Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Cheshunt Roasted by an Opening Fired-In

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Tuesday 20 December 2011 at Park Drive, Maldon
Maldon & Tiptree 2 Cheshunt 1
Isthmian League Division One South (Step 4)
Venue 437 on the lifetime list
This match in one sentence
The home side deserved their win but the visitors will rue a missed penalty that could have changed the outcome.
So what?
Maldon and Tiptree are 19th, now just 2pts immediately behind Cheshunt (and Soham Town Rangers) but with games in hand.
Something random
Thanks to the gentleman who noticed me taking a photograph of the teamsheet and promptly brought me one to take away. It made me feel like a proper hopper, and was much appreciated.
The drama unfolds
My scene-setter video clip was taken after about ten minutes, and has some excellent examples of step 4 shouting.  By then Maldon & Tiptree (in the red/blue strip) were already imposing themselves through the pace of winger Marcus Milner and the presence of strikers Sos Yao and Leon Antoine.  One very good chance went begging as a hard driven ball scuttled through the six-yard box just in front of Antoine.

On the half-hour mark, Milner nutmegged the fullback and crossed well but Joe Pearman’s header was straight at Sam Tanner in the Cheshunt goal.  A minute later, Yao mistimed a header from a good position.  A Cheshunt clearance was sliced somewhat fortunately over the bar, but gradually the visitors got into the game and the last few minutes before the interval were even.  Scott Stevens in the home goal was to go on and keep a clean sheet, but just before half-time a horrible clearance presented the away side with the ball – but they failed to convert the chance.

This neutral was left with the impression that Maldon & Tiptree had been the prettier side, but that it could all eventually count for nothing as Cheshunt had enough about them to earn an ugly away win.  0-0 at half-time

The next really good chance fell to Pearman after 53 minutes, but Tanner fingertipped the ball away at full stretch.  My second clip comes from around the hour mark, and shows chances at both ends.

The deadlock was broken after 65 minutes.  Pearman beat his man and got in a good cross.  Antoine made a nuisance of himself in challenging for the ball, which fell kindly for Yao on the six-yard line.  He swivelled and thumped it home.  1-0

Six minutes later, a wonderful through ball from substitute Liam Coleman was rolled into the path of Yao, who tucked it away in the left-hand corner from 18 yards or so.  2-0

Cheshunt were handed a potential lifeline almost immediately.  Full-back Dave Collins was perhaps fortunate to escape with only a yellow card for bringing down Kevin Ashwood in the area.  However, Josh Hutchinson’s penalty was saved by Stevens, diving low to his left.  The two-goal margin proved crucial.  Ashwood took a chance very neatly in stoppage time, and Maldon & Tiptree were reduced to running the ball into the corners to hold on for the win.  Certainly, Maldon & Tiptree will look back and say they made the most chances, but Cheshunt will wonder what might have been.  Despite my post headline, this wasn't really a roasting.  Final score 2-1

Maldon & Tiptree’s two-goal striker Sos Yao (left foreground), even though he wears Fancy Dan boots.  Click the Brentwood Town tag in the cloud to the right and you can see what he was doing in the playoffs in May this year.
A snippet from the programme
From an article about collectables:
“The main memory of Shoot! (magazine) that readers will retain was the annual free gift of Shoot League Ladders, which the magazine neither invented or had exclusive claim to.  These comprised a thin card sheet on which were printed blank league tables for each division of the English and Scottish Leagues, with a slit in the card alongside each position.  Also given away were T-shaped tabs for each club in the league, printed in the appropriate team colours, which could be fitted into the slots to indicate where each team currently stood in the league table … some have survived to appear regularly on eBay.”

Elsewhere in the issue, there is more from groundhopper Brian Buck, whom I have quoted before.  I am pleased to add my congratulations to him as he has reached his target of 10,000 games on 3,000 different grounds before his 60th birthday.
What I learned today
Maldon & Tiptree are managed by Mike Flanagan, the ex-Charlton Athletic forward.  Cheshunt have a new management team too, led by David Bricknell.
What Next?
I may be up in the Midlands tomorrow for family reasons and am not sure whether either an Elite League Ice Hockey fixture (at Coventry) or a step 6 East Midlands League game (at Bardon Hill) will be possible – follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details as they emerge!

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