Manor goal sees off Millers
By Dean Wootten
Bowers win 1-0 in scrappy affair
Saturday 26th January
The Len Salmon Stadium
Kick Off: 15:00
Bostick Division One North
Bowers & Pitsea secured a crucial 1-0 win away at fellow promotion chasers Aveley thanks to a helping hand from Millers goalkeeper David Hughes. Hughes spilt a high free-kick and Lewis Manor was on hand to score the only in an otherwise scrappy affair.
Having been billed as a potential game of the season contender palpable disappointment could be sensed throughout Parkside as neither side were able to muster an effort on goal. In fact it took until the 25th minute before either goalkeeper was made to work, as Hughes reacted well to tip Brad Warner’s in-swinging corner over his crossbar.
But Hughes was to be the main factor as Bowers took the lead in the 29th minute. Warner sent in a high free-kick which Hughes inexplicably spilled, under some pressure from Ben Sartain, and the ball fell kindly to Manor who poked home from four yards.
Aveley began their hunt for an equaliser and were enjoying success down the right, with Tom Richardson in particular causing problems for Tom Stephen. In fact, Stephen had earlier received a yellow card for tripping Richardson, so when the former Concord Rangers full-back hauled him down once more the Aveley crowed were baying for him to see red. However, the referee did not give in to the home crowds’ chants and Stephen remained.
Andrew Freeman then had a great chance to equalise for The Millers, battling with Lewis Clark and Martyn Stokes to create space for himself, but when the moment came to finish he scuffed his effort straight at Andy Wilton.
Bowers had the chance to score their second as half-time approached as Brad Warner intercepted a pass by Harry Gibbs, but as he bore down on goal Hughes was able to get down to make the save.
David Knight volleyed wide and James Love saw Ryan Sammons deflect his curling effort just over as the second half began at a much better pace than the first. But after the initial burst of the second period, the game moved back to its sluggish ways, with Bowers happy with their advantage and Aveley extremely sloppy in possession.
Bowers had chances to extend their lead, but both Knight and Warner saw their free-kicks held by Hughes with neither really threatening the Millers goalkeeper. Substitute Max Cornhill then played in Lewis Manor, but his ball across goal was out of reach of both Knight and Warner.
With ten minutes left in the game, Aveley started to create some chances, but their poor quality throughout was summed up by Louis Hazlewood’s free-kick which went so far over it managed to clear the protective netting behind the goal. Zak Pianum then volleyed wide as time ticked away from the hosts.
On the stroke of full-time, Aveley were presented with a chance to equalise as Stokes pulled down Richardson right on the very edge of the Bowers penalty area, receiving a yellow card in the process. Firmin Ngandu, who had replaced Hazlewood following his free kick, stepped up to take it, but he fared little better as he curled his shot into the wall. Bowers cleared, and with that the full time whistle sounded as the league leaders held on for another critical three points.