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Bishop’s Stortford 2-3 Cheshunt Play-Off Semi-Final Match Report

Bishop’s Stortford 2-3 Cheshunt Play-Off Semi-Final Match Report 27/4/22

Bishop’s Stortford suffered an agonising defeat to local rivals Cheshunt 2-3 in the Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division Play-Off Semi-Final on Wednesday night. Having been ahead twice in the match at 1-0 and 2-1, the Blues failed to recover from a brace of quick equalisers by the Ambers at the R & D Advisors UK Stadium, with the visitors pinching the win in the 90th minute. Cheshunt will travel to Hornchurch in the Play-Off Final on Bank Holiday Monday, after they also won 2-3 at Enfield Town.

After a frenetic start in front of a 1504 strong crowd – the biggest for Stortford in eight and a half years since the visit of Northampton Town in the FA Cup First Round in front of ITV cameras, the first chance for either side wasn’t until 10 minutes had elapsed, with Blues captain Ryan Henshaw heading wide from a Jonny Giles free kick. Kayne Diedrick-Roberts – who scored the only goal in the recent encounter on Easter Monday – curled a free kick from a wide position on to the cross bar and behind, before a rocket from Darren Foxley opened the scoring for Stortford, picking up the ball on the right hand side, he moved into the middle and rifled the ball home into the top left corner from 35 yards. Foxley nearly assisted Billy Cracknell to double the lead, but Preston Edwards made the save from the defender’s header. Referee Shelby Elson pointed to the penalty spot following Jack Giddens attempt to claim a loose ball at the feet of Diedrick-Roberts, and Rowan Liburd stepped up, sent Giddens the wrong way and got Cheshunt back on level terms. Edwards commanded his area to claim a high cross by Giles directed towards Chris Harris. Henshaw met a free kick from the right by Giles but was flagged offside before Cheshunt scrambled clear on the stroke of half time.

HT 1-1

Harris met a Giles free kick from the left but was offside, before the striker slid the ball through to Foxley, who won a corner as his low cross was blocked. The corner kick was half cleared to the edge of the box, where Harris turned and fired goalwards, but it was deflected wide by a defender. A succession of corners built pressure for the Blues, and Cracknell scored his first goal for the club to go ahead once again, Giles’ cross from the left was headed away at the near post, and Cracknell found the far corner with a side-foot volley over a crowd of bodies and the diving Edwards. But Cheshunt picked themselves up off the canvas once again, this time equalising within two minutes, as captain Joe Re’s deflected strike from long range looped over Giddens and into the net. A looping header by Ben Marlow nearly fell to Ryan Charles to volley home but the defender recovered to clear after a Giles free kick. Johnville Renee made a late run to meet Charles’ cross, his shot was deflected off Foxley’s as it was going wide. Foxley controlled the ball brilliantly with his chest and volleyed at goal from 20 yards, narrowly over the crossbar as it dipped too late. Foxley and Frankie Merrifield hustled Adam Crowther and won the ball back near the corner flag, with Charles meeting the low cross but had two shots blocked by the Ambers defence. Cracknell confidently headed a cross back to Giddens, who caught it on his goal line, before a long throw was nodded home at the near post by Taylor McKenzie. The Blues had chances in injury time to find an equaliser of their own, with Marlow seeing a low shot from a cut back saved by Edwards, and Giles fired over the bar, before the final whistle sparked jubilant scenes amongst away fans, and heartbreak for the Blues.

FT 2-3

TEAMS

Blues XI

1 Jack Giddens

5 Sam Robbins (Yellow card 90+4’)

6 Ryan Henshaw (c) (Yellow card 45+3’)

7 Jonny Giles

8 Ben Marlow

9 Chris Harris (Merrifield 75’)

11 Johnville Renee

12 Jack Thomas (Peters 67’)

14 Darren Foxley (Goal 19’)

15 Ryan Charles

19 Billy Cracknell (Goal 58’)

Subs

3 Archie Edwards

4 Archie Jones

10 Frankie Merrifield

16 Ollie Peters

17 Mark Haines

Cheshunt XI

1 Preston Edwards

2 Enock Ekongo

3 Chevron McLean

4 Amadou Kassarate (Yellow card 28’) (Dib 74’)

5 Adam Crowther (Yellow card 43’)

6 Taylor McKenzie (Goal 90’)

7 Kayne Diedrick-Roberts (Yellow card 49’) (Newton 72’)

8 Joe Re (c) (Goal 60’)

9 Rowan Liburd (Goal 30’p)

10 Mo Camara (Beccles-Richards 86’)

11 Jamie Reynolds

Subs

12 Daniel Ojo

14 Reece Beccles-Richards

15 Isaac Newton

16 Nicholas Dib

17 George Marsh