the mud with arms aloft!
First substitute for the Dockers, Chris Taylor makes way for new striker Jared Small making his debut for the Dockers.
More chances go begging for the Dockers, Ben Bradbury once more tormenting the Leyton defence hits a long range effort which cracks off the post and falls to Manlee Brown whose own effort hits the underside of the bar before being hoofed away by Leyton’s panic-stricken defence!
55 minutes and Leyton pull level against the run of play – Leyton Substitute – Dom Pendergrast slots home from just inside the box after some good work down the left by Ivo Ginlv.
The Dockers made their 2nd substitute – Bradley Barnes makes way for the experienced Lee Hodges.
Leyton start to hit back and come close when Ginlv’s effort is palmed away by Andy Hall who needed to go full stretch to palm the ball out for a corner.
Leyton looking more in control as they start to put the Dockers defence under pressure – Glen Golby does well to defuse an effort by Pendergrast as the towering defender comes away with the ball.
Ginlv and Pendergrast causing more havoc in the Tilbury half, pendergrast again forcing Andy Hall to make a spectacular save to his right.
Tilbury made their last substitute Manlee Brown off for Nathan Gordon.
The Dockers pick-up the pace and are awarded a free kick on the edge of the box; Lee Hodge sends the ball across goal, Paul Shave’s effort just wide of the post.
As the clock ticks down the Dockers Skipper Jamie Wallace along with defenders Joe Keith, Danny Smith and Glen Golby regain their shape to prevent further damage and contain any further threat from the Leyton frontline.
Match Official Mr. McCoy along with his assistants showed consistency throughout the 90 minutes allowing the game to flow brings the match to a close.
The Dockers next game is at Home to Halstead Town in the East Anglian Cup Final on Thursday 25th February – kick off at 7:45pm.
Man of the Match
Ben Bradbury – Match Winner
Tilbury : Andy Hall, Danny Smith, Joe Keith, Jamie Wallace (Capt), Glen Golby, Chris Taylor, Paul Shave, Christian Wheeler, Manlee Brown, Ben Bradbury, Bradley Barnes Substitutes, Joel Barnett, Lee Hodges, Chris Stowe, Jared Small, Nathan Gordon.
Leyton : Alvvda Seponi, Akram Suerhan, Sertac Yeicf, Ike Chrwidum, Chris Tucker (Capt), Lukman Hojeed, Arie Yozceh, Adam Collins, Ivo Ginlv, Zoug Dallebaromemri, Danny Francis, Substitutes, Mario Silva, Elliot Justham, Ahmet Cinepoai, Sean Yelkran, Dom Pendergrast.
Referee:Mr M.T. McCoy
1st Assistant:Mr N. Diamini
2nd Assistant: Mr M. Gadd