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THFC V OYSTER FIRST : BORDER LEAGUE CUP 23/12/2017
SQUAD : P HAWKINS T TURNER C BRIGGS J TOLLHURST J CHESTER J CHESNEY M HAWKINS H HAZEL C WARD C TURNER
FULL TIME : THFC 6 – 2 OYSTER FIRST
Saturday’s game ( 30 Th Dec ) against Colne Engaine was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, and with two other games cancelled in the month of December Heath have only played one game in four weeks. However Tiptree Heath managed a full 90 minutes in a friendly mid week fixture against Coggeshall United who top the Essex and Suffolk Border league Premier Division.
Whilst the final result was 4-0 to Coggeshall the result does not tell the whole story.
Heath were only 1-0 down at half time, often matching Coggeshall’s swift movement and accuracy of pass. All in all it was a super effort from the Heath and whilst they pitted their wits against what is a cultured and proficient Coggeshall United team Tiptree Heath have at least seen the level to which they aspire to attain. They are not far behind that’s for sure.
Against Oyster( 23rd December ) It took Heath only 5 minutes to chalk up their first goal from good work by T Turner who crossed in from the right wing, resulting in striker C Ward’s shot being parried by the goalie with Joe Chester picking up the spoils by volleying in from close range 1-0.
The Oyster keeper remained busy early on as Heath created openings on numerous occasions. Heath’s dominance saw them hit the post before Oyster managed a ball across the face of the Heath goal needing to be cleared off the goal line. Oyster are new to the Border league in Division 3 but it is clear that they will not linger there for long as they have enough of a footballing ability about them, but it was L Thurston of Tiptree Heath playing left side who gathered the ball after a failed Oyster attack and provided a quick ball forward where Chester and Hazel combined well to switch play to Turner on the right wing who put in an excellent cross, where J Chester volleyed close in for 2-0. Unfortunately Heath striker Cam Ward then suffered a recurring knee problem and left the field of play leaving Heath with ten men for the remainder of the the game.
Though Oyster worked the ball well when in possession and proved themselves a capable footballing side it was Heath’s trademark work rate off the ball and constant pressing of Oyster that allowed them to gain the upper hand, and so it was H Hazel that was free and in space on the right wing who pinged a super ball into the box where Joe Chester met the ball with perfect timing after having streaked into the box and rose like the proverbial salmon to execute a thunderous header in for 3-0, and completing a hat trick to boot.
During the second half more goals followed from both teams, J Chester getting another, J Tollhurst and H Hazel of the Heath adding one a piece respectively. Oyster made a game of it by bagging two goals themselves.
As far as the league is concerned Heath sit firmly in second place with Bures being the only realistic threat to Division 2 success as they have played the same amount of games and are 3 points ahead. Tiptree Heath though have played the tougher teams and now have the easier run in for 2018. And let’s not forget the crucial yet enticing away fixture to Bures themselves, a six pointer game surely.
It’s been a good year for this young and maturing Tiptree Heath side, be it their on pitch work ethic, the quality of the football that they have produced ( consistently), their spirit and determination or never say die attitude they have left an impression with their opponents, they’ve made a name for themselves with some teams being gracious enough to praise Tiptree Heath’s style of football and ability, and they will no doubt remain focused and determined to continue in the same vein for 2018.
I for one would like to praise the manager first and foremost for his unstinting dedication to the week to week training/match day tasks, aided and assisted also by coach Ian Dobbins. Secondly the all the squad players themselves, I watch them often and am proud to be a part of an emerging talent of players you know who you are.
And so I wish you all a belated happy new year and…… no indigestion from too many mince pies and chocolates ……..Right?