Bishop’s Stortford 3-0 Worthing
Pitching In Isthmian Premier, Tuesday 15th March 2022.
By Mike Plume
Bishop’s Stortford consolidated their position in the Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division play-off places with a resounding 3-0 win over leaders Worthing in their top-of-the-table clash at the R&D Advisors UK Stadium.
The fixture was rearranged following a late call off four weeks prior thanks to Storm Eunice, but it was the Blues who blew their opponents away in this huge encounter thanks to goals from Chris Harris, Jonny Giles and skipper Ryan Henshaw.
Steve Smith made three changes from the 6-0 victory over Merstham with Harris, Thomas and Charles replacing Merrifield Church and Peters whilst left back Archie Edwards was fit enough for a return to the bench.
After Blues had enjoyed the better of a high tempo start, the first big chance of the game fell to Worthing after 16 minutes. A cross fell kindly to the prolific Ollie Pearce, but he fired straight into keeper Jack Giddens’ arms from 12 yards.
After Charles stung the palms of the visitors’ keeper Harrison Male with a thunderous effort from 25 yards after 19 minutes, Giles pinched the ball from James Beresford outside the penalty area, drove inside and fired a right-footed effort that Male saved low down.
The game was end to end until Stortford took the lead after 42 minutes. Harris pounced on a defensive error to slot home his 10th goal of the season from 18 yards.
Eleven minutes into the second half, Harris did well to win a sliding challenge 30 yards from goal and tee up Giles, who curled the ball just over the crossbar from range.
But Giles made no mistake just after the hour, finishing a fine move involving Foxley and Marlow with a stunning volley from 20 yards for his ninth goal this campaign to extend Stortford’s lead.
It was so nearly 3-0 two minutes later as Giles and Foxley led a break and the latter forced a fine low save from Male.
The contest was effectively settled after 76 minutes when Giles whipped in a deep free kick from the left that skipper Henshaw met with a fine controlled volley across goal into the far corner.
It was not until the final minute that Jack Giddens made his first real save of the night, flying to his left to keep out an Ollie Pearce free kick to seal a clean sheet and a vital three points for the Blues.
Blues: Giddens, Robbins, Henshaw, Giles, Marlow, Harris (Merrifield 59), Renee, Thomas (Church 71), Foxley, Charles (Peters 59) Cracknell. Subs Not Used: Edwards, Banton.
Worthing: Male, Seager, Racine, Cocoorrachio (Armstrong 59), Golding, Pearce, Starkey, Beresford (Webber 59), Kealey, Myles-Meekums (Budd 59), Pattenden. Subs Not Used: Cox, Robinson.