Bishop’s Stortford Academy team finally got their season underway at Aveley Wednesday afternoon after the disappointment of having to withdraw from the FA Youth Cup and the postponement of their first league fixture both due to COVID related issues.
Aveley were always going to prove a stern test for the new look Academy team having finished runners up in their division last season and so it proved with Aveley scoring after just 10 minutes with a shot from 20 yards into the top right hand corner of the Stortford goal giving keeper Connor Lee no chance. Stortford created few clear cut opportunities in the first half although Tomas Periera did have a goal bound shot cleared off the line with the score still at 1-0 to Aveley. Aveley doubled their advantage in the 35th Minute when the Stortford defence failed to clear a corner allowing the Aveley forward to crash the ball into the net at the far post from short range. The next 10 minutes then became the Connor Lee show as the young stopper pulled off a number of good saves to keep Stortford within striking distance. First he made a great reflex save from a shot at short range and followed that up with a full length dive turning the shot around the post. The resulting corner saw the ball cleared to the edge of the area where a shot from the home team was athletically tipped over the bar by the overworked Lee. Then with the referee looking at his watch in readiness to end the first half Stortford created a glorious chance to pull a goal back when forward Theo Michael found himself one on one with the home keeper only to see his shot run agonisingly wide of the post.
Half–time Aveley 2-0 Bishop’s Stortford
Coaches Jim Duggan and Jamie Cureton worked their magic during the half time team talk as Stortford came out all guns blazing and were rewarded within two minutes of the restart as last seasons’ leading scorer Olly Miles crashed home a 20 yard free kick to bring Stortford back into the game. They pressed forward however failed to learn their lesson from the first half in allowing the Aveley scorer of their first goal an opportunity to blast home another screamer from distance in the 67th minute. Stortford continued to press and their never say die attitude was rewarded in the 71st minute when debutant Kavan Hurling scored with the ball finding the net via a defender. There were also debuts for Spencer Earthy at full back, Sam Jarrett who came on as a sub, and Charles Allum in midfield with all three players slotting in well. The final debutant was Toby Bird who came on for Connor Lee and gave a competent and assured performance in goal. Stortford looked as if they had snatched a late equaliser in the 88th minute when Joe Franzini bravely competed for and won the ball against the home keeper only for his goal bound header to be cleared off the line by a defender. Despite the disappointment of the final score it was pleasing to see the effort and commitment of the team who kept going to the very end and indeed were unlucky not to secure a draw from a very entertaining game.
Aveley 3-2 Bishop’s Stortford
Team: Connor Lee; Spencer Earthy; Harry Sankey; Charlie Allum; Riley Cross; Joe Franzini; Olly Miles (C); Theo Michael; Kavan Hurling; Tomas Periera; Pat Sankey
Substitutes: Toby Bird; Sam Jarrett; Joe Harper-Sharp
Barking FC Home KO 2pm
Nick Johns Club Secretary under 19s