Bitting’s the hero as Town double-up
Buntingford Town Youth 2 Woodbridge Town 1 TOWN made it two trophies in the space of four days as their youth side clinched the Eastern Youth League Cup at Braintree Town, on Tuesday. Remarkably, the victory was achieved without a recognised goalkeeper a
Buntingford Town Youth 2
Woodbridge Town 1
TOWN made it two trophies in the space of four days as their youth side clinched the Eastern Youth League Cup at Braintree Town, on Tuesday.
Remarkably, the victory was achieved without a recognised goalkeeper after Stuart McHale suffered a knee injury in the pre-match warm up, leaving John Bitting to again deputise between the sticks.
On a good surface, the game started at a good pace with both teams passing the ball well and early indications were that chances would be created.
Town winger Luke Robins began terrorising the home defence with a number of excellent pacy runs and crosses that were generally defended well and with Town doing the same it seemed their good dominance may pay off.
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A quick free-kick routine released Luke Robins and his drilled drive was superbly blocked by the keeper's knee and a Robins cross was met by Luke Jones and his well directed header was held at full stretch keeper.
Woodbridge came into the game well in the 10 minutes before the break with Town a little panicky and Bitting saved smartly at his near post from an angled drive before Woodbridge took the lead one minute before the break.
Town lost the ball crossing the half way line and a quick breakaway left the defensive unit out-numbered and a forward calmly slotted in from 16 yards.
Buntingford came out after the break with some intensity in their game that Woodbridge struggled to handle.
Their players persistently began cramping up with leg injuries as they struggled to hold on to their slender lead.
The opening minutes were a barrage of pressure which finally paid off on 61 minutes. Ashley Townsend controlled a ball in the box which the keeper blocked, the ball spun in the air with Robbie Wilmott heading in from inside the six yard box.
This sparked Woodbridge into life and the game really turned into an end to end entertaining spectacle but Town continued to create excellent chances.
Townsend, Robins and Wilmott all had opportunities against the Woodbridge keeper that were excellently save before the defining moment came on 78 minutes.
A good bit of skill from the Woodbridge winger gave him space to cross a ball that was headed onto the top of the crossbar and over by a forward and from Bitting's goal kick Townsend lobbed a through-ball for Gary Christie to advance on goal and slot wide of the on- rushing keeper.
The game continued to flow and a great Tom Malin's cross was met by Wilmott who bought another stunning block from the keeper.
With two minutes remaining Bitting made a fine diving fingertip save to prevent an equaliser but even with the five minutes injury time added the game deservedly finished in Town's favour.
The result left Buntingford boss Paul Attfield beaming: "I didn't think we passed the ball well enough in the first half but to concede just before half time and I felt that to go in one goal down was a bit unfair on us" he said.
"We showed some great spirit throughout the second half and the way we were playing I felt if we could get one goal a second would follow and but for some excellent goalkeeping we could have won by more.
"To win the league and league cup caps a fantastic season for the lads and in my opinion they deserve what they've achieved."
Buntingford: J Bitting, C Simmonds, M Roach, D Chaffey, D Cain, W Turl (G Christie), T Malins, L Jones, P Fisher (R Wilmott), A Townsend, L Robins. Unused subs : T Jarman, L Endacott, S McHale.