Blues Win Stan Veness Trophy
Blues regained the Trophy with a comfortable win against local rivals Tilbury writes The Mariner
Blues continued their winning ways at Chadfields on Tuesday evening in front of over 500 fans thanks to a brace from Bish Bash Bosh Kieran Bishop and it could have been a three goal margin had Ade Cole's penalty not struck the upright. The win came despite the absence of Nicky Eyre, Jon Ashton, Tamberson Eyong and Jamie Slabber once again allowing opportunities for Blues' youth team players to step up with five 16 year olds on view and trialist keeper Charlie Aldis who performed well.
Tilbury had the better of the early exchanges pinning Blues back in their own half but the makeshift centre back pairing of Perry Dunn and Ryan Mahal dealt comfortably with the early threat. Mahal in particular was a revelation in his unaccustomed position and looked assured and commanding, posing another headache when it comes to team selection for the Blues' management!
Having dealt with the early pressure Blues began to assert themselves with Barry Cogan and Cole pulling the strings in midfield. It was good to see some slick passing movements with all players looking comfortable on the ball. Wing backs Callum Thompson and James Folkes looked to get forward at every opportunity and with Joao Carlos and Kai Brown out wide Blues were beginning create a number of openings. Bishop and Kiernan Hughes-Mason up front were using their pace to good advantage stretching the Tilbury back four.
Blues' pressure eventually told in the 16th minute when Bishop was the victim of a clumsy challenge inside the area and duly dispatched the spot kick past Bogarde.
With the goal advantage Blues visibly relaxed allowing their hosts to see more of the ball without really threatening although Aldis had to be alert dealing with a fiercely struck free kick which he did well to hold.
Tilbury made a number of changes at half time as they looked to get back into the game but it was Blues who continued to look the more likely to increase their advantage. Carlos in particular was seeing more of the ball and causing real problems and was subject to some robust treatment at times.
Midway through the half Blues were awarded another penalty when Bishop was brought down. Ade Cole stepped up his kick beating Bogarde but not the post and was cleared to safety. Blues by this stage had made a number of substitutions bringing on more youngsters with the exception of manager Jamie Stuart the changes however didn't disrupt Blues' rhythm as they continued to enjoy a deal of possession.
Aldis was called into action when he did well to turn the ball over from a free kick as Tilbury searched for a leveller. Shortly after in a game that had been played in the right spirit came an incident that marred the occasion. Carlos who continued to be a threat out wide picked up the ball and cut inside where he was felled by a horrendous challenge from a Tilbury defender who was quite rightly red carded. Fortunately Carlos did not suffer a serious injury despite the ferocity of the tackle.
Blues recorded their second of the night when Bishop latched onto the ball beating one defender and unleashed a dipping strike which left Bogarde clutching at air on 78 minutes.
Stung by the goal Tilbury enjoyed a period of pressure. Dance had an opportunity but blasted wide and then Aldis made a point blank save to keep his goal intact in the last goal action of the evening.
Probably the most pleasing aspect of this win for the management would have been the contribution of the youngsters who acquitted themselves well and did not seem fazed by the occasion. Arguably they could now be considered for inclusion in the first team squad. Three games in, eight goals scored and only one conceded is encouraging considering the management team have yet to put out a full squad and with just two weeks to go to the start of the new season, the progress made is tangible.
As a footnote to the evening over two thousand pounds was raised for the family of Kevin Malthouse.
A trip to the seaside beckons for the Blues when they take on Southend Manor at Southchurch Park this Saturday the 29th July 2017, kick off 3pm