Football: Aveley held by Witham in ding dong battle

Ryman Div One North

Aveley 2 v 2 Witham Town

IT was a rather lacklustre game which saw the visitors pull back twice to deny the Millers the three points to stay up with the pace at the top of the table.

Injuries throughout the game plighted the Millers and made it an even more difficult match than if those first team starters stayed on the pitch. Jeremiah Maja went off in the early stages and Nick Skelton then also went off at half time both due to leg injuries.

Millers new signing Ross Gleed got us off to a flyer, he raced down the left hand side put a cross into the box where Jeremiah Maja was waiting. Witham Town centre half Lance Akins got to the ball first and turned it past his own keeper to put Aveley ahead.

The game lacked enthusiasm and fluency and the next real chance that came was Witham Town’s equaliser. A clearance went awry and it found Tim Monsheju who headed in unmarked from six-yards out into the bottom left hand corner.

Next chance of the game was very soon after the equaliser, John Watson tried his luck from a long way out and it went a long way over the bar too.

Adalberto Pinto found Jeremiah Maja but his shot was fired just over the bar, during that shot he seemed to either get a whack or he pulled strained something in his leg, and it looked to be a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Jordan Peart , back in the team after a recent illness.

Adalberto Pinto was in the thick of the action minutes after being awarded a yellow card for a late tackle, from a Billy Coyne corner he saw his effort cleared off the line by Ryan Imbert to keep the scores level.

To start off the second half there was a twenty minute period of just bizarre decisions which annoyed both sets of fans. The first against the Millers; Jordan Peart was about to get on the end of a pass through by Ross Gleed, however he was blocked off and obstructed, however the free-kick went the other way.

No free-kick was awarded and nothing looking to have happened so it must have been something verbal that a Witham Town player had said. The referee went over to his linesmen on the near side and spent a good minute talking through a decision eventually awarding a yellow card.

The game lacked fluidity and it’s certainly wasn’t helped by the amount of time each free kick took for both sides.

Witham had a couple of chances. Firstly Usman Adjenji got into position to attempt a shot but didn’t get the proper connection on the ball from a tight angle to send it towards our goal. Lewis Payne on the other hand connected too heavily as his edge of the area volley went sailing over the bar.

Aveley went searching for that second goal to try and win it as Terry Spillane played his hand by bringing on a striker for a midfielder. A Billy Coyne whipped corner was headed just wide aided by a deflection by Gaz Dauti. Joe Clark took that resulting corner and his cross needed to be tipped over by Witham keeper Paul Adu.

Jack Edwards almost put the Millers deservedly infront, Paul Adu was living a rather charmed life as his punch was put back into the box by Tunde Adewunmi from which Jack Edwards stole in and almost scored but Adu just recovered in time to put the ball behind.

From that corner Aveley finally got their noses back in front. Harry Gibbs smashed towards goal with a right footed pile driver, Adu just palmed it away as far as Tommy Spillane who shot again towards goal with it being diverted into the net by Dan Odamo at the back post.

However the game had one last sting in its tale. A cross from the left found Usman Adenji and with the cruelest of sucker punches he netted a late equaliser. Perhaps on reflection a point would’ve been a fair result, but after taking the lead twice it maybe the Millers will feel like its two points dropped.

Aveley: Lamar Johnson, Billy Coyne, Joe Clark, Tommy Spillane, Nick Skelton (Harry Gibbs 45), Dan Odamo, Jack Edwards, Ross Gleed, Adalberto Pinto (Tunde Adewunmi 67), Gaz Dauti, Jeremian Maja (Jordan Peart 24)

Scorers – Lance Atkins (og 5’), Dan Odamo (84’)

Witham Town: Paul Agu, Alex Anderson, Tyler Hayes (Scott Kemp 85), John Watson, Lance Atkins, Damien Green, Ryan Imbert (Nathan Koranteng 66), Lewis Payne (Max Bradford 74), Tim Monsheju, Ryan Charles, Usman Adeniji

Scorers – Tim Monsheju (14’), Usman Adeniji (88’)

The result leaves Aveley in fifth place on 40 points, just four points off the leaders.

They return to league action on Saturday away at Soham Town Rangers.

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