Match report away v Stanstead ( Essex senior cup)

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Match report away v Stanstead ( Essex senior cup)

Post  Dock end John on Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:26 am

Stansted 2 Tilbury 2 (Tilbury won 5-3 on penalties) 
(Att 54) Report with thanks to Chris Evans Essex FA and photo of Lewis Francis scoring from Essex FA.

Tilbury were forced to negotiate a number of scares at Hargrave Park before eventually overcoming a resilient Stansted side from a division below in the BBC Essex Senior Cup, ultimately requiring penalties to advance to the Fourth Round.
The hosts held an advantage from the 9th minute thanks to Tony Cookey’s bullet header until superb strikes from Lewis Francis (32 minutes) and Jimmy Cook (74) had seemingly restored normality. But Gareth Jones had other ideas, levelling the scores with two minutes left and it took an unblemished shootout record for Tilbury to move on in the competition.
Mark Ashford’s Stansted squad entered the game on the back of a morale-boosting 5-2 victory over Redbridge at the weekend which lifted them to sixth position in the Essex Senior League table. It was indicative of a superb run of form which had seen the Airportmen win six and draw one of their eight fixtures during October.
Tilbury, meanwhile, were narrowly defeated 3-2 by Haringey Borough on Saturday and just three of that starting line-up were fielded from the beginning of this match. However, wins in their previous two Ryman Isthmian League North fixtures had helped to cement their position in the top seven as they hunt for a play-off place this season.



The visiting Dockers started brightly as a high, 3rd-minute diagonal ball was controlled by Francis on the right wing and his deflected effort crept wide from just inside box. Yet it was the hosts who grabbed the lead six minutes later. A brilliant right-wing cross from Matt Wedlake - who was added to the line-up just prior to kick-off due to a Connor Martin illness - was powerfully buried inside near post by head of Cookey.
That goal was one of few opportunities which presented themselves to Stansted, although defender Jack Hayes did nod at goalkeeper Lee Butcher from corner in the 23rd minute, representing just their second chance of game. At the other end another cross-field pass shortly afterwards picked out Francis, but deeper this time. His tempting, volleyed centre across the Stansted goalmouth was unfortunately unconverted by any of his team mates.
Tilbury gradually built pressure and eventually their territorial dominance was rewarded as Francis met the ball well and whistled a low finish across helpless ‘keeper Reece Paine and inside the post from 15 yards. The comeback could have been complete five minutes later if Paine hadn’t parried out Reece Hewitt’s powerful drive after the Tilbury winger shifted the ball to his left and drilled at the Stansted custodian from distance.

All-square at the break, it was Stansted who again attempted to wrestle the initiative after the interval. Jones carved at a 54th-minute shot from the left apex of the penalty box which careered narrowly off-target. Tilbury also went close on 65 minutes as Cook did well to squeeze in a left-wing cross along the ground to Jaydon Charles in the goalmouth, who rifled over.

When they did move into the lead for the first time it was courtesy of an outstanding piece of individual brilliance from Cook out of the blue. There appeared to be no danger as he plucked the ball out of the air around 30 yards from goal when closely marked. He twisted and turned, one way then the other, in search of options then opted to thump low and left-footed into the bottom corner, prompting enthusiastic congratulations from his peers.
Stansted’s attacks became more desperate and frantic as a result, with time ticking away. And it looked like it wouldn’t be their night when, with a dozen minutes remaining, Jack Isherwood blasted a side-footer frustratingly wide with a decent sight of goal from adjacent to the penalty spot. Nevertheless, Jones came to the rescue two minutes from time. With his back to goal, he swivelled and whacked home into the centre of the net.
In fact, Stansted had a great chance to grab an unlikely victory three minutes into injury time, though a left-footed curler from industrious youngster Lewis Riches proved too weak. That meant the game went straight to penalties and the tone was set when Charles converted Tilbury’s first but gloveman Lee Butcher proved equal to Luke Kanjor’s opener. The rest were scored, meaning Lewis Jaggs’ goal put Tilbury through, 5-3, in the shootout.

Tilbury return to league action on Saturday, when they welcome AFC Hornchurch.

Penalties: Tilbury - Charles (scored, 1-0), Stansted - Kanjor (saved, 1-0), Tilbury - Richmond (scored, 2-0), Stansted - Hayes (scored, 2-1), Tilbury - Hewitt (scored, 3-1), Stansted - Jones (scored, 3-2), Tilbury - Norton (scored, 4-2), Stansted - Riches (scored, 4-3), Tilbury - Jaggs (scored, 5-3).
Tilbury: Butcher, Willis, Cook, Benoit (Mead 46), Nightingill, Jaggs, Francis (Scott 68), Norton, Charles, James (Richmond 76), Hewitt.
Subs not used: Conway and Aromolaran
Dock end John

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