Blues extend their unbeaten run
Bostik League North
Saturday 9th September 2017
Bowers & Pitsea 1(1) Hertford Town 1(1)
In truth the Blues should have come away from Pitsea on Saturday with all three points but, nevertheless for that, they will be reasonably satisfied with a draw that saw them extend their unbeaten run to six games. And, perhaps, a good indication of how well the Blues performed was that the Non-League Paper named the hosts’ goalkeeper, Callum Chafer, as man-of-the-match.
The Blues are clearly still adjusting to football at Step 4 in the football pyramid but, with every game they play, there are positive signs of progress. They are still being punished for the occasional defensive lapse but they are proving to be a match for the opposition they have met so far.
Saturday’s game was very different from the two recent cup ties in that it started at a fairly low tempo with both sides trying to pass the ball around and maintain possession. As a consequence there was little goalmouth action in the opening quarter of an hour and the Blues were looking fairly comfortable. It therefore came as bit of a surprise when the home side took the lead in the 18th minute. A poor clearance was seized upon by the hosts and a quick ball into the box was only partially dealt with and Bowers’ Lewis Manor was first to the loose ball and slotted it under the diving body of Blues custodian, Charlie Mann.
Whilst the goal had not strictly come against the run of play, it was one which the Blues will have been disappointed to concede. They responded, though, by lifting their tempo and putting their opponents under greater pressure than they had before going a goal behind.
They came close to finding an equaliser only three minutes later when Michael Toner came close to connecting with a Tommy Wade header across goal from a Matt Thomson corner. The wait for a leveller was only briefly extended, though, when, in the 30th minute, Tommy Wade scored his fifth goal in five games following a very good and incisive attack. Charlie Ruff picked up the ball in midfield and fed it out to Tyler Hatherly, overlapping down the left. His pin-point cross found his fellow full-back Ollie Sharman at the back of the box and Tommy Wade pounced to score when Ollie’s header could only be parried by the keeper.
For the remaining fifteen minutes of the half it was the Blues who dominated the play. Wave after wave of attacks should really have seen the Blues take a decisive lead but two chances each to Charlie Ruff and Ricky Light all went begging and when the half-time whistle was blown the scores were still level.
When the teams came out for the second half Daniel Bond had replaced an ailing Tommy Wade, but there was no change to the Blues’ momentum with two corners being forced in the first five minutes. Neither came to anything, however, and with Bowers having picked up their game, the match descended into a stalemate with no chances being created at either end. This all changed in the last ten minutes or so with both goalkeepers needing to be on their mettle to deny good efforts on goal.
Charlie Mann made two good saves in the 33rd and 38th minutes and then the Bowers custodian did likewise when he denied first Dan Ferrigno and then Charlie Ruff, whose 25-yard pile-driver looked certain to find the roof of the net.
The deadlock was not broken, though, and both teams were finally forced to settle for a point apiece with Bowers maybe the happier of the two?
Team: Charlie Mann, Ollie Sharman, Tyler Hatherly, Matt Thomson, Michael Toner, Jay Lovell, Brett O’Connor, Charlie Edwards, Charlie Ruff, Tommy Wade (Daniel Bond 46’) and Ricky Light(Dan Ferrigno 71’).
Subs not used: Jonah Evans, Glenn Draper & Davy Edmee.
Match Report by Ray Greenall
Video © 2017 Nathan Hobley