Isthmian League Division North
Venue: Len Salmon Stadium
Saturday 30th December 2017 3pm KO
The 2017-18 Season: Match 48
Bowers & Pitsea: Red & White Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Ware: Blue & Sky Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Scott W Reporting (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
Photos by Scott W & Andy Wilkins (Twitter: @andywilkins2015)
In my last match of 2017 and with the ESL on a festive ‘mini-break’, I travelled to the Len Salmon Stadium to see Bowers & Pitsea take on Ware in a rare Isthmian League Division North match (for me).
The hosts elected to rest a few key players with Messrs Knight, Dicks & Nyanja all on the bench with Lewis Manor (who recently signed a deal to stay at the club until season’s end) and Tony Stokes leading the attack. For Ware, hot-shot Yannick Kamanan led the line with Damien Green and skipper Nicholas Symons marshalling the defence.
The match began in quite a cagey way with the visitors conceding more fouls than they would’ve liked which therefore gave Bowers midfielder Jamie Salmon chances from distance and eleven minutes in, he sent one free-kick just wide of the right-side post. Four minutes later, forward Tony Stokes’s header went just wide. Ware had a lot of defending to do as they struggled to clear their lines at times though they managed to soak up pressure from the hosts.
As we past the 20-minute mark, the visitors started to push forward as winger Marvin Hamilton blasted a decent effort over the bar, while moments afterward, Sam Alderson’s free-kick fizzed just wide of home custodian Callum Chafer’s post. On the cusp of the half-hour point, Ware forward Ross Elsom mis-kicked his effort when in on goal while minutes later, following good work by winger Johnny Ashman, forward Lewis Manor slotted his shot wide.
Six minutes before the break, Ware responded as forward Yannick Kamanan toe-poked a shot wide in what was a let-off for Rob Small’s side. The visitors did break the deadlock only a minute later as Chafer brillantly denied Kamanan’s initial shot though Hamilton stole in to grab a tap-in. Although the hosts were not at the fluent best, it was still a little hard on them, especially given that Ashman was a real threat down the right flank.
Half-Time: Bowers & Pitsea 0 – 1 Ware
Ware made two changes at the break, with Acea Laurent and Hady Traore replacing Alaa Oujdi & Andrew Tirivanhu.
Bowers started the half ‘feeling the pressure’ a bit perhaps though Callum Leahy slotted his shot wide following a good run by full-back James Thomas eight minutes into the second period. Soon after coming off the bench, forward David Knight headed wide for the hosts. The visiting back-line remained resolute with substitute Traore making a good tackle to deny fellow substitute Fahad Nyanja from breaking down the right wing.
Also, Bowers struggled to create chances for the likes of Manor and Knight up top. You sensed that Ware were growing in confidence somewhat and with the hosts piling forward seeking that all-important leveller, with ten minutes remaining a long-ball found the pacy winger Alderson who beat the home defence and then coolly lobbed over the on-rushing Chafer to pretty much seal the points for Craig Edwards’ side. Late on, Knight and Nyanja couldn’t find the target for the hosts though in fairness, it could’ve been worse for the hosts as Kamanan sent a long-range drive wide and also sent another crashing drive against the woodwork and midfielder Ahmed Abdulla also blasted a shot wide of the left-side post in added-time.
In the end, it just wasn’t Bowers’ day and Ware deserved the points in what is their first win under Craig Edwards, the first of a few (at least) you suspect for the wily campaigner.
I’d also like to thank Bowers for their hospitality and well as it was my first visit to the ground, it is a ‘nice patch’ they have. Thanks also to Bowers assistant boss Mark Ashford and fellow non-leagu colleague Andy Wilkins who you may find is going down the line of Photography, my best wishes to him in that.
Bowers & Pitsea
Callum Chafer (GK), Ryan Boswell, James Thomas, Martyn Stokes (Capt), Lewis Clark, Callum Leahy, Jamie Salmon (Jamie Dicks 58′), Ben Sartain, Johnny Ashman (David Knight 61′), Lewis Manor, Tony Stokes (Fahad Nyanja 61′)
Booked: Leahy, Boswell | Subs Not Used: Easterford & Pinto
Harry Voss (GK), Junior Appiah, Alaa Oujdi (Acea Laurent 46′), Andrew Tirivanhu (Hady Traore 46′) Damien Green, Nicholas Symons (Capt), Marvin Hamilton (Murat Karagul 73′), Ahmed Abdulla, Yannick Kamanan, Ross Elsom, Sam Alderson
Goal-scorers: Marvin Hamilton [40′], Sam Alderson [80′]
Booked: Oujdi, Symons | Subs Not Used: Harris & Yuill
Referee: Christopher Bodell
Assistant Referees: Dajour McKenzie-George & Kennedy Kikulwe