Jammers make it through in Cup
By Scott Mitchell
21st Aug 2022 | Football
Maldon & Tiptree 2, Harpenden Town 0
On a warm summer's afternoon at Park Drive, Maldon & Tiptree got their FA Cup campaign underway with a professional job against a spirited Harpenden Town.
While the Jammers made the brighter start, it was the visitors that could have taken the lead with Josh Rodrigues hitting the bar with a powerful header from 10 yards out. That seemed to spark the home side into life, and five minutes later Harvey Sayer superbly dispatched a free kick, curling it around the Harpenden wall to put Maldon 1-0 up.
Both sides continued to create chances with the impressive Bradley Ihionvien skipping through the Harpenden defence before having his shot deflected wide. It was then the turn of the goalkeepers to show their abilities, with Tom Middlehurst for Maldon and Alex Desmond for Harpenden making great saves to deny Finbar King and Dylan Logan respectively to keep the score at 1-0.
The Jammers' defensive resolve was tested once again with Lance Akins and Martyn Stokes making crucial tackles in quick succession to deny the visitors an equaliser.
That proved to be a turning point, as shortly after, a great bit awareness from Kamani McFarlane at the back post gave Maldon a two goal lead at half time.
Harpenden started the second half much more brightly and forced Middlehurst into some stunning saves, firstly utilising all of his 6"8 frame diving away to his left to tip a rasping shot round the post and an incredible double save to keep his clean sheet intact.
Between those two passages of play, Ihionvien whose work rate and endeavour deserved a goal, had a great chance to make it three, latching onto a through ball from Sam Coombes, he rounded the keeper but his shot hit the post and rolled across the goalmouth and away.
That proved to be the last chance of note, although the visitors had strong claims for a penalty waved away in the dying embers of the game that could have set up a nervy finish.
The full time whistle signalled Maldon's progression into the First Qualifying round, the draw for which will be made on Monday lunchtime.
Heybridge Swifts will be in action against FC Romania in their preliminary round tie this afternoon (Sunday, 21 August).