Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Football: Tired Millers downed by Dereham

Ryman Div One North

Aveley 1 v 3 Dereham Town

By Scott Hately of www.pitchero.com/aveley

A TIRED Aveley were unable to build on Thursday night’s win over Soham Town Rangers, falling to a 3-1 defeat against Dereham Town at Mill Field.

Less than 48 hours removed from the victory against Soham, the Millers made the perfect start against another promotion hopeful, Dereham, scoring inside three minutes through Lee Weemes.

The visitors equalised in controversial fashion when Jay Leader put a Shaun Bammant cross into his own net, with Bammant appearing to handle the ball in the build-up.

And only a few minutes later Bammant won a penalty off Adetayo Osifuwa, but debutant goalkeeper Steve Sutton saved Luke Tuttle’s spot kick.

With both sides looking like cancelling each other out in the second half, two errors from Aveley – first from Glen Golby and second from Paul Burnett – allowed Bammant to score twice and condemn the Millers to defeat.

Boss Justin Gardner argued after the match that his side would have won if they hadn’t of only played on Thursday night.

And by having two games in such quick succession, Gardner was forced to make changes with Stevie Sutton, Kyle Asante, Alfred Kamara, Lee Weemes and Geroge Whitelock coming in for Kalin Artakiev, Oyetunji Oyewale, Nathan Koranteng, Petrit Elbi and the now departed Teddy Nesbitt.

Weemes was the only one of those five who saw any action on Thursday night, scoring the winner having come on as a second half substitute.

And the forward made just as quick of an impact in this game, opening the scoring with the game’s first real opportunity after just three minutes.

Picking the ball up on the right, Asante run at Daniel Murphew before crossing towards Weemes at the near post.

The striker’s initial effort was blocked by Lewis Sturman, but the ball popped back out to Weemes who side footed it into the bottom corner to give the home side the lead.

Having named the same back four for a sixth game in a row the defensive fragility that had dogged Gardner’s side in the early matches of the season appeared to be disappearing.

Dereham were struggling to find in-roads behind the Aveley back line, but when they did the Millers’ second debut goalkeeper of the week stood firm with Sutton coming out bravely to claim the ball at the feet of Luke Tuttle.

Gardner was becoming more and more wound up by the referee after seeing Kamara and Paul Burnett go into the book, both for their first offences of the afternoon.

And the boss’s blood would have been boiling further when Dereham finally did manage to breach the Aveley back line, but with a helping hand from the arm of Shaun Bammant.

The forward appeared to control a long ball forward with his arm with neither the linesman on the far side of the referee seeing an infringement.

Bammant was then allowed to send in a low cross which Jay Leader tried to clear, only to inadvertently divert the ball past Sutton and in to equalise.

If Leader hadn’t of gotten a touch on the ball, then Kyle Downes who was running in unmarked behind him would have finished the move off.

But it was a bitter pill for Gardner to swallow and his mood would not have improved when less than three minutes later Dereham were awarded a penalty.

Quick thinking by Bammant saw him get goal-side of Adetayo Osifuwa to receive a throw with the forward tumbling under minimal contact with the referee awarding a spot kick.

Gardner will feel though that justice was done when Tuttle stood up to take the penalty only to see it saved by Sutton diving to his left to give the scores level as the two sides went into the break.

The second half was more of the same from both sides as chances were few and far between, and neither goalkeeper being tested early in the second period.

Billy Holland was introduced with half an hour remaining as he looks to return to match fitness, with Gardner hoping the injection of his captain could steer Aveley towards another priceless three points.

But it was Dereham who put themselves on the cusp of three vital points in their chase for back to back promotions with Bammant putting the Magpies in front with their first chance of the half.

Bammant found himself one on one with the Millers ‘keeper after Glen Golby failed to connect with his clearance, allowing Bammant to coolly slotting past Sutton to put the visitors in front.

Much like Thursday night Aveley responded well to going behind with Burnett having a goal bound effort blocked moments after Dereham’s went ahead, before slicing another effort wide from the edge of the area.

Kyle Asante did have the ball in the back of the net and for one brief moment thought he had equalised before seeing the linesman’s flag raised for offside.

But having bemoaned goals coming from his side’s mistakes in recent weeks, Gardner saw his side punished once more when Burnett gave the ball away trying to build from the back.

His ball out was easily telegraphed by Tuttle, allowing the forward to slip in Bammant to get his second and Dereham’s third, all but securing the points for the Norfolk side.

With 15 minutes still remaining a quick riposte would have given Aveley a chance of an unlikely comeback, and Oyetunji Oyewale almost put the Millers in with a shout when the ball fell to him on the left after a long throw by Golby, only for Will Viner to tip the substitutes effort over the bar.

There was to be no come back on this occasion as Dereham comfortable held onto their two goal advantage, and almost had a chance to extend it further late on when Bammant closed down Sutton’s clearance.

The ball fell to Tuttle who tried to loop the ball over the stranded goalkeeper first time, but could not apply enough lift on the ball allowing Sutton to flick it away for a corner which came to nothing.

Speaking about the mistakes that lead to Bammant’s two goals in the second half, Gardner said “normally I would say they are mistakes, but I think both mistakes today were caused by tired legs.

“We only played about 40 hours ago so it was always going to be tough and Dereham took advantage of that.

“After a massive win on Thursday if we’d of had three or four days rest I think we would have won today easily. The tempo was there, the hunger was there, it was just the tired legs.”

When asked about the referee’s performance in failing to give the handball by Bammant in the build up to Dereham’s equaliser, as well as the penalty he awarded minutes later, Gardner said “I’ve got to be careful of my words, but I think the referee was…strange.”

Aveley: Stevie Sutton, Adetayo Osifuwa, Sam Holloway, Jay Leader, Glen Golby (c), Mathias Bakare, Kyle Asante, Alfred Kamara (Oyetunji Oyewale 73’), Lee Weemes, Paul Burnett (Chuck Duru 80’), George Whitelock (Billy Holland 60’)

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