Maldon & Tiptree 0, Heybridge Swifts 2
HEYBRIDGE emerged victorious from Saturday’s FA Cup derby.
The visitors gave notice of their intent after eight minutes when Luke Callander struck a powerfully driven free kick from 30 yards that crashed back off the crossbar
Richard Wray in the Maldon goal wasn’t far away from an embarrassment six minutes later as he just managed to punch clear a Kevin Dobinson corner though his connection wasn’t full, it was successful.
Former Colchester man Kevin McLeod was a key player for the hosts and got sight of goal a number of times in the game most notably when he curled over a free kick over on 17 minutes.
Heybridge were on top the more the half went on and Callander glanced a header from Russell Malton’s cross.
The best chance of the half went begging on the half hour mark as a long kick downfield by Nick Eyre was allowed to bounce into the path of Swifts’ Ben Newson but he dithered too long and the opportunity was lost. .
Kevin McLeod should have made sure Maldon were in front six minutes before the break when Ollie Berquez helped him break the offside trap but he dragged his shot narrowly wide.
Heybridge struck three minutes before half time when a Dobinson corner was met by a cluster of players in the box all angling for the loose ball before Michael Toner nicked it away. The ball fell back to the left wing for Callander who slotted the ball square for Reece Morgan to run into and he struck a sweet right footer from 22 yards that flew low beating Wray’s outstretched left hand.
Maldon made a bright start to the second half but on 69 minutes Swifts got their chance to extend the lead. A pass down the left freed Callander on the left side of the box and his heels were clipped by Toney and ref Alan Day pointed to the spot and Ryan Doyle crashed home an unstoppable shot.
Maldon were on the ropes and had Wray to thank for a couple of saves as Heybridge edged closer to the finish line which they reached despite one last push by the hosts.