Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Football: Vital away points for Millermen

Ryman Div One North

Waltham Forest 1 v 2 Aveley

Report courtesy of Scott Hately of www.pitchero.com/clubs/aveley

A SCREAMER from Nathan Koranteng was the difference as Aveley secured a hard-fought 2-1 win away at 10-man Waltham Forest.

Right on the stroke of half time Koranteng ripped a left footed effort into the top corner from 25 yards out to give the Millers the lead for the second time in match, after Kyle Asante’s goal had been cancelled out by Oyetunji Oyewale.

The second half was shrouded in controversy when Waltham Forest’s captain, Leon Fisher, was given a straight red card by referee Nick Dunn for a comment he apparently made to one of his own players.

The sending off took the steam out of the hosts allowing Aveley to comfortably cross the finish line, although it would have been made all the more comfortable if Asante had finished a late chance after being teed up by Petrit Elbi.

Millers boss Justin Gardner wanted a reaction from his side after the midweek defeat to Romford when his side just didn’t look at the races.

And with this being the Millers’ third game of four in eight days Gardner brought in some fresh legs with Anton Stephenson returning to the side after an operation, as well as Paul Burnett returning to club to start on the right.

One of the other chances made by Gardner was to bring in Sam Holloway at left back and it was his ball over the top that started the move that lead to Kyle Asante giving Aveley an early lead.

Holloway’s clipped ball over the top was perfectly weighted to get Teddy Nesbitt the wrong side of the Forest defence.

The left-back-turned-winger beat goalkeeper Amadou Tangara to lift the ball towards the far post where Asante was to apply the finish with his head from close range after just three minutes.

It was an ideal start for Gardner and his side, but it was a lead that they weren’t to hold onto for long as just after the quarter hour mark Forest were level through Oyetunji Oyewale.

Having looked comfortable after taking the lead, out of nothing Daniel Laurent volleyed a ball forward over the top which saw Oyewale get the wrong side of Ade Osifuwa, with the striker calmly slotting the ball past Jack Giddens to restore parity.

The goal gave the home side the impetus with Oyewale constantly causing problems for the Aveley back line.

But if it wasn’t for the Forest number 11 being caught in two minds he may have given them the lead when he wrestled the ball off Osifuwa but couldn’t decide whether to shoot or cross for Leon Fisher, eventually doing neither as he dragged his cross-shot harmlessly wide.

Oyewale continued to cause a nuisance and drew a foul from Glen Golby just outside the area. The resulting free kick was taken by Fisher who hit the target but Giddens showed good hands to hold onto the strike.

With the two sides looking to be going into the break level a piece of magic from Nathan Koranteng sent the visitors into half time with a priceless lead.

Gardner admitted afterwards that he was about to take Koranteng off at the break, but before he had the chance to Brian Okwera shifted the ball into the feet of Koranteng who cut inside to create space for a shot before sending down a pile-driver of an effort that looped past Tanagara and in to restore the Millers’ lead.

Having been dealt a hammer blow right on half time, the hosts reacted well in the second half and almost forced Giddens into conceding a horrible equaliser when Fisher closed down the Aveley ‘keeper’s kick with Giddens out of his area.

Giddens put enough pressure on Fisher to stop him scoring the rebound before Stephane Koffi got nothing on his effort that rolled gratefully into the hands of the Aveley number one.

Then the moment of controversy, with just under a quarter of the game remaining Forest were reduced to ten men when Fisher was given a straight red card by referee Nick Dunn.

After Koranteng and Laurent battled for the ball near the corner flag the linesman flagged for a foul on Koranteng, awarding a free kick to Aveley.

Following that Fisher reacted by saying what sounded like on the video as “f**king cheap man,” which prompted the referee to brandish the red.

Whether Dunn thought the Forest striker had said ‘cheat’ rather than cheap remains a mystery, but it meant the home side were down to 10 men and Aveley were well and truly on the front foot.

With just a one goal advantage, despite Forest being down to ten all it would take was one moment for them to draw level.

But a third for Aveley would have sown up the points and the best chance the Millers created was spurned by Asante.

Second half substitute Petrit Elbi had already forced Tangara into a diving save to his right moments before, but this time turned provider.

George Whitelock slipped Elbi in after running in behind Steven Ikumelo to beat the offside and pull the ball back for Asante whose first time effort went high and wide.

With the man disadvantage Forest’s best hope of retrieving a vitally important point for them was going to be from set-pieces and with a couple of minutes remaining they had an ideal chance to level when they were awarded a free kick for a foul by Golby on L’Heureux Menga 25 yards out.

Mark Twumasi was charged with taking the free kick and would have hoped to at least hit the target, but instead he blazed it over the bar and even over the netting above the stand as Aveley held on.

Afterwards Justin Gardner said “football is simple – they took on my instructions and followed it to a tee.

“It wasn’t a pretty match but I said to them you can’t play football from the back, let’s hook it on and they’ve all done their jobs. I couldn’t have asked for anymore.”

Man of the match, Teddy Nesbitt felt he and the rest of the squad reacted in the way that their manager was looking for after the defeat to Romford, saying “we dug deep on a terrible pitch where we couldn’t play our football that we usually play.

“Wednesday wasn’t us at all, but I thought we turned up today, got a result and that’s what we need, three points.”

Aveley: Jack Giddens, Adetayo Osifuwa, Sam Holloway, Jay Leader, Glen Golby (c), Brian Okwera, Paul Burnett, Nathan Koranteng (George Whitelock 82’), Anton Stephenson (Petrit Elbi 67’), Kyle Asante (Brenden Cavalier 87’), Teddy Nesbitt.

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