Havering V 2 Clacton II 1
Division 8SEHavering V 2 Clacton II 1A trek down the A12 to mid-table Havering proved too much for the Clacton side, resulting in their first loss of the season.
Havering V 2 Clacton II 1
A trek down the A12 to mid-table Havering proved too much for the Clacton side, resulting in their first loss of the season.
From the start Havering put the pressure on the visiting team and successfully blocked any counter-attacks. By 15 minutes, the pressure had taken its toll and Clacton were a goal down. From then until the end of the first half Clacton found it difficult to get into any rhythm and, despite hard work in midfield by Danny Clow and John Hambrook, Clacton found they could only play themselves into difficulty rather than out of it.
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Ten minutes later and Clacton were 2-0 down. The score line remained unchanged at the end of the first half, although it could have easily been more in Havering's favour if not for some strong custodianship by Clacton's stand-in keeper Steve Jones.
A reorganised and more focussed Clacton side began the second half in much better form and took the game to Havering. Nick Teddar-Ward slipped a ball across the Havering 'D' for Stuart Perkins to find the back of the Havering net after ten minutes.
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From then on Clacton continued to have a better game and continued to place the home side under pressure with Perkins, Teddar-Ward, Hambrook and Clow each having a number of near misses. Young newcomers Henry Smith and Jack Calendar both had good games, with Calender's solid and improving performance throughout the game making him a candidate for man of the match. In the latter part of the half Havering fought back, the back line of Nick Key, Jim Bush and Dan Pritchard fending off the bulk of the play and again Steve Jones making a couple of crucial, athletic saves to keep Clacton in the hunt for a draw. Alas it was not to be and at the final whistle the score line was 2-1 to the home side.
Clacton will begin 2007 lying fourth in the table, five points ahead of their nearest rivals. With eight points separating the top four teams there is all to play for in the chase for the top three promotion spots. If the first half of the season is anything to go by, a win against any one of the top three should see the Clacton side get promoted for the fifth year in succession.