The Bishop’s Stortford Academy team had to relocate to Ware FC’s ground at Wodson Park in order to fulfil their home fixture against Aveley last Wednesday the 4th November. This followed the postponement of the first teams FA Trophy game against Brentwood Town on Tuesday which was then rearranged for Wednesday the 4th. The match was played on an excellent 3G pitch in bright sunny conditions and the change of venue didn’t seem to deter Stortford who started brightly without creating any clear cut chances. Aveley showed little in the first 5 minutes however as in the first game of the season when these two teams last met it was Aveley who took the lead following a quick break down the Stortford right side to go 1-0 up in the eighth minute. Stortford responded almost immediately and with their next attack of note equalised when Kavan Hurling drilled a low shot goal bound which seemed to go through the keeper and into the net. The game meandered a little during the next 10 minutes or so until the 25th minute when Aveley were awarded a free kick about 10 yards in from the touchline adjacent to the Stortford box. The Aveley player hit the ball low and hard into the Stortford area and an on rushing forward just got his toe to the ball ahead of the Stortford defender to guide the ball into the net. Aveley then upped the ante and for the remaining 25 minutes of the half exerted a degree of pressure on the Stortford defence which to their credit remained solid and gave nothing away. However they were indebted to keeper Connor Lee who in the 45th minute, when it looked odds on that Aveley would score, made a tremendous double save to keep the score at half time to 1-2 to Aveley.
Clearly some encouraging words from the Stortford coaching team had the desired effect as once again Stortford started strongly but again were unable to create much by way of clear cut chances on goal. Aveley did have the ball in the net on 60 minutes but the goal was ruled out for offside. Then on 65 minutes new boy Louie Mooniaruck threaded a superb through ball to the onrushing Joe Franzini who forced the Aveley keeper into a fine save. Yet again this match followed the scoring pattern of the first game of the season when Aveley broke away down the Stortford right side leaving their player on a one on one with Connor Lee in goal. As Connor came out to narrow the angle the Aveley player neatly chipped the ball over his head and into the net. Just as in the first half Stortford came storming back and within two minutes had reduced Aveley’s lead to 2-3. Louie Mooniaruck chased down the Aveley keeper who had dallied on the ball to long before kicking it clear enabling Mooniaruck to block the clearance. The ball spun up into the air and Mooniaruck was the first to respond and stroke the ball into the now unguarded net. Then 15 minutes later Stortford’s pressure was rewarded with an equaliser. In the 83rd minute a diagonal cross into the Aveley box hit a defender who was attempting to clear the ball whilst under pressure from Theo Michael and the ball looped over the visiting keeper into the net. The coaches urged Stortford forward in search of a winner however it was not to be and the disappointment was compounded when in the 85th minute Aveley scored a scrappy winner to secure the points.
Bishop’s Stortford FC 3 Aveley 4
Considering Aveley sit third in the table with a 100% record Stortford can consider themselves unfortunate not to have taken any points from their two fixtures against them losing by the odd goal on each occasion.
All future Academy games are now suspended until the 2nd December due to the current lockdown. Assuming the lockdown does end on the 2nd December without any further regulations being introduced that effect non elite sport, Stortford should be playing Concord Rangers away on the 2nd December.
Joe Harper-Sharp (C)