Tiptree Heath FC v. Bradfield Rovers
SATURDAY 15 TH OCTOBER 2016
MANAGER Steve Chester: COACH Ian Dobbins
SQUAD: Lee Greenwood Michael Lamb Kameron Dock Charlie Abrehart-Briggs Connor Brumpton Jamie Chesney Joe Chester Ryan Jones John Newman Jack Tolhurst Cam Ward Reece Speller Dan Warring
Considering we bashed the Bradfield Rovers reserve team last week I was intrigued to see what sort of challenge the first team would bring. It turns out that they were a hard working side that pushed us all the way, although it was the Heath who went 1-0 up after 6 minutes as Cam Ward being on the edge of the box laid the ball off nicely for Jack Tolhurst in support to drive a grass cutter of a shot neatly inside the far post from out left. 1-0
Heath are playing with typical verve and energy thanks to Jamie Chesney and Joe Chester being full of beans and covering lots of ground. Rovers in response work hard to close us down quickly. Connor Brumpton manages a cross in from the right with Cam Ward free for an effort on goal but the keeper saves well on 27 mins.
Shortly after Rovers are in our half and Lee Greenwood collects a back pass .The ball at his feet he dithers and is caught cold by a lurking Rovers player to stab the ball home and we are stunned at 1-1 on 29 mins.
Heath have a corner and it’s a fine delivery with pace where the keeper parries the ball Jack Tolhurst latches onto the ball in the area to convert with what is becoming a trademark bicycle kick to make it 2-1.
Heath raise the tempo with a spell of great interplay around the box for Cam Ward to have an effort go just wide.
Heath have reacted well to being stung at 1-1 and its Jack Tolhurst again who makes it 3-1 all of a sudden. What beans is he full of I wonder? Hat trick for Jack well done! It’s all action and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Rovers aren’t in the race but they plough on regardless and continue to work hard yet Ryan Jones is on the case and rattles the crossbar with a fine effort on 43 mins.
Cam Ward suffers a knock and is out of action for the second half.
As the second half begins Jack Tolhurst continues in fine form with nice touches on the ball.
Kameron Dock is rested on 54 mins and Reece Speller goes on, as play continues we are off the pace somewhat and the tempo and rhythm has gone to our game and Rovers have a corner but it’s no threat. Ryan Jones then ever alert and quick witted chips a ball over the defence for Dan Warring to volley just over the crossbar. 71 mins – Connor Brumpton crosses in from the right to find Joe Chester free at the far post for an easy nod in 4-1.
Rovers are undaunted and continue to hustle and bustle such that we can’t let up and it’s Rovers who miss an opportunity as they volley just over. They keep pressing the Heath and bring Lee Greenwood into action by making a save with his feet. A corner results, then a throw in and we are under pressure and on 76 mins they get their reward by scoring from close range 4-2 .I notice that Jack Tolhurst is back in defence as he is struggling having taken a knock, what with Cam Ward out we change our system to compensate which is not ideal and it seemingly invites pressure upon us as a result.
Rovers are having a good spell and we are lackluster. They literally smell blood and we are looking like a boxer on the ropes taking a pounding. A Rovers players collects the ball in the box, turns sharply and fires it home from 8 yards out giving Lee Greenwood no chance 4-3.
Rovers have a corner it’s whipped in, Lee Greenwood goes to punch under pressure he doesn’t connect well and Rovers score for 4-4. We are under the cosh as Lee manages to make a punch out this time but the balls in the box and it’s somehow scrambled into touch. Rovers get another corner and Lee clears. Full time.
As extra time begins we are in a rut and need to get out of it quick. Rovers are making chances to win this game and they have a golden opportunity to go ahead but it’s volleyed over the crossbar. Then on 95 mins from 25 yards out it’s a Ryan Jones rocket of an effort that goes in under the crossbar for 5-4.
Heath are resurgent and we up the tempo with a new lease of life Ryan Jones gets another effort on goal it’s on target but well saved. Joe Chester not to be outdone has a shot 25 yards out and hits the post.
Second half of extra time now and Rovers just keep going as its end to end stuff; they are still making chances but missing. 114 mins Rovers make a headed back pass that falls short and Joe Chester jumps on it to slot it home 6-4.
Tempers are rising and a Rovers player makes a wild tackle only for a fellow defender to then hack over a Heath player. He’s rightly yellow carded by the Ref who has had an excellent game throughout. It’s one more yellow card for Rovers as they kick the ball away in frustration.
Thank god for that. I think we got through it and I breathe a sigh of relief as does everyone else no doubt.
We didn’t make it easy for ourselves but losing Cam was tough. Full credit goes to Bradfield Rovers First they were a well organised side with a good work ethic.They are a league 2 side and had they taken their chances they may well have come out on top but they didn’t and that’s football. A mention goes to Jamie Chesney and Joe Chester for their tireless running, not forgetting a Jack Tolhurst hat trick or a ‘Knill Jones 25 yard stinger.
Well done lads one and all yes we hit a rut but the wheels didn’t fall off and we roll on our merry way!