BISHOP’S STORTFORD 0 NORWICH CITY RDP 0
A frustrating afternoon saw Blues Academy side’s title hopes hit with a goalless draw against the Canaries’ Regional Development squad.
However, despite almost one-way traffic in the second half and good chances to claim a victory it wasn’t to be and the visitors clung on a share the points.
This was the first time this campaign that Tim Moylette’s side had drawn a match.
Stortford made a promising start to the contest with Sami Shulton shooting just wide at the near post in the 15th minute following a Kieran Bonney cross from the right and then Dan Hampton’s shot was held by keeper George Marsh a minute later.
Shulton was again in the action in the 21st minute driving narrowly wide after collecting a Chad Cruse pass and soon afterwards Dan Pinkney was close after a solo run down the middle. Midway through the half Blues keeper Aron Martin held on a shot from outside the box by Joel Moore and in a spell when Stortford went off the boil Jamie Riley was in the right position to clear away from danger a goal-bound shot by Brandon Hedge after the defence had got in a mess. Just before the break skipper Frankie Oatham was close from long range.
Stortford had the strong breeze in their favour after the break and soon encamped in the Norwich half. Pinkney had a deflected shot held by the keeper in the 50th minute whilst the same player wasn’t far off target following a Charlie Riley free-kick shortly after the hour mark. Soon afterwards Matt Kemp had an effort blocked and Shulton wide after good work and a cross by Pinkney.
When Jo Vieites-Stephenson was fouled 25 yards out in the 69th minute Charlie Riley’s free-kick was tipped over the bar by keeper Marsh. In the closing twenty minutes or so Stortford forced numerous corners and Chad Cruse’s flag-kicks on another day would have produced goals but on this day resulted in many near misses. With time running down Marsh came out to the edge of his box to grab the ball as Kemp tried to fasten on to a Frankie Oatham pass upfield,
Then in time added on, an Oatham 25 yard free-kick was kept out by Marsh diving to his left to save and then in virtually the last action of the game another Cruse corner fell to Jamie Riley at the far upright but the defender spooned his shot over the bar from very close range.
With Brentwood Town losing, Stortford move up to third in the league table and are seven points behind leaders Barking with two matches in hand.
BISHOP’S STORTFORD: Aron Martin; Charlie Riley; Chad Cruse; Joseph Vieites-Stephenson; Jamie Riley; Frankie Oatham; Daniel Hampton; Dan Pinkney; Matt Kemp; Sami Shulton; Kieran Bonney.
Unused substitutes: Pedro Gomes-Dinis and Jack Booker