Stowmarket not all plain Sayer-ling for Jammers – as Maldon & Tiptree FC faces third goalless game in a row
By Lee Witney
13th Mar 2023 | Football
Stowmarket Town FC 1 - Maldon & Tiptree FC 0
Harvey Sayer came back to haunt Maldon & Tiptree by scoring the only goal of the game on Saturday to leave the Jammers still nervously looking over their shoulders in their bid to avoid relegation.
Jammers' boss, Peter Taylor made four changes from the side that lost at home to Brentwood last week, with Jamahl Godward and Jake Giddings dropping to the bench. Joe Turpin was missing through injury and goalkeeper Tommy Dixon-Hodge having departed for promotion chasing National League North side, King's Lynn Town.
Rob Budd replaced Dixon-Hodge in goal, while there were also starts for Chris Gregan, Lewis Jaggs and Sam Coombes. Peter Mokwenye was pushed up as a winger.
The hosts, Stowmarket, started well and created the first moments of danger in the game. Some alert goalkeeping from Budd snubbed out an early chance and a Sayer shot was put wide. This was proving to be a worrying first five minutes for the Jammers.
The pitch didn't really do either side any favours, all that was missing was a Ronnie Radford screamer to complete the Mud Race aesthetic.
It took until the 20th minute for the Jammers to get an attacking momentum going. Good work between Harry Phillips and Terrell Egbri down the Maldon right hand side allowed for a succession of crosses to be played in. None found a Jammers man and Stowmarket cleared their lines.
Less than five minutes later, Sayer reminded The Jammers of his qualities to put Stowmarket 1-0 up. Coming in off their right, he managed to create a yard of space and curled home a shot from 20 yards with his left foot that clipped the post on its way in, giving Budd no chance.
Maldon's main source of joy was coming down the wings. A Phillips cross was squared to Egbri by Mokwenye, but Egbri's effort cleared the bar.
On 38 minutes, Budd was again called into action when Kane Munday found himself totally unmarked at the back post. His shot was smartly saved by the Jammers debutant, resulting in a Stowmarket corner.
Just before halftime, the hosts squandered another chance to increase their lead when a corner wasn't properly dealt with and the resulting header was put over the bar.
Halftime came with the Jammers yet to really test James Bradbrook in the Stowmarket goal and the hosts looking fairly comfortable.
Much like the first half, Stowmarket started the 2nd period the more dangerous of the 2 sides. Again, it was alert sweeper keeping from Budd to deny Jack Ainsley, with the Jammers stopper even doing the splits to get the 10 marks from the judges.
Michael Finneran was next to deny Stow their 2nd, blocking the ball on the line and deflecting it onto the crossbar. It took until the hour mark for the Jammers to register their first meaningful shot on goal. This long-range effort from Sam Coombes was straight down the throat of Bradbrook who fielded it comfortably.
With 25 minutes left, Budd - who was arguably the Jammers' player of the match - produced a wonderful double save, keeping out two headers in quick succession. The first, diving away to his right to push the ball wide which was then recycled giving the home side another crack. This time, already moving to his left, Budd managed to readjust his body weight and get back over to his right and push this effort away for a comer.
On 75 minutes, Sayer was worrying the Jammers again. Cutting in from the right, he hit a shot from distance that clipped the top of the crossbar.
The Jammers were running out of time to find an equaliser. As time passed, they were pushing more and more for that elusive goal. With 85 minutes on the clock, George Smith, who had earlier replaced Coombes, showed great strength on the edge of the box to create space for a shot. Unfortunately, he elected to pass the ball across the box, allowing Stowmarket to clear their lines.
Deep into stoppage time, one final chance for redemption presented itself when Maldon won a freekick 25 yards from goal. Phillips stepped up but blazed the ball high over the bar to compound another frustrating afternoon for the small but vocal Jammers contingent.
Full time signalled a third game without a goal or point, leaving The Jammers in 14th place, nine points clear of the bottom four ahead of a massive home clash against Coggeshall Town this Saturday (March 18).
Over the next two home games, on March 18 and 25, Maldon & Tiptree FC will host its annual Easter Egg collection. Eggs collected will be donated to Maldon Food Pantry and Home Start.