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Young Blues maintain title bid

BISHOP’S STORTFORD 1, BRENTWOOD TOWN 0

(THE NATIONAL LEAGUE UNDER 19 ALLIANCE – DIVISION C)

Blues Academy kept up their title challenge as Dan Pinkney penalty midway through the second half sealed victory against fourth-in –the- league table Brentwood Town thanks to a.

The result means that the Birchwood High School based side are unbeaten since November 1st last year and with leaders Barking losing 2-1 at home to second placed Brightlingsea Regent Stortford are now just four points off the top with two matches in hand.

Neither team was dominant in the 90minutes although Tim Moylette’s side had the clearer chances to score, with both teams hitting w post during the match.

On a dry surface that made control difficult at times there were no openings or chances up until almost the half-hour mark. Then, in the 28th minute, Toluwani Osiyemi, having collected a loose ball, saw his shot deflected for a corner and from Chad Cruse’s resultant flag-kick the ball dropped to Frankie Oatham who drove the ball over the bar.

Three minutes later following a concerted attack Jacob Bennett hit the post with a low shot from the edge of the box and seconds later Pinkney had an effort scrambled away by Town stopper Tom Burke.

Four minutes before the break Pinkney was again in the action volleying over the bar.

The visitors’ best spell of the match was shortly after the break. In the 50th minute midfielder Charlie Arnold was narrowly wide with a shot close past an upright and then a minute later the same player saw his 25 yard free-kick strike hit the far post.

Osiyemi had a chance to give the Blues the lead shortly after the hour mark when the striker fastened on to a poor back pass from Town’s Ondrey Oreyema but after running through on goal Osiyemi’s shot hit Burke’s legs and rebounded to safety. Osiyemi also tried a long range shot in the 64th minute that the diving Burke saved.

Stortford finally got the break they needed in the 68th minute when Sami Shulton slipped the ball diagonally into the right-hand side of the box for Osiyemi to chase and the striker was brought down under pressure by keeper Burke. Pinkney stepped up to take the penalty and found the net via the inside of the left-hand upright.

The Blues defence, that has now conceded only 13 goals so far in 14 matches, was largely untroubled to the final whistle although Brentwood substitute Mike Iouannou was close with a header from an Arnold free-kick with four minutes remaining of normal time.

Blues return to action next Wednesday when they host bottom-of-the-table Lowestoft Town at the ProKit (UK) Stadium with a 1.00pm kick-off.

BISHOP’S STORTFORD: Aron Martin; Charlie Riley; Chad Cruse; Joseph Vieites-Stephenson; Jamie Riley; Frankie Oatham; Sami Shulton; Jacob Bennett; Toluwani Osiyemi (Matt Kemp 70); Dan Pinkney; Kieran Bonney.

Unused substitutes: Jack Booker, Pedro Gomes-Dinis and Dan Hampton.