Dockers go down to lone goal at home

By Mason Hutchinson

19th Mar 2023 | Football


Tom Barton has returned to the Dockers and thought he had set up an equalising goal but it ws disallowed.
Tom Barton has returned to the Dockers and thought he had set up an equalising goal but it ws disallowed.

Tilbury 0, Heybridge Swifts 1

FOLLOWING an emphatic and much needed win on Tuesday, Dockers hosted Isyhmian North promotion hopefuls, Heybridge Swifts.

The visitors arrived off the back of defeat to Hashtag United where they lost 2-1, leaving them seventh in the table and hoping to close the gap to the sides ahead of them.

Tilbury found themselves down the opposite end of the league standings ahead of this fixture, hoping to carry some momentum with them as they look to get themselves a step closer to safety.

Just one change was made to Tilbury's starting XI with Alfie Whiteaker replacing the injured Edwards.

Michael-Percil and Ollie Plunkett both made their way back into the squad as they started the game on the bench.

However, this game was not only special due to the importance of a result, but it was also the first game back at Chadfields for Marc and Liam as well as signings Wilson, Vyse, Barton and Spooner.

The visitors wasted no time before making a mark on the game, as straight from kick off, the hosts were stunned when a first time cross from the right-hand side beat the first man and made its way to an unmarked Matthew Price, who nodded home the early ball to spoil Tilbury's party early on.

Swifts put the ball in the back of the net once again when a contested challenge in the air following a free kick led to the ball making its way to Price who was once again alone in the area.

The striker fired home to double the away sides lead.

However, celebrations were cut short when the goal was chalked off for offside.

The Dockers had an opportunity to level the game when Clark's low cross caused a mess in the box that wasn't dealt with by the Heybridge defence.

The ball eventually found the boot of the arriving Oli Spooner, but his effort was blazed over the bar. Tilbury came forward again just before the break with a good passage of play in and around the opposition penalty area.

Chris Millar collected the ball and worked his way across the box to open up space on his right foot for a shot.

Unfortunately, his effort was dragged wide of the post and didn't trouble the keeper. Heybridge almost gave themselves a two goal cushion 20 minutes into the second half, when a ball into the box caused pinball in the area before making its way to Carter, who had time and space.

But a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Alfie Whiteaker just before the attacker pulled the trigger, kept Tilbury alive.

In the 71st minute, Tilbury saw a goal of their own chalked off for offside when Oli Spooner launched a throw into the area which troubled the defence causing them to clear the ball only as far as the edge of the area. Barton battled well and managed to recycle the attack by flicking the ball over the defence and into a dangerous area where Wilson waited to poke home what he thought was the equaliser.

In the dying moments, the away side were almost able to put the game to bed as Kieran Jones played a ball down the line to Rhys Henry, who held his run well to stay onside.

Henry then whipped a cross around the defence which was met by Price's improvised flick, that rolled just wide of the post.

That was all the action at Chadfields and a goal within the first 30 seconds proved to be costly for The Dockers, despite the performance deserving at least a draw.

The result meant that next week's fixture away to Coggeshall Town is all the more important as Tilbury continue their battle to stay in the Isthmian North division next season.

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