Colne Engaine v Tiptree Heath FC : TOMMY THOMPSON CUP
MANAGER : STEVE CHESTER, COACH : IAN DOBBINS
SQUAD : Lee Greenwood, Connor Brumpton, Michael Lamb, Jack Tollhurst, Dan Warring, Kameron Dock, John Newman, Jamie Chesney, Joe Chester, Charlie Green, Brett Hughes, Sean Dobbins, Charlie Turner
Colne Engaine are an experienced side that have come into the Border league from the Colchester and east essex league and having lost to them on two occasions it is clear that they will rise up through the leagues. They are a good side and made to look better for having a No 9 that is a prolific striker having scored 30 goals so far this season. Heath made a bright start in the first ten minutes putting early pressure on Colne with two crosses into the box from both the left and the right, Jamie Chesney always skilful with quick feet even managed to steal the ball from under the feet of a Colne player who was trying to shield the ball with his body at the corner flag. Nice one you cheeky lad. Heath continued with their typical neat and fluid passing game that resulted in a spell of what must have been 12 or more passes at least.
A corner was then had by Heath with the ball hitting against the crossbar after being deflected high in the box. It was Colne though who broke the deadlock albeit against the run of play with a swift ball forward to that No 9 who turned our defender in the blink of an eye and ran on to slot it passed Lee for 1-0 on 20 minutes.
Lee was again called in to action soon after and managed a fine one handed save to deny Colne then up the other end Dan Warring had an effort fly just over as he executed a neat turn and shoot on the 18 yard line, Colne however are continually able to get the ball to their No 9 this time on the right side of our box, though opposing players battled for the ball it’s the strength and guile of No 9 that won over again and he broke free from the challenge to run at goal and deliver a clinical finish for 2-0.
Heath though kept going and their efforts resulted in the ball hitting the bar from a corner after two successive headers of the loose ball in the box but Colne were the team in the ascendancy as the first half came to a close. Heath had the last chance of the game with a free header that was put wide before the whistle blew for half time. The half time brief was for an up in tempo and how to deal with The No 9 who really was a handful for our young defence. At the restart Heath battled away until the 60th minute when a Colne player made a searching run along the 18yard line and whilst being shepherded by a Heath defence managed to find his gap and tucked away a neat finish for 3-0.
It was literally too much for Heath as again from a free kick that was chipped in No 9 had time and space to make it 4-0 on 66 minutes. Not long after it was No 9 again doing the damage, having won the ball out on the left wing he marauded his way in on goal to ruthlessly bang home another for 5-0.
NOTE : a tactical change was made from our usual 4-4-2 to 3-4-3, John Newman was rested and Charlie Turner went on. Finding ourselves 5-0 was hard to take watching from the sidelines and i felt that it was now a case of having to salvage some pride, keep plugging away, do not drop your heads and roll over, and soon enough we were rewarded as a deflected shot. . . . . then a volleyed shot. . . . . the ball having fallen loose was stabbed home 5-1( Dan Warring). Yeehaa some of that. . Come on the Heath.
We now had something to cheer about and no doubt with the required injection of adrenalin to fight back. . . . . which they did, admirably, as before I knew it Charlie Turner banged one in from inside the box 5-2.
Colne Engaine were then caught in front of the Heath headlights as Heath smelled blood and on 75 minutes a shot from a tight angle was spilled/parried by the keeper and Jack Tollhurst was there to bang home the loose ball 5-3.
Time enough to salvage the game ?. . . . . unfortunately not because as we chased the game we were caught out by a swift counter, the ball was played to that bloke that I’m sick of writing up on. . . yes No 9, the ball seemed to stick to his feet being as he was so hard to shake off the ball and he managed to wriggle off his challenger to turn in on goal and score again for 6-3.
Heath undaunted and stubborn responded by hitting the bar, they weren’t done yet, Charlie green received the ball wide right and worked well to deliver in a superb cross where Joe Chester met the incoming ball on the run and powered in a hammer header on the six yard line 6-4.
It was a frantic finish albeit too late but a great fight back no less and as the whistle was blown soon after I’m dead proud of the lads for their fighting spirit and salvaging some pride and I shake each of our players hands to acknowledge their efforts accordingly. Credit goes to the management for having changed the formation for the second half ( effectively putting three up front to overwhelm their defence ).
Not only did it work but I feel that with our high tempo football though being effective and well suited to our style of play, when it broke down we had players enough in numbers to pressurise their midfield and defence to win back the ball. I’m tempted to say that Dobby is a tactical genius but then a certain Charlie Chester and other Heath legends will no doubt be up in arms about that one LOL. . . . ( if it was deployed sooner and we won as a result of it then yes I damn well would have. . . . more LOL ). Anyhow enough said so let us dust ourselves down and ready ourselves for another quarter final clash with Shoebury Town in the Essex Junior cup next week we have another chance to seek glory in our first season, let alone our strong standing in the league still. It’s all to play for people.