Tiptree Heath FC V Connaught Red Star; BORDER LEAGUE DIV 3
SQUAD : Lee Greenwood, Connor Brumpton, Kameron Dock, Charlie Briggs, Ryan Scillitoe, Michael Lamb, Louis Olymbios, Jamie Chesney,Joe Chester, Jack Tollhurst, Charlie Green, Sean Carter, Sean Dobbins
THFC 1-3 CONNAUGHT RED STAR
It’s easy to see why Connaught are where they are in the league. They have a mean defence with a good squad of players. Heath are a team that can unlock such a defence but with the continued absence of our top striker Cam Ward we do lack that cutting edge up front that would otherwise give us more favourable results.
The management though are not sitting on their laurels and have brought in two extra squad members in Sean Carter, in his own words an old school defender (Craggy likes this). He got himself 20 minutes play in the second half and I believe from what I saw that he is a no nonsense defender with an experienced head on his shoulders which can only be a good thing for the Heath. Charlie Green having taken his goal in fine fashion looks to be a nifty forward and hopefully our fox in the box.
Both teams were well matched, Connaught were a well drilled team, mean defensively and you’d need a can opener to pries them open. After a vigorous start it was clear that both teams were up for this important clash (it would give some daylight at the top of the table for Connaught whilst a win would keep Heath in strong contention for an automatic promotion). It was Connaught who opened up the scoring after 9 minutes from a corner where it was a fine (classic) attacking header toward the near post just inside the box that flew in for 0-1.
Heath had started in fine fashion with a signature passing game, strong in the tackle and fine touches of play, this became the theme throughout the first half. A strong shot from Connaught brought out a fine save from Lee and Heath responded with a good effort on goal themselves where good play saw the ball flicked on with pace inside the box where it was saved well from the Connaught keeper. More good interplay by Heath on 21 minutes in front of the Connaught box saw Jamie Chesney poke a dropping ball agonizingly wide. Heath continued the pressure and gained three free kicks in three minutes but with no end result. The pressure was telling and that can opener was working furiously as an excellent through ball by Louis O that sliced open the defence was a tad too strong for Heath to latch onto and ran into touch. NUTS.
More sharp play by Heath saw another brave save by the Connaught keeper as he clashed with our player on the six yard box to snuff out a chance to equalize.
Equalise, we did though, on 42 minutes when Jamie Chesney lobbed in a cheeky ball from midfield for Charlie Green to latch onto and cooly lob the on rushing keeper for 1-1.
The half time team talk was to replicate the first half but on 50 minutes from a Connaught corner the ball fell loose on the 18 yard line and they pounced to drive the ball in low through a gaggle of players where unbelievably it skewed its way in for 1-2.Heath were undeterred and responded well with an effort from a free kick 25 yards out that was almost poked in. NUTS again.
Lee greenwood was having a great game (he tends to do this the busier he is) as he saved well again after Connaught had beaten our defence too easily and found a player with time and space to shoot.
Heath continued to push and Connaught continued to thwart our efforts as the game went end to end, on 68 minutes a cross in by Connaught flicked off a Heath head in defence where the deflection fell nicely into the path of a lurking Connaught player in the box for him to nod in comfortably for 1-3.
Heath got a free kick 30 yards out square in front of the box, Joe Chester struck well and it flew just over.
Lee saved well with his feet after a defensive error gifted Connaught possession.
Charlie Green suffered a knock and went off with Sean Dobbins going on up front on 78 minutes.
Heath broke swiftly forward late on from a Connaught corner for Ryan Scillitoe to have an effort that goes high. And that’s how it ended as the whistle blew for full time.
This was a good game that was keenly contested throughout. We played well in typical fashion and created chances but were missing that cutting edge unfortunately. The score flatters Connaught I think as on another day those last two goals would not have occurred. The draw would have been fair but take nothing away from a good Connaught side. Speaking to them after the game they themselves paid tribute to us by saying they were glad to see the back of the first half.
It was also an admirable effort by the lads and if we play like that next week we have a chance to get one over on Colne Engaine in the Tommy Thomson Cup next week.
Sean Carter got 20 minutes in the second half and slotted in well with a sound performance.
Congratulations to Charlie Green for a sublime debut goal but its Lee Greenwood who claims the plaudits for a typical beast like performance in our goal.