Ryman Div One North
Waltham Abbey 2 v 2 Tilbury (Attendance 65)
Tilbury left Capershotts with many saying either it was a point gained or two points lost on a cold chilly afternoon in Waltham Abbey. Tilbury were indebted to a last minute strike from the excellent Ben Crooks who was at the heart of the defence.
Paul Vaughan and his management team had to make a number of changes due to suspension to Paul King and Joe Nightingill and were also dealt a blow just before kick when skipper Gary Henty was deemed unfit to start due to injury.
Tilbury had the best chance after only 30 seconds when Steve Good shot just wide. On 9 Sam West also went close but was denied by Harry Ricketts in the home goal. Tilbury dominated for long periods and looked to be the side to take the lead. On 27 Alex Read was played through and from an acute angle struck the post. Just before the break Emiel Aiken was again denied by Ricketts.
Waltham Abbey came out stronger in the 2nd half and they were the side more likely to score. On 53 they did just that. With Abbey coming forward in numbers, the ball fell to Dan Harvey who shot from range and took a slight deflection into an empty net. The introduction of Harry Cook for the injured Emiel Aiken brought some life to Tilbury. On 63 Waltham Abbey thought they were going to be further ahead, but a stunning save from James Marrable from a rasping shot from substitute Louis Bristow. On 67 a ball from the left from Bradley Barnes struck the arm of a home defender and the referee pointed to the spot despite home protests. Sam West struck home into the roof of the net. Within 4 minutes Tilbury were again awarded a penalty when Tom Webb was upended in the box and the referee who was in no doubt again pointed to the spot. This time West hit the same side but blazed over. Waltham Abbey were again denied by a super Marrable save on 75 tipping over ex Tilbury striker Adam Bolle’s effort. In the final 10 minutes Abbey went close from Bristow and Bern efforts in there quest for the 3 points. With only 2 minutes to go Harvey was again found in space and slotted past Marrable to take the lead for his side. Tilbury went forward in numbers in the final 2 minutes and were rewarded in injury time when a good Tom Webb cross from the right found Ben Crooks at the back post unmarked to tap home.
With sides around Tilbury dropping valuable points, they will be disappointed they did not take all the points and take them to 4th in the league.
After the game manager Paul Vaughan commented “Delighted the boys did not give up. Waltham Abbey is always a tough fixture and was pleased how we bounced back after going behind twice. Tuesday night is another big game and hope to include a number of players back into the squad”
The result still leaves Tilbury in 6th place and now travel to Redbridge on Tuesday night looking for 3 points to take them in to February in 4th place. Next Saturday they entertain out of form Soham Town Rangers.
Team – Marrable, Mead, Worrell, Crooks, West, Bryan, Aiken (Cook 58) Good, Read, Webb, Barnes
Subs not used: Matthews, Skerritt, Taylor and Henty