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Home / 2005-06 Season / 2005-06 Results / Match Report

Westview Essex Senior League
Saturday 4th March 2006
Stansted 0 - 2 AFC Hornchurch
  H/T 0-2
Att: 200
Drake 9' 35'

Match Highlights
Stansted   AFC Hornchurch
  8 BOOKED - Hambley
9 GOAL - Drake
35 GOAL -Drake
  45 OFF - Burbridge
ON - Holland
Prince - OFF
Carter - ON
Rodwell - OFF
Bailey - ON
  68 OFF - Drake
ON - Golby
Ramsey - OFF
Lowe - ON
86 OFF - Hambley
ON - Mensah

Match Report by Tony Middleton

Overnight blizzards and sub zero temperatures left the Stansted pitch unplayable – enter the A team of Jon and Terry – snow chains on, huskies out, they found the pitch half covered in snow, on the stand side of the ground, and thick ice over the rest of the pitch. Plan A was put into immediate action - out with the warmers and blowers, and by 11 am the pitch was clear, although the grass was a bit brown where it had caught fire. Pitch playable, and Plan B was not needed. By 2 pm, 150 Urchins had packed out the bar and the traffic was backed up all the way down the hill.

With their two leading scorers out, Billy Drake and Rikki Burbridge started up front, and with Gareth Thomas out with a broken ankle, and Craig Dennis not available due to business commitments, Nathan Philip came into the starting line up for the second time this season. With Lee Springer also out with an injury at work, Steve Mensah came into the squad after making his debut in the Capital League three days earlier, having joined from Enfield FC.

By kick off time the stand was packed to capacity, most of the Urchins being in the segregated area to the left of the tunnel, and Danny Cowley, captain for the first time, led his team out onto the ice scape. Stansted had been encouraged to run like antelopes in the first meeting at the Stadium, but antelopes were conspicuous by their absence, though yetis would have been very much at home. Stansted looked confident at the start, Shaun Rodwell’s long cross into the goalmouth being headed away by Glen Golby, only for Ramsey to volley the ball straight back, Sontag doing well to anticipate the flight of the ball and play it to safety. The first free kick of the match followed, when Danny Cowley – what’s new? – was upended and Cowley’s free kick was cleared back to Hayes, to played the ball long up the ice covered wing where Tiffin could not quite reach the ball before it went out of play.

Disaster nearly followed when Golby mistimed a simple pass back and Prince went racing away, Nathan Philip recovering well to concede a corner, which was played wide to Shaun Rodwell, whose shot went wide of the goal. Cowley and King combined well, with King’s cross being touched over by Jones, and Tiffin swung the corner over for King, whose header dropped onto the roof of the net,

Tim Hambley was booked for discussing what many thought to be a strange refereeing decision, and seconds later the referee again stopped play and called Hambley over, but did not wave a card on this occasion. Urchins took the lead almost immediately, Rikki Burbridge making the opening for BILLY DRAKE whose first shot was parried by Jones, but Billy hooked the ball into the net at the second attempt. It could have been two a minute later, Tiffin’s corner finding King, whose header was inches wide. Another Tiffin cross was touched over by Jones, and Hambley’s corner was headed away by Wellbrook, but then Tony Mercer, with a neat chip, sent Thomas away and Collier came out to gather at the edge of the area. Lee Sontag had plenty of the ball on the left, and from his sideways pass to Hayes, it took a good save by Jones to keep the ball out.

Cowley won another free kick, and from this Burbridge thundered the ball goalwards from 35 yards out, with Jones spectacularly tipping the ball around the post, Tiffin’s corner again finding King, and again Jones saved. Drake nearly added a second with a neat twist inside of Penfold to create an opening, Jones saving once again. It was beginning to be the Burbridge and Drake show up front as they created havoc in the home defence, but persistent pressure was briefly halted when Shaun Rodwell broke up a move and hit a long pass upfield to Thomas, who homed in on goal, but was stopped by a quick thinking Glen Golby who tackled just as Thomas was about to shoot, giving away a corner, which Penfold played to Shaun Rodwell, whose shot was saved by Collier. A Hambley drive had Jones diving to his left to keep the ball out, and a long Sontag pass send Burbridge away, Jones again saving well. Tiffin shot wide after a good four player build up, and a similar build up a minute later involving Hayes and Burbridge saw Rikki flick the ball on for BILLY DRAKE to take his second goal of the match.

A Hayes – Tiffin exchange of passes ended when Bennett broke up the move on the edge of the area, and shortly afterwards Sontag needed lengthy treatment when he moved onto a pass from Hambley and collided with Jones. Almost on half time, Drake almost scored again when Philip played a long pass to Burbridge who in turn put the ball into the path of Drake, the shot beating Jones and going narrowly wide.

Plenty to discuss at half time – how was Burnham doing? Were the hot dogs at Stansted the smallest in the world? Why were eight Urchins fans standing behind the wrong goal in the first half? Would a herd of yetis make an appearance? And what was Plan B?

Rikki Burbridge was unable to come out for the second half, due to a hamstring problem, and Billy Holland made his arctic debut, the pitch on the stand side being more suited to ice skating than anything else. A disputed throw in, the ball not actually going out of play, brought the classic comment from the linesman – ‘I don’t give a toss what you think’ – as it happened, the referee had similar thoughts on the flag waving, as he awarded a free kick which Hambley floated across for Billy Holland to run onto, but the ever alert Jones saved at his feet. Sontag, who had not had a great deal of luck with his crosses in the first half, then opened up the middle with an excellent pass to Tiffin, who won a free kick, ie he was fouled, and Danny Cowley’s centre saw King again rise to head the ball, and again it went close but not close enough. At this stage, an Urchins supporter found a megaphone behind the goal, and his broadcasts were heard loud and clear, but Stansted came more into the match, Ramsey sending an excellent pass out to Baker, who raced in from the left, and Collier made an excellent save.

Drake nearly broke through but was tripped and Hambley’s free kick was headed away by Stuart Rodwell, the ball running loose and being played up to Thomas, who raced towards goal, and Collier saved well. Drake and Cowley made an opening for Sontag, who turned inside of Wellbrook and shot first time, Jones saving, whilst at the other end, a slight hesitation between Philip and Collier almost ended spectacularly when Collier’s upfield kick hit Penfold on the back and rebounded over Collier, and just over the bar.

With the pitch hardening up, Hambley laid the ball out to Sontag on the tundra and his low cross saw Holland running in right on cue, only for Jones to make an incredible save on the goal line. Drake went off, and Paul Golby found Hambley with his first touch of the ball, who quickly picked out Holland, whose shot frustratingly cannoned off of Shaun Rodwell. A Paul Golby free kick reached Sontag, whose cross was headed away by Wellbrook, but Hambley promptly played the ball out to Tiffin on the right and his cross was headed out for a corner, which Tiffin played short to Danny Cowley, who laid it back out to Tiffin, whose cross was handled, though the referee allowed play to continue. And then Holland played the ball into the middle where no one was able to prod it home. Stansted won a corner and Mercer took the kick, finding Lowe who was tackled by King and he swung the ball upfield to Cowley and thence to Sontag, whose shot was mistimed and Jones saved easily. Hayes hit a hard volley wide from 30 yards, whilst Mercer broke through at the other end, and Collier tipped his shot over the bar. Holland set off on a long run which took him past three defenders before Jones saved once again, and then Sontag broke clear along the left, racing past what might have been a penguin before playing the ball off the ice to Holland, who returned the ball to Sontag, and his shot was saved by Jones. Stansted finally opened up the Urchins defence, Mercer slotting the ball to Lowe, but Collier tipped the ball over, although offside was belatedly given. Mensah made an appearance, coming on for the last few minutes, and was soon into the action, running down the right wing, and sending over a cross for Holland, which Jones kept out. Almost on time a Tiffin corner was headed away, and Urchins had one more clean sheet, two more goals, and three more points.

And what was Plan B? A simple fall back in fact – rip the roof off the stand and burn it to thaw out the pitch.

Video Highlights by Rob Monger

- 9mins. Billy Drake opens our account (650KB)
- 35mins. Billy Drake scores the second (470KB)


Ashley Jones
Stuart Rodwell
Graham Bennett (c)
Shaun Rodwell
Jamie Wellbrook
Danny Penfold
Neil Ramsey
Gavin Prince
Sean Thomas
Lewis Baker
Tony Mercer
Danny Bailey
Tom Carter
Andy Lowe
17 GK
AFC Hornchurch
Michael Collier
Greg Tiffin
Lee Sontag
Glen Golby
Steve King
Nathan Philip
Matty Hayes
Danny Cowley (c)
Rikki Burbridge
Billy Drake
Timmy Hambley
Nicky Cowley
Billy Holland
Paul Golby
Steve Mensah
John Hickman

Man of the Match
Nominated by ...

Weather Conditions:  Sunny. 3 degrees at start - 1 degree at finish. Pitch very hard and icy on the stand side.

Match Duration: First half 48mins 45secs. Second half 48mins 20secs

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