Redbridge on the spot to dump Dockers out of cup
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Essex Senior Cup quarter-finals: Redbridge 1 Tilbury 1 (4-1 on penalties)
Redbridge reached the last four of the Essex Senior Cup after beating Tilbury 4-1 on penalties following a battling display at Oakside.
Dave Ross and Ricky Eaton’s men took the lead during the quarter-final tie when Joe Gent scored with 15 minutes played.
But the Dockers equalised just before the break and the hosts were reduced to 10 men early in the second half.
Despite that, the Motormen battled on brilliantly and took the game to penalties before holding their nerve to win the match.
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Ross and Eaton made three changes from the team that lost 5-0 to Dereham Town in the Ryman North on Saturday.
Charlie Portway and John Burgess were both cup tied while James Dobson was unavailable for the last eight clash.
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Berkcan Belindir was given a start, Charlie Parish returned following his four-match suspension and Jay Knight was back after injury.
It was the hosts who began the better of the two sides and they should have taken the lead in the opening minute.
Rigers Kabashi skipped past an opponent and went through on goal, but Dockers custodian Clarke Bogard blocked.
Carlos Espirito Santo latched onto the rebound and his low drive was deflected just wide – all inside the opening 60 seconds.
Tilbury responded, though, as Tony Martin curled past the post from inside the area with six minutes played at Oakside.
Redbridge created another good opportunity eight minutes later when Jay Knight sent Espirito Santo through.
But the Motormen number 11 took too long and it allowed the visitors right-back Conor Mead to get across to block.
From the resulting corner, Kabashi played it short before getting the return pass and directing it towards the back post.
Although Tilbury cleared the first cross, Gent picked it up on the edge of the box, took a touch before curling into the bottom corner.
Suddenly a shock was on the cards, but the hosts were well worth their lead after dominating the opening quarter of an hour.
Redbridge goalkeeper Callum Chafer was called into action six minutes after the goal when Neil Richmond broke the offside trap.
The young stopper, on-loan from division rivals Hornchurch, come out well and held the close range shot.
Midway through the half and Knight tried to collect a high bouncing ball, but was clattered by Bogard in the Tilbury goal just outside the area.
Even though the home side were calling for a red, referee Gary Jerden only pulled out a yellow.
Kabashi took the resulting set piece and although he got it up and over the wall, Dockers custodian Bogard parried away from goal.
As the half drew to a close it was the away side that began to up the tempo and enjoy an extended spell of pressure.
Chafer made a fine one-handed save from Dockers captain Matt Game before the visitors went close from the next corner in the 37th minute.
Three efforts were blocked by Motormen players before the ball came to Martin, but his curler was well held.
Five minutes before the break and Richmond was picked out inside the box – he could only fire wide however.
But in the 43rd minute Tilbury did finally level when Martin’s low free kick on the left was diverted in at the far post by Stephen Good.
One minute of stoppage time was added on, but it was 1-1 at the interval with it all to play for in the second half.
Dockers began brightly after the restart and Redbridge’s task was made a whole lot harder in the 51st minute.
Espirito Santo, who received a harsh yellow card in the first half for blocking a free kick, received another caution for an identical incident and was given his marching orders.
Predictably Tilbury were starting to dominate again and Martin smashed an effort against the crossbar in the 57th minute.
He looked to fire a cross into the box, but sliced the effort and although it hit the woodwork, Chafer appeared to have it covered.
Ross and Eaton responded by bringing on James Holland for Knight with an hour played at Oakside.
And slowly the Motormen were working their way back into the game and a deflected Coxi Sebastfao shot gave them some respite.
Unfortunately they couldn’t do anything from the resulting corner, but did have the ball in the back of the net in the 66th minute.
Coxi Sebastfao showed great skill to work a yard of space and again his effort was deflected.
Holland latched onto the loose ball, rounded Bogard before smashing into the net, but it was ruled out for offside.
Tilbury decided to bring on Francis Babalola two minutes later and he almost made an instant impact.
Dockers substitute managed to get through on goal, but Chafer brilliantly saved before Parish stopped Richmond from putting the rebound in.
The ball was still loose, though, and Babalola tried to force it home at the second attempt, but again Chafer dived in the way.
It was a stunning piece of goalkeeper from the Redbridge number one and kept his team in the game.
Parish, who had been brilliant, was injured blocking Richmond’s effort and youngster Ore Odutola took his place at the back with 19 minutes remaining.
Even with the enforced chance, Motormen continued to defend brilliantly as the seconds ticked away.
One of the hosts best performers, Kabashi, worked more magic three minutes from time to win his side a free kick, but they could no nothing from it.
There was a lengthy stoppage in the 88th minute when Tilbury goalkeeper Bogard suffered a cut to the eye, and it resulted in five minutes of stoppage time being added on.
Play eventually resumed in the 93rd minute and tension was running high for both sets of supporters.
The visitors did manage to get the ball in the back of the net late on, but it was correctly ruled out for a foul on Chafer.
Jayden Hocking-Rising was introduced for Gent in stoppage time and was straight into the action. The referee, however, quickly blew for the 90.
Penalties were next and first up was Kabashi who confidently found the corner to put the Motormen ahead.
Chafer gave them more of an advantage when he saved Danny Glozier’s penalty before Coxi Sebastfao converted his to put the hosts two up.
Even though Jack Carlisle scored with the Dockers next spot-kick, youngster Hocking-Rising held his nerve to make it 3-1 to Redbridge.
Tilbury’s Emiel Aiken put his penalty past the post and it gave Holland the chance to book his teams spot in the semi-finals.
He duly found the net to spark jubilant scenes at Oakside as Ross and Eaton celebrated reaching the last four of the cup competition.
Next up for the Motormen is a league clash at home to Heybridge Swifts on Saturday before they face the same opposition next Tuesday to decide who reaches the final of the Essex Senior Cup.
Redbridge: Chafer, Sackey, Good, Parish (Odutola 71), Jaffa, Gent (Hocking-Rising 90), Kabashi, Belindir, Espirito Santo, Knight (Holland 60), Coxi Sebastfao.
Unused substitutes: Hocking-Rising, Cornelius.