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LITTLE OAKLEY RESERVES V THFC : BORDER LEAGUE KNOCKOUT CUP 24/3/2018
FULL TIME : LITTLE OAKLEY RESERVES 2 – 4 THFC
HEATH WIN WITH A SPRING IN THEIR STEP
Spring is here folks and Tiptree Heath certainly have a spring in their step if this game was anything to go by. Oakley were a team that moved the ball about well, they broke quickly and spread the ball about the pitch well. Both teams came out of the starting blocks and set a decent tempo to the game but it was a quick throw in deep in the Oakley half to Charlie Green who turned and drove forward in the box to shoot low and score from a tight angle early on. More Heath pressure resulted in two successive corners with a shot just over the bar. Joe was presented with a site on goal but didn’t connect well as he can do and shot over.
Whilst the game was hotly contested and Heath had more of the ball the tempo of the game saw Heath overplay the ball somewhat and give up possession to a degree. One quick ball forward from Oakley made a one on one tussle for the ball between a Heath defender and Oakley an striker, where the striker did very well to pressurise the defender into a rare mistake and level the score 1 -1. Heath though were quick to reply as a ball was driven low across the box with Charlie Green being on hand to dart in and steer the ball in for 1-2.
As the second half began it soon became 1-3 as a ball was curled into the box for Cam Ward to jump well and head home. It was also evident that Heath were playing a tighter game, they were more slick in their passing and not relinquishing possession with loose balls as they had in the first half and whilst Oakley had been able to hinder our play ( again in the first half) through their own efforts of chasing down the ball and early pressure, they were failing to do so this time around. And Leaving formation changes aside I felt that Heath had raised their standard of play and got themselves literally firing on all cylinders like the proverbial well oiled machine they can be.
And so as the game wore on it was Heath who dominated in all areas with chances being created time and again. It wasn’t long then before Cam Ward found the ball played into his feet with back to goal where he turned his man in typical style to shoot hard and low where the keeper should have done better and the ball squirmed it’s way underneath his body and in for 1-4.
I felt it was game over but it’s worth noting that it would be wrong to think that on the pitch as any decent team will keep battling on which Oakley did and they managed a goal not long after and also created a good opportunity again where, had they scored it, it would have been 3-4 and all to play for. But as it turned out Heath kept control of the game and ran down the clock with free kicks and camping themselves at the corner flag.
Well done team and management for a sterling effort yet again. Green and Ward were a real handful up front. The Heath engine room worked tirelessly. Everyone played their part including Paddy ‘ The Punch ‘ Hawkins with his safe hands and constant reassuring barking at the rear guard. Thanks go to those subs that were available but not used namely Harry Hazel and Joe Hart, two players that certainly make their presence felt when on the pitch.