Terras extend unbeaten run with late draw

Our unbeaten run in all competitions has extended to four games after our draw to second-place Aveley on Saturday at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

This result now leaves us 18th in the National League South table, albeit four points clear of the drop zone.

Though such is the similar number of points with the surrounding teams, we can find ourselves as high as 13th with a win at Braintree Town this weekend.

Our equaliser itself was in fact an own goal, with Aveley forward Charlee Hughes heading the ball past Jonathan North following a well-taken corner.

Before that, the visitors had been leading 1-0, courtesy of Jalen Jones’ powerful header in the first half.

However, it could have been argued that our goal was deserved, following a number of chances after the break.

Manager Bobby Wilkinson said last week that the result would determine how far we were from the teams near the top of the table.

With that in mind, Saturday showed plenty to suggest that he would have been pleased with what he saw.

Returning to the line-up were Tom Bearwish, Gerard Benfield and Anthony Cheshire following our win versus Truro City last Tuesday.

This was Benfield’s first start since our draw away to Slough last month, the goalkeeper back in the side after recovering from a finger injury.

Rollinson also kept his place in the XI due to a knock picked up by Charlie Rowan in the warm-up before kick-off.

The game during the opening minutes was a cagey one, neither side having any clear-cut chances during the first quarter of an hour.

This would change in the 17th minute, when Benfield was forced to make a crucial save from Alex Hernandez.

Olu Durojaiye would then be involved in some important defending just three minutes later, blocking Ikechi Eze’s long-range effort.

Jones’ header would come only four minutes after that, with his powerful header proving too much for Benfield, who saw the ball being fired right at him from close-range.

The Millers arguably should have doubled their lead after 35 minutes.

Hughes found himself inside the six-yard box, and had the opportunity to ensure his side put a header past Benfield for a second time.

However, the forward was unable to even hit the target.

As Hughes would realise after the final whistle, his missed chance would prove costly.

This incident appeared to wake up our players, with The Terras beginning to create chances just before half-time.

In fact, Rollinson was very close to grabbing two goals before the whistle, and would have done so had the linesman not flagged offside on both occasions.

But, as the players trudged down the tunnel, the final few minutes of the first half suggested that we were not prepared to walk away empty handed.

Our first noticeable chance of the second half came after 53 minutes when Durojaiye hit his strike with venom, only to end up just wide.

Six minutes later, North this time would be the busy keeper, producing a magnificent save to deny Brandon Goodship, who looked certain to have scored with his bending effort.

Just after the hour mark, we found ourselves appealing for a penalty, the players and fans alike convinced that Eze had handled the ball.

Our lively performance during this time all pointed towards the suggestion that a goal would eventually come.

It did.

Hughes, who could have been the hero at the other end earlier in the game, was unable to clear his header away, instead seeing the ball fly towards his own net.

With the game now at 1-1 with just five minutes left, the idea of either side finding a late winner was a possibility.

However, neither side was able to muster any dangerous chances, as the match ended one goal apiece.

Match report
by Jack Webb

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