Kian Bradshaw and Garry Johnson scored as Shoebury Town Reserves rose to 5th with a late-winner at Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Reserves in the Essex Olympian Football League Division Five.
The visitors dominated for much of the first half and for some of the second period as the hosts struggled to test the Shoebury keeper.
The result kept Shoebury in contention for promotion as they rose to 5th but stayed within 3-points of the leaders and only two-points behind the chasing pack of Springfield Reserves, Roydon and Collier Row Reserves.
It was Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Reserves who found themselves under pressure early in the game as Shoebury Town Reserves looked to make a quick start. The visitors came close in the 5th-minute but the shot was fired just over from outside the box.
Chris Gibbs had the first shot for the hosts minutes later but his effort was dragged wide before Shoebury’s Kyle McAdinson also dragged his shot just wide of the post and a free-kick soon after was fired over the bar. A short period of the first half saw the hosts dominate as they sought an equaliser. A corner was fired into the box but the header from Liam Donnelly was straight at the keeper before a free-kick in a good position was taken quickly but the resulting cross was fired out of play. The closest they came in the period of pressure saw Chris Gibbs recieve the ball from Aaron Camron Prior, who did excellently to win the ball in midfield, but the number 9’s shot was wide of the target.
The deadlock was broken in the 29th-minute as the visitors notched in front. A ball was played over the top to Kian Bradshaw, who lobbed the keeper and finished into the far corner from a tight angle.
Following the goal, neither side dominated but as the game approached half-time, the Swifts looked for the equaliser that they could take into the break but it didn’t come. A free-kick was fired over before they had huge shouts for handball but the referee changed his mind after going to blow for a penalty.
The hosts came out of the blocks the quickest at the start of the second half as they sought to get level early. Terrel Hunter had the first shot of the second period as he stung the keepers hands with a powerful shot from outside the box but no one could follow it up. Almost 20-minutes had gone in the second half for the hosts but they couldn’t make the pressure pay as they still trailed the game.
Minutes later, they finally had the equaliser as Gibbs was brought down in the area and the referee awarded a penalty to the hosts. Hunter stepped up and fired it past the keeper.
The goal gave the hosts more confidence as they looked to go ahead and they nearly did just 3-minutes after their equaliser. Odili was played through but took the ball too wide before Shoebury Town Reserves managed to clear the ball. Their was also a scramble in the Shoebury box as the Swifts wondered how they weren’t ahead. Four shots were cleared off the line with one hitting the crossbar from 2-yards out. The Swifts continued to dominate as they came closer and closer to finding their second. The Town keeper was penalised for handling the ball outside the box with the resulting free-kick being cleared off the line and away.
The last 10-minutes became frantic as both sides looking for the winner. Neither side could find the back of the net as the game was slowed due to multiple fouls across the pitch. 3-minutes before time, Shoebury had a good chance to win the game as they were awarded a free-kick just outside the box but the forwards touch just took it out of play. Just as the game seemed like it would end in a stalemate, the visitors were awarded a penalty in the 90th-minute as a clumsy challenge brought down the attacking player. Garry Johnson stepped up and send the keeper the wrong way to seal the three points for the away side.