Tilbury welcomed playoff hopefuls Enfield Town to Chadfields on Saturday. The Dockers plagued by injuries were missing Joe Keith, Donny Barnard, Chris Taylor and Joel Barnett out due to suspension. In came Nathan Gordon, Glen Kendall and the reserves top goal scorer Lee Newton.
Opening two minutes and the Dockers came close to scoring. A Christian Wheeler header was cleared off the line by a panicked Town defence.
The Dockers continue to press down on the Town defence, and in the 17th minute a header won in the middle of the park by Wheeler to the feet of Jarred Small, who sent a defence splitting pass into the path of Manlee Brown, Brown in on goal with just the keeper to beat saw the bustling striker slam the ball wide of the post.
The Town hit back, the Towns No 11 sped off down the left hand side and almost to the byline whips in a fine ball to the back post where The Enfield Town’s No 9 was waiting to head the ball just over the bar and onto the roof of the net.
23 minute gone and The Dockers end the deadlock, a good piece of skill by Jarred Small, with the ball at his feet and two defenders in his path, the Tilbury youngster slides the ball from a side position through his legs, leaving the two defenders rooted to the spot, Small then set off into the box and almost to the byline sends the ball across goal into the path of the unmarked Ben Bradbury who slid the ball into the left hand corner of the net to give Tilbury a 1-0 lead.
The game settled into a midfield tussle with the hosts sitting back and absorbing the Town pressure.
Into the second period and the Dockers not having much possession, but the battling Tilbury men able to break up any Town threat until the 58th minute, when from a Town corner the visitors No10 fired in from just inside the box, luckily for the Dockers, Bradley Barnes was able to block the ball off the line and out for another Town Corner.
The Town’s best chance of the game fell in the 67th minute, a long ball up field saw The Dockers keeper Andy Hall hesitating whether to come out of goal to collect, however, the Town’s No10 latch onto the ball and with the Tilbury keeper now stranded out of his area saw the ball flicked high over the head of Hall, and almost in slow motion -the ball came down only yards away from goal and bounced once, before landing over-the-bar, by only a few inches, leaving the Town frustrated and the Dockers counting their lucky stars!
The Dockers made a few substitutes, Lee Hodges off for Lee Newton and the hardworking Nathan Gordon makes way for Glen Kendall.
The Town continued to win possession, but any attempt on goal was met with a solid wall of White shirts. Tilbury’s defensive rear guard of Glen Golby, Danny Smith, Christian Wheeler marshaled by the Docker’ Skipper Jamie Wallace were all in fine form.
As the clock ticked down, the Dockers had one last chance to extend their lead in injury time, some good work once more down the right hand-side by Jarred Small, resulted in the youngster to the byline sending the ball across goal to Manlee Brown, Brown with time to tee-up his shot from about 12 yards out but blasted the ball inches wide of the post.
The match official Mr. Smith finally bringing the game to a close saw both teams leave the field looking tired & weary, after giving their all on a bogging pitch.
A good win for the Dockers’ which puts them on 48 points, 3 points clear of 13th place Potters Bar Town. At the top of the table the result not affecting the Town, who remain in a playoff place 8 points clear of 6th place Thamesmead Town who lost 2-1 on Saturday to 3rd spot Wingate & Finchley.
The Dockers next game is away to Potters Bar Town on Tuesday 30th March – kick off at 7:45pm.
Man of the Match
Jarred Small – Silky smooth skills, with bags of pace.
Tilbury : Andy Hall, Glen Golby, Danny Smith, Jamie Wallace (Capt), Christian Wheeler, Nathan Gordon, Ben Bradbury, Lee Hodges, Jarred Small, Manlee Brown, Ben Bradbury, Substitutes, Lee Newton, Glen Kendall, Courtney Mclean, Chris Stowe, Andy Gibbs.
Referee: Mr R.D. Smith
1st Assistant: Mr S. Earl
2nd Assistant: Mr R.P. Wells