Liam Nash fires hat-trick in 20 minutes as Maldon & Tiptree win a Ryman North play-off thriller
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Ryman North play-offs semi-final Maldon & Tiptree 5 Haringey Borough 4 A hat-trick inside the first 20 minutes from Liam Nash allowed Maldon & Tiptree to progress into the Ryman North Division final tonight.
The Jammers defeated Haringey Borough 5-4 in an absolute thriller, at a packed Park Drive, to set up a play-off final with Thurrock in the same location on Sunday (April 30, 3pm KO).
Nash was in blistering form in the first period, opening the scoring after just six minutes.
After some terrific work from Rhys Henry and Sam Newson, Nash slid into to give the Jammers the perfect start, before doubling their lead from the penalty spot in the 12th minute when David Olufemi tripped Adam Mills following another swift team move.
Haringey should have equalised before Nash’s spot-kick, which rolled over the line via the keeper and the post, when Ralston Gabriel broke free, but put his effort wide with the goal gaping.
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The visitors did make it 2-1 however, in the 14th minute, when, after shouts for handball in the box were turned down, Rakim Richards’ deflected effort found the net.
But Maldon restored their two-goal advantage in the 20th minute when Nash grabbed his hat-trick with a 20-yard free-kick, following a clumsy foul on Henry.
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But Borough never stopped attacking, and after cutting through the Jammers’ defence in the 42nd minute, Daniel Wilks pulled off a superb save to deny Richards.
Haringey made it 3-2 in the 49th minute when Gabriel broke through to coolly lob home, but Newson pulled The Jammers clear again when he scored from close-range, following unconvincing goalkeeping, moments later.
Newson and Curtis Haynes-Brown then headed narrowly off target, before Wilks made a flying save to deny dangerman Gabriel.
Anthony McDonald must have thought he’d found the top corner, in the 69th minute, only for Wilks to pull off another fantastic save, but the keeper was powerless to prevent Gabriel from stabbing home for 4-3 in the 76th minute.
Mills made it 5-3 in the 83rd minute, and Maldon were relieved when the final whistle went after Christopher Benjamin made it 5-4 with an absolute pearlier in the 94th minute.
Thurrock beat AFC Hornchurch 1-0 in the other semi-final.