ESSEX & SUFFOLK BORDER FOOTBALL LEAGUE - RESERVE DIVISION ONE
HARWICH & PARKESTON FC RESEVES v BARNSTON FC RESERVES
Date: Saturday 07th January 2012 Venue: Royal Oak, Harwich.
Something had to give last Saturday when Harwich & Parkeston FC Reserves (10) entertained Barnston FC Reserves (9) as after nineteen league games neither side had drawn or been beaten scoring 108 goals and conceding only 7 apiece, in fact only one Border League team has a better goals against record. The pitch was hard underneath but very soft on top following the heavy rain earlier in the week. The home side only re-joined the Border League this season after several years in the Ridgeon’s League and for the visitors it was their second season. Before kick-off, both teams observed a minute’s silence and it was also strange to note that both teams had young player manager/s starting the game.
Barnston FC Reserves kicked-off but H&P Reserves won possession and as early as the first minutes forced Welton into a fine close range save palming the ball away from Martin’s right foot shot from a left wing cross. Barnston hit back and on five minutes Brett forced Chilver into a save low to his right. A minute later and some trickery by Law saw him flick the ball over the defender, give chase but lobbed the loose ball over the keeper and cross-bar. Layzell for the visitors then had a great chance from O’Briens corner, heading over. Johnson for the home side then set up Law but he scuffed the ball wide when well placed and Johnson had already showed his confidence on the ball. Harwich & Parkeston FC Reserves looked more comfortable going forward and were putting pressure on the equally resolute visitors defence. When James and Layzell threatened the home defence Neale stepped in with a timely tackle to clear up-field. On seventeen minutes Law embarked on a run down the left side, swung over a great cross but Welton advanced to catch, Law was then caught off-side from Johnson’s pass then from Traynor’s free-kick Welton advanced to punch clear but when the ball fell to Law he lofted the ball wide of the target. Johnson was again in the thick of the midfield action, this time losing possession to Pyne who found Layzell but Manager, Neal was on hand to block the shot and he then had to close down Brett as he sought to get round the defence, the ball running out of play for a goal-kick. At the mid-half point play appeared very disjointed, too many times the ball was given away, and the home supporters in the stand were getting restless just as a goal was scored. Barnston FC were closed down on the right side of their defence, losing possession to Johnson who beat two defenders, referee Oakes played a good advantage when he was baulked by Monk, and LEE JOHNSON stroked the ball past the static keeper from twelve yards out. Pyne broke down the right for the visitors, found Layzell, but he shot over the cross-bar, then James had his shot saved by Chilver. Martin then caught Livermore with a late challenge but a feature of this game was the sporting manner in which it was played and both players picked themselves up, shook hands and played resumed. Harwich were looking to increase their advantage with quick attacks but Barnston’s defence looked comfortable when under pressure and until now neither goalkeeper had been overly busy! Brett did find James but his effort was tame as he scooped the ball to Chilver. As half-time approached, some spectators took an early walk for their refreshments and missed the second goal! Neal’s free-kick from inside his own half found Martin deep on the left wing, his cross was only partially cleared and JAKE NEALE controlled the ball before volleying past Welton from just outside the penalty area to put the home side two goals up.
HALF-TIME: 2 - 0
Harwich introduced Cooper-Sutton for Law and he was straight into the action running from the half-way line before shooting over the cross-bar then a good run and pass by Race set up Cooper-Sutton but he scuffed an easy chance wide of the goal. Heard for Barnston pushed forward however Chilver saved the effort from thirty yards out. Johnson was at it again setting up Race but he overran the ball which was collected by Welton, then he cut inside the defender passing to Martin whose shot was saved at the second attempt. Harwich were on top again and Race put a superb ball across the area but there was no one there to capitalise from the chance, then Layzell did exactly the same at the other end for Barnston! Johnson again received the ball in midfield this time setting up Jewell but his cross was deflected back to Welton. Andre and Brett had a slight difference of opinion just on the half-way line but referee Oakes told them to calm down and get on with the game, Brett being replaced soon after by Joint Manager Rivett. Layzell had been the main threat for Barnston and even on the hour mark he was searching for ways to beat the home defence but perhaps missing his usual strike partner who was attending a wedding. Andre was then replaced by Eade and as Jewell took the throw-in but Cooper-Suttons attempt at an overhead kick went well wide of the goal. Eade looked lively, and given the chance to run at defenders and twice in succession his crosses just eluded his team-mates. The same player was then put through by Johnson but Eade hit his effort straight at the advancing Welton who held the well struck ball for a crucial save. Crane replaced Pyne and Layzell was again in action but was stopped as Chilver advanced to charge down the goal-bound effort. As legs tired on the heavy pitch Barnston were guilty of wasting possession when going forward, that old final ball syndrome! With fifteen minutes to go Barnston won a corner but Chilver saved from Cranes header who then had to defend as Martin ran through on the break forward. Harwich made their last substitution replacing Race with Sayer, with Johnson still prompting from midfield but over-hitting his forward pass to Sayer. As time ran out Cohen replaced Joint Manager, Monk, then Johnson fed Martin but Crane once again swept up with a timely interception at the expense of another corner. With five minutes to go Martin had his effort saved by Welton and when Heard found James, Chilver advanced to save at his feet. James was in action again turning past Neal, for the only time in the game, running goal-wards only to see Chilver launch himself to tip away the dipping goal-bound effort for a late corner. Harwich defended the corner and by keeping possession played out the dying minutes to retain their 100% league record.
FULL TIME: 2 - 0
Harwich & Parkeston FC Reserves march on, Barnston FC Reserves will reflect on a lot of effort for no reward both teams should be commended on the sporting nature of their play and referee Oakes had an easy game. Manager, Neal, for the home side was solid at the back but it was Johnson in midfield who caught the eye, he saw a lot of the ball, and always looked dangerous when going forward, scoring an early goal and creating numerous opportunities.
Harwich & Parkeston FC Reserves Colours: Black & White
Lee Chilver., Richard Neal., Richard Traynor., Jake Neale., Phil Lewis., Lloyd Jewell., Gavin Race., Craig Martin., Jason Law., Joseph Andre., Lee Johnson.
Manager: Richard Neal.
Used Substitutes: James Sayer., Leroy Eade., Sonny Cooper-Sutton.
Barnston FC Reserves Colours: Royal Blue
Jack Welton., Peter Monk., Dan O’Brien., Gareth Heard., Terry Livermore., Dan Patching., Billy Sykes., Shane Pyne., Todd James., Paul Layzell., Ben Brett.
Manager/s: Peter Monk and Neil Rivett
Used Substitutes: David Cohen., Neil Rivett., Dan Crane.
Referee: Richard Oakes
Man of the Match: Lee Johnson (Harwich & Parkeston FC Reserves)