TUE 29 OCT - MALDON & TIPTREE (HOME) - Isthmian League



There were four changes to Saturday’s line up away at Witham Town with Dan Davis unavailable and Jack Newman, Miles Powell and Nick Ingram all making way for Stuart Ainsley, Kyle Jopling, Adam Hanson and Jordy Matthews.

Of the three games so far against a very good Maldon & Tiptree, this was by far our best performance. Like last weekend’s league encounter at Witham, we were unlucky to go into half time behind. Stuart Boardley had this to say: “We played well tonight. Yes we lost but I felt the lads gave it their all tonight and, bar a few defensive errors, we could have come out with a point.”

There were a couple of spies from Leyton Orient at The Goldstar Ground having a look at their their FA Cup 1stround opponents in a couple of weeks’ time. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they thought they’d rather be playing The Jammers than The Seasiders judging from the first 30 minutes last night.

Within a minute or two, a through pass from Callum Bennett allowed a lively George Clarke to face down Luke O’Reilly in the Maldon goal and this was followed by a free kick wide left which resulted in a scramble in front of goal, putting the visitors’ defence under pressure. The Jammers’ only effort in the first 10 minutes was adjudged offside and straight after this a Henry Barley blast went over the bar.

Danny Crump was brought into action on 24 minutes with an impressive double save from close range. At the other end Stuart Ainsley tested the Maldon keeper with a drive from distance with this followed by an Adam Hanson effort very similar Nick Ingram’s attempt on Saturday. This time the ball seemed to hit Armani Schaar on the back before going wide.

During that first half, the visitors were kept at bay by a very hard working Felixstowe & Walton, but as half time approached, Maldon did begin to see a little bit more of the ball. Jerome Slew crossed from the right on 39 minutes with the connection going wide off the post. Rob Girdlestone brought off another good stop from Crump in goal but, immediately after this, another cross from the right allowed Charlee Hughes to head home from close range. It could have been worse when Hughes found himself unmarked in front of goal moments later. Fortunately, his header went wide. Not unlike that Witham game, we’d been on top throughout but went in behind at half time.

Maldon came back into the game in the second half with a Hamza Kaid shot wide off the post early on followed by Crump being tested by Danny Parish. Barley and Schaar were both replaced by Jacob Lay and Miles Powell with 20 minutes still to play. Milo made a good start, feeding George Clarke but just a few minutes later Kaid, who was probably Maldon’s best player on the night, crossed from the left for Danny Parish to double The Jammer’s lead. Once again, we found ourselves having to chase the game.

The visitors could have been reduced to ten men when George Clarke was almost through on goal before being body checked and taken out. The referee couldn’t have seen the incident as play continued without even a foul.

After the game we caught up with captain Stuart Ainsley, who said, “We conducted ourselves really well tonight. We had a game plan to stay in the match. They’re flying at the moment and are probably the best team in this league. We were still in the game towards the end but their second goal kind of killed us. But we played well tonight and, yes, we lost but I felt the lads gave it their all and, but for a few defensive errors, we could have come out with a point. It’s progression if we look at our other two results against these boys where we’ve been beaten comfortably. Noone likes being beaten but look at the positive side. They haven’t turned us over tonight. If we produce a performance like that on Saturday against Brentwood we should get three points.”

What was pleasing about this game against Maldon was the positive feedback coming from the fans with pretty much everyone appreciating the effort and commitment alongside the progression Stuart Ainsley talked about. And so, it’s Brentwood on Saturday at The Goldstar Ground in a proverbial six-pointer with Stuart and Andy’s lads keen to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.

See post-match interview with Stuart Ainsely here: 

Team Line-Ups Here

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