Aveley 1 v 1 Herne Bay
THERE was disappointment at Parkside where Aveley were held by the basement club, dashing hopes of returning to the top of the Isthmian Premier table.
The visitors made a bright start to today’s encounter (Saturday, 24 September) and almost opened the scoring in the opening exchanges when a long ball over the top caused confusion in the home defence, but Ryan Scott was alert and got back to block Rory Smith’s effort.
In response Millers twice threatened when Manny Ogunrinde created a chance for George Sykes, whose shot was blocked – as was Brendon Shabani’s follow up.
Herne Bay thought they had scored on 14 minutes but it was ruled out as the ball had gone out of play in the build up.
It was nip and tuck and Shabani saw his effort well saved by Jordan Perrin at the other end and then debutant Blaise Riley-Snow – who numbers Enfield Town, Raith Rovers, Alloa Athletic and Alicante City among his previous clubs – set up Ogunrinde for another chance but again the effort was blocked.
A header from Sykes flashed inches wide of the upright and then Herne Bay were similarly just a fine margin away from a goal when, after an initial save by David Hughes, Kymani Thomas’s shot also zipped past the post.
Other chances came and went but the sides went into the break goalless.
Parity didn’t last long into the second half as Aveley were awarded a penalty for handball just three minutes after the restart and Sykes converted from the spot.
Aveley were only to hold the lead for ten minutes – and they only had themselves to blame when Smith seized on a misplaced header back to Hughes and finished into the top corner.
And it might have been worse on 68 minutes when once more a great effort flashed just wide of Hughes’ goal.
However, Aveley were to finish the stronger and in the closing stages went close when Harry Gibbs’ header was cleared away and seconds later Benas Vaivada’s corner smacked the post and bounced to safety.
But in the end honours were even and Aveley were left to rue the loss of an expected two points – which was compounded by news that Hornchurch and Potters Bar, with whom they shared top spot at the start of the day, had both won and a win for Bishops Stortford dropped Miller to fourth.