Brantham grab deserved point at high-flying Woodbridge in 1-1 draw
Woodbridge Town 1 Brantham Athletic 1
Brantham Athletic came away from Notcutts Park with a well-deserved point against a home side who had previously recorded four high-scoring victories on the bounce and are the form team of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, writes Dave Meeson.
This was also the day where the club said a fond farewell to Matt MacKenzie who lead the teams out onto the field after being forced to retire with a recently diagnosed heart condition.
The popular striker who netted 67 goals in 89 appearances for the club received sustained applause from the bumper crowd of more than 220.
The visitors took the lead on 12 minutes when Lamell Howell’s corner was flicked home by the head of Arron Churchyard for an own goal.
There was little goalmouth action for the rest of the half as both sides rather cancelled each other out.
George Clarke made a surging run for the Blue Imps only to be stopped when about to pull the trigger and Woodbridge promised much in their attacks until they tended to break down in the final third of the field.
Home manager Jamie Scales introduced Mark Ray and Alex Greggor from the bench at the start of the second period and the in-form Ray almost immediately brought a fine stop from Brantham keeper Luke Avenell after turning his defender.
The visitors then went straight up the other end and Alfie Stronge made an equally fine save to keep out an effort from Howell which seemed to be heading for the bottom corner.
The game had certainly livened up and Woodbridge wide man Ryan Keeble had an effort blocked before the equaliser arrived midway through the half in almost a carbon copy of the opening goal as Liam Scopes rose to head home Greggor’s corner.
The Peckers’ top scorer Kelsey Trotter was then sent clean through by Ben Garnham but could only blaze over.
However Brantham remained dangerous and could have won the game in the closing stages when fine play from Clarke created the opportunity for Daniel Rowe at the back post.
But he could only sky his effort over the bar.
Full back Ellis Murrell had a fine game for the ‘Peckers, while visiting centre back Jack Marshall was outstanding at the heart of the Blue Imps’ defence.