For the official Border League match report, please click here.
BURES FC V THFC BORDER LEAGUE DIVISION 2 10/2/2018
FT : BURES 0 – 1 THFC
HEATH WIN CRUCIAL GAME
This had been a long anticipated game for the Heath, if not only to exact revenge over losing to Bures back in August but to also consolidate their second position at the top of the table.
Prior to this game Bures had won all their games and only drawn one, while Tiptree Heath’s only loss was at the hands of Bures themselves. It’s fair to say that winning League 2 has become a two horse race between these two teams, and being four points adrift with a game in hand it was certainly a game to be relished and the players came out of the dressing room knowing what was at stake.
During the first ten minutes both teams had an even share of the ball as they both looked to get a foothold in the game. It soon became clear though that Heath were playing the better football, they held on to the ball better and fell comfortably in to their stride with patterns of neat and tidy play. The midfield was ever the key area in getting the ball forward in to the feet of either Charlie Green or Cam Ward. And it was Green who fired off two efforts early on then had a third curling effort from the corner of the box well saved by the keeper after being fed the ball out from midfield. Bures were being pressured by a hard working Heath team such that they were forced into losing possession whilst in their own half. Heath would pick up the pieces and counter well but play the wrong final ball ending in frustration at many failed chances in the final third.
Late on Bures were shown a yellow card for holding as they tried to thwart the efforts of Cam Ward. Heath were also rarely troubled at the back.If Bures looked weak up front it would also be fair to say that the Heath back line were in fine form with Briggs, Tollhurst and Charlie Turner holding firm. Jack Tollhurst was imperious in mopping up threats and sending trademark searching balls forward for an instant attack.
After the restart it was again a case of Heath starting where they left off, the half time brief to was to continue their first half momentum, and that they did as Cam Ward shot a low effort wide early on. Then Ryan Scillitoe found himself weaving his way in from the left wing, deftly evading the Bures defence and getting into the box where a succession of shots were parried by the keeper in seemingly miraculous fashion to deny Heath the goal. It seemed easier for the ball to go in than not. Heath however did not let up the pace and pressured Bures with more neat play around the box as they foraged for that elusive goal.
Bures were simply not getting a sniff of the play as Heath dominated. Scillitoe squared a ball to the incoming Green who struck the ball well only for it to deflect off a defender and whilst it felt to me that it would only be a matter of time before we scored I also felt that time was running out as chances came and went. Then all of a sudden a high ball was put in toward Cam Ward and whilst being closely shadowed by two defenders they failed to head the ball clear and Ward controlled the ball with a sublime first touch allowing him to step right and strike the ball from just inside the box with a superb well timed shot that screamed in past the out stretched keeper leaving him with no chance. Manager Charlie gave a fist pump whilst coach Dobbins went off with a jig down the touchline suffering euphoria no doubt. I actually kept it together with a simple dignified fist pump if only intent on recording the action via my voice memo on the mobile. (it was too damned wet and rainy to scribble it down.)
Then followed a succession of corner flag shielding of the ball as Heath wore down the clock, throw ins kept the ball deep in the Bures half for a while, until it was finally dug out and Bures got themselves a corner. It was tense as I and Heath spectators/management paced around in nervous fashion like a bunch of expectant fathers praying that we would not concede late on. The resultant corner though was met with a defensive wall of Heath heads where it was cleared away. The whistle soon went and arms went up in with cheers all round from the Heath contingent.
On reflection this was a fine win. Bures were second best the whole game. Heath players were sharp and worked tirelessly all game. They are well deserving of the win one and all.
Next up we face Colne Engaine way at Burches meadow.