Tiptree Elite lift first trophy
Today’s final saw the Division Two Cup take centre stage at Halstead Town with the divisions top two Witham United and Tiptree Elite in their debut seasons going head to head.
Witham United had the first sight of goal in the fourth minute when Marti Cullum turned and shot just wide of the target, a burst down the left flank by Elite’s Curtis Bonnick in the tenth minute earned them their first corner which was headed clear, then a header from distance by Riki Taylor fell nicely in to the hands of United keeper Morley. Mid way through the half the lively Scott Barrett for Witham had two opportunities to score first he spun and shot which was deflected back to him and he fired over, at the other end Elite had a spell of pressure firstly Max Harris found himself clear and in a great position on the left hand side but he failed to get a shot off and was closed down, then a quick throw in taken by Matt Eve sent Mario Andrew clear and on goal but Hodgkiss was off his line quickly and cleared bravely away from the on rushing number 11. Marti Cullum then had a fierce goal bound shot for United deflected with Morley able to gather the rebound, twelve minutes before the interval a long ball over the top by Lamb sent Eve through on goal for Tiptree but his attempted lob over the keeper went to high and wide of the target. As the half came to a close Elite had further opportunities on goal when Eve’s long from an angle went over and then Eve was sent clear again by a through ball by Harry Harris but again his lob over the keeper was off target. The best chance of the half came when Witham attacked down the left thanks to good work from Merton, his cross fizzed across the goal line but Barrett was unable to get his toe on the ball as he slid in.
Half-time: Tiptree Elite 0 Witham United 0
The second half began with United on the attack Cullum turned and fired in a shot which seemed to come off the out stretched hands of a Tiptree defender but claims for a penalty were turned down by referee John Abbott, then a fine cross in was brought down well by Barrett but he took to long to shoot quickly enough and the defender cleared the danger, two minutes later Barrett’s corner was headed over by Leftly when he was well placed to hit the target. Tiptree then began to get on top and they broke the deadlock in the 58th when MATTHEW EVE got clear down the right he cut in a fired the ball across the box only for it to be deflected in to his own net by a Witham defender. Elite nearly made it 2-0 when a shot from Barham was brilliantly saved by Hodgkiss before offside was given. Witham United made several substitutions to try a change the course of the game but a very solid Tiptree defence limited their efforts on goal. Tiptree had one further chance to add to the only goal when Eve’s effort failed to go on target the ball fell nicely for Mario Andrew only for him to strike the ball over the bar.
Final Score – Tiptree Elite 1 Witham United 0
Man of the Match: Riki Taylor – Tiptree Elite FC
Tiptree Elite: 1. Phillip Morley, 2. Paul Makepeace, 3. Curtis Bonnick, 4. Riki Taylor, 15. Michael Lamb, 18. Kevin Barham, 6. Max Harris, 8. Matthew Eve, 12. Matthew Allum, 9. Harry Harris, 11. Mario Andrew. Substitutes: 17. Tim Eve, 19. Josh Smith, 20. Scott Simmons, 16. Jack Harris (all not used).
Witham United: 1. Andy Hodgkiss, 2. Matt Brown, 3.Ashley Strode, 4. Ricky Leftly, 12. John Button, 13. Tyler Wilsher, 7. Scott Barrett, 8. Chris Smith, 9. Marti Cullum, 10. Jedd Merton, 11. Liam Smith. Substitutes: 6. Luke Wilsher (used), 14. Alex Lear (used), 5. Jed Harrington (used), 16. Joe Fairbrother (used), 18. Jack Smith (used).
Referee: John Abbott
Assistant Referee’s: Geoff Saunders and Will Prior
Fourth Official: Martin Weavers
Report by: Ian Butcher.