Braintree Town 0-1 Bishop’s Stortford Match Report 10/7/21


Bishop’s Stortford made it two wins from two in pre-season with a 0-1 victory away to Braintree Town. Frankie Merrifield scored his second in as many friendlies, against National League South opponents featuring four ex-Blues.


Correy Davidson made a fast start for the Iron, running diagonally across the pitch from the left wing to latch on to a through ball from right-back Ikebuasi, but Ryan Henshaw recovered well to stop the cross. Harry Hope went close, with the first real chance of the match, a side-foot volley in the six-yard box from a brilliant deep cross by Alfie Payne, but Hope could only put it wide. Chris Gregan and Ryan Charles applied pressure on the hosts’ defence, with Gregan sliding Charles through on goal, but his attempted chip from a tight angle was an easy take for Preston Edwards. Femi Akinwande turned past Gregan at the other end, and cut it back to Anderson Pinto, whose shot was blocked by Anthony Church. Matt Johnson dictated the play in the first half, with impressive passing and it was difficult for the Blues to dispossess him, he played a through ball into the path of Akinwande, but it was over hit and Jack Giddens was out quickly to claim it. Merrifield flashed a long range effort from the edge of the box wide of the left post, with Edwards scrambling across his goal line, and was thankful to see it go wide. Church conceded a free kick to prevent a flying Davidson from entering the box after a quick counter-attack, but Hope could only hit the wall. A deep free kick from a Blues Trialist had both Henshaw and James Baker jumping to nod home but neither could make a good contact on the ball. Pinto had the best chance of the half, a corner fell kindly to him inside the box, aiming for the roof of the net he fired it against the post, before an appeal for a penalty for a foul on Hope was denied by the referee. Merrifield got in behind the defence on the right, but with no support he held it up, until Thomas joined him but his shot was blocked.


HT 0-0


Braintree Town changed all 10 of their outfield players at the break, with the Blues making just one change, Jake Cass leading the line. It was Merrifield though who had the first chance of the half, with the Blues starting on the front foot. He fired inches wide after a great run and cut back from Charles down the left, before Cass could only hit the side-netting from a tight angle. Jake Clowsley made a great late run into the box from the left, but could only hit the woodwork from a low right-wing cross, but the offside flag went up to spare his blushes. Blues substitute Joe Gardner was full of energy when he came on in the right-wing position, getting back to help the defence, and providing a great cross for the goal, which Merrifield diverted home with a sliding finish. Cass nearly doubled the lead from nothing when he flicked the ball over the defender and volleyed off the crossbar, before a long range effort went high of the target from the striker. He looked like he would finally get on the score sheet when running through the defence towards goal, but Jayden Gipson’s last ditch tackle on the edge of the box denied him. Charlie Wardle went close, dribbling round two in the midfield and forcing a save from Tommy Dixon-Hodge from the edge of the box before a Paulius Ditkevicius free kick went over the bar. The Blues saw out the victory professionally, keeping the ball and pouncing on mistakes to force chances where possible, but in the end, one goal was enough thanks to a solid defensive performance.


The Blues return to the R & D Advisors UK Stadium for their first home friendly of pre-season on Friday night against Maldon and Tiptree, while Dagenham and Redbridge are Braintree Town’s next visitors on Saturday.



Braintree Town XI

1 Preston Edwards (Sub Dixon-Hodge 71’)

2 Ezra Ikebuasi (Sub Oyinsan 46’)

3 Jay Porter (Sub Ditkevicius 46’)

4 Matt Johnson (c) (Sub Clowsley 46’)

5 Kyran Clements (Sub Sade 46’)

6 Luke Pennell (Sub Crichlow 46’)

7 Anderson Pinto (Sub Holness 46’)

8 Alfie Payne (Sub Trialist 46’)

9 Femi Akinwande (Sub Krasniqi 46’)

10 Harry Hope (Sub Gipson 46’)

11 Correy Davidson (Sub Smith 46’)


1 Tommy Dixon-Hodge

10 Christian Frimpong

12 Joshua Oyinsan

14 Paulius Ditkevicius

15 Jake Clowsley

16 Yoav Sade

17 Gianni Crichlow

17 Luke Holness

18 Trialist

19 Arjanit Krasniqi (Sub Frimpong 69’)

# Jayden Gipson

# Christian Smith


Blues XI

1 Jack Giddens (Sub Lee 81’)

2 Trialist (Sub Trialist 81’)

3 Chris Gregan

4 Jack Thomas

5 Ryan Henshaw (c)

7 Ryan Charles (Sub Wardle 71’)

8 Anthony Church

10 Frankie Merrifield (Goal 58’) (Sub Barker 62’)

11 Trialist (Sub Cass 46’)

12 Mark Haines (Sub Sankey 56’)

16 James Baker (Sub Gardner 56’)


9 Jake Cass

12 Joe Gardner

13 Connor Lee

14 Trialist

15 Pat Sankey

17 Charlie Wardle

18 Charley Barker


By Hamish Arnold