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Old boy Cleaver denies Redbridge

Redbridge joint managers Ricky Eaton and Dave Ross are looking to end the season on a high. Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO Redbridge joint managers Ricky Eaton and Dave Ross are looking to end the season on a high. Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Luke Robertson at Oakside
Sunday, March 23, 2014
9:08 AM

Ryman Div 1N: Redbridge 1 Brentwood 1

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In a lively affair at the Oakside both sides walked away with a share of the spoils, but will wonder how they did not score more.

The first opportunity of the game came in the seventh minute, to Brentwood’s Shad Neandu.

The ball was played long and Redbridge goalkeeper Mark Parker came rushing of his line but after the ball bounced over his head, Neandu missed the gaping net.

The opening goal arrived minutes later as Redbridge showed Neandu how it is done.

The ball was played into the area and missed by Dean Neil, falling to Abs Thompson, who smashed it into the empty net.

There was another great opportunity for Redbridge in the 19th minute but it was their turn to miss the open net and the fans could not believe what they were seeing.

Ben Bradbury was looking a real threat for Redbridge down the right hand side and he played in a great ball into the penalty area, only for Thompson to head straight into Neils’ arms.

For Brentwood Courtney White was showing some real promise and proved the biggest threat for the away side, with a few shots that went wide.

Brentwood had a free-kick from Love tipped over very impressively by Parker, atoning for his earlier error.

And just before half-time Redbridge attacked the Brentwood backline and found Emiel Aiken, who blasted the ball against the crossbbar.

Brentwood’s Matt Hall was lucky to still be on the pitch after appearing to kick out on a Redbridge player and the home side came out attacking in the second half.

But despite a good break to reach the edge of the area they could not find the right pass.

The second half was by and large a much more dull affair and it took a while to really get going, with the mood summed up when Brentwood’s former Redbridge striker Jacob Cleaver fell over the ball in the box.

White continued to impress for the visitors and had a header cleared off the line by defender Stephen Good, but one could sense the tension in the Redbridge team.

When Bradbury picked up the ball in some space on the edge of the Brentwood area many expected a shot on target, instead he blasted over the crossbar and into the clubhouse.

Brentwood knew they would get a good opportunity before the end and in the 81st minute they got just that.

White flicked the ball over a defender’s head and forced a very good save from Parker only for it to fall for Cleaver, who tapped it into the back of the net.

The visitors might have snatched victory too late on when a corner found White, who forced Parker to make a fantastic save to rescue a point for the hosts, but the second-half performance gave them exactly what they deserved.

Redbridge: Parker, Worrell, Baneende, Good, Smith, Damali, Aiken (Matthews 53), Carlile, Francis, Thompson (Ryan 75), Bradbury.

Brentwood: Neil, Gardner, Holloway (Luke 69), Stokes, O’Rawe, Hall (Martin 69), Cleaver, Love, White, Neandu, Akrofi (Bantick 75).

*Motormen visit leaders VCD Athletic on Tuesday, after they beat tenants Barkingside by a 4-1 margin yesterday.

Karl Dent and Michael Power put VCD 2-0 up at the break, but Steve Carvell replied for Matt Frew’s men seven minutes into the second half.

Their joy was shortlived as Nick Reeves quickly made it 3-1 and James Duckworth added a fourth for the hosts four minutes from time.

The defeat and in-form Ware’s 2-0 win at high-flying Soham Town sent Barkingside into the bottom three, ahead of their Oakside clash with Aveley tomorrow.

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