Aveley 1 v 2 Cheshunt
By Scott Lanza
IT was in many ways a frustrating afternoon for the Millers who have made a decent start to the campaign but were edged out by fellow promotion hopefuls Cheshunt. Miller’s manager Justin Gardiner clearly showed his frustration barely a minute into the game after George Woodward’s challenge on John Nzenigo was adjudged as heavy enough by referee Mr Pike to issue a yellow card. Things then took a turn for the worse when the Millers found themselves a goal down after only six minutes. A ball played into the box caused some hesitation from Billy Coyne which Billy Jones capitalised on, slamming the ball past Lamar Joseph-Johnson to give his side an early lead.
Aveley were trying to get the ball down to the wings and a midfield passing sequence involving Abs Seymour and Arian Retkoceri opened up the Cheshunt defence but even though Daniel McCullock found himself in a good position, he was unable to get the ball fully under his command and Joe Stevens dispossessed the Millers player. McCullock and Jordan Peart both had efforts at crossing into the box but it was a case of either over-hitting the passes or else seeing their efforts easily handled by Michael Gooch. Aveley’s best chance of the half fell to Seymour who hit a blistering free-kick that rattled the crossbar. However despite all their hard work in midfield, the Miller’s were unable to create many clear cut chances and Gooch was rarely threatened.
Cheshunt almost doubled their lead on 17 minutes when a cross from deep played in Jason Hallett who was then brought down by Joseph-Johnson. However the Miller’s custodian promptly made amends by pulling off a superb save, diving high to his right to tip Hallet’s penalty kick away. However he was powerless to prevent the visitors taking a 2-0 lead on 29 minutes when another dangerous cross into the box was picked up by Jones, who raced away from his marker, sidestepped Joseph-Johnson before poking the ball into the empty net. Jones nearly completed his hat-trick in the closing moments of the first half, reacting first to the ball after Liam Hope’s initial shot had been blocked; his shot looked destined to cross the line until was but was hooked away by Jack Edwards.
Justin Gardner reshuffled his pack at the start of the second half, bringing on Frankie Sinclair as he attempted to try and get his side playing with a more clinical edge in the final third of the field. Andres Losada-Tobon, who himself had come off the subs bench late in the previous half, gave the hosts a lifeline when he pulled on back within four minutes of the re-start.
A late challenge by Seymour on Jones saw him receive a yellow card but the Aveley bench were understandably outraged when a similar challenge by Joe Kizzi on Sherwin Stanley soon afterwards earned only a stern talking too. The Cheshunt captain can consider himself very fortunate as he had been booked in the first half for a foul on McCullock and the challenge on Stanley was no different to the one that had seen Seymour cautioned moments earlier.
Jones went close with a header that eluded Joseph-Johnson but Coyne was on hand to head the ball clear. Other than that the Aveley keeper had little else to do as the Millers upped the tempo in the final quarter of an hour and tried to get back on level terms. Gardner made another substitution, brining on Pindy, who had speed in his locker which unsettled the Cheshunt defence. However . despite all their endeavours it simply wasn’t meant to be for Aveley. While the approach play showed attacking intent, the Millers were not vicious enough where it mattered and the final balls were either over hit, played too close to the Cheshunt defenders or else handled easily by Gooch. Pindy’s speed took him past Steven in the 84th minutes and he was able to fire off a shot but Tom Fletcher cleared the ball away from danger. Seymour on two occasions sent over threatening balls; the first a free-kick whipped in from the right that was aimed at a group of Aveley players but Fletcher used all his height to head the ball clear. Then in the final act of the game Seymour sent over a peach of a corner which Stanley met with a glancing header which went agonisingly close. You felt for Gardiner and his players as they had deserved something from the game but it was a frustrating afternoon which saw them drop vital home points to a team that are hoping to mount a promotion challenge themselves.
Lamar Joseph-Johnson, George Woodward, Billy Coyne, Perry Dunn, Michael Finneran, Jack Edwards, Abs Seymour, Sherwin Stanley, Arian Retkoceri, Jordan Peart (Andres Losada-Tobon), Daniel McCullock(Frankie Sinclair)
Scorer – Andres Losada-Tobon (49)
Michael Gooch, Joe Clemo, Joe Stevens, Joe Kizzi, Tom Fletcher, David Cowley, John Nzenigo, Tom Bruno, Jason Hallett (Michael Kalu), Liam Hope, Billy Jones
Scorers – Billy Jones (6, 29)