Saturday, 18 August 2018
LATE PENALTY EARNS A POINT FOR THE DRAGONS AGAINST HASHTAG UNITED
Hashtag United had made the headlines over the summer when it was announced they would be joining the non-league pyramid after being formed in 2016 by you tuber Spencer Owen having huge success playing exhibition and charity matches. The team are particularly popular with young fans with highlights of their games and behind the scenes footage on You Tube being viewed by millions of fans since they were formed.
The team entered in the new step six Thurlow Nunn League First Division One South for the 2018/19 campaign and former East Thurrock United assistant manager Jay Devereux was installed as manager.
Prior to today's game Hashtag had lost their opening game at Little Oakley 3-2, drawn at home to Hackney Wick 1-1 and lost at White Ensign 2-0 last week so there were still looking for their first victory.
Today at Coles Park where they currently ground share they welcomed Wivenhoe Town who were also looking for their first win of the season having drawn 1-1 with Wormley Rovers and lost to Braintree Town Reserves 2-1 as well as a 0-5 Emirates FA Cup defeat to Brantham Athletic.
It is a new era for The Dragons this season too as James Meadows had taken over as boss from Chris Hudson who had left at the end of last season. Meadows had joined after a very successful spell in the Essex and Suffolk Border League with Great Bentley where last season they won the Division One title winning twenty-three of their twenty-six league games played.
Since relegation from the Isthmian League in 2008 it was a struggle for the club in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division where they finished in the lower half of the table dodging relegation to Division One until 2015. They were champions of Division One in 2016 before 19th and 24th placed finishes on the Premier and relegation to the new division at the end of last season.
Hashtag included former football league player Tom Williams in their starting XI with his wife Nicola McLean (of I'm a celebrity...get me out of here! and Celebrity Big Brother fame) watching on from the sidelines. Williams, 38, has played for Peterborough United, Queens Park Rangers, Barnsley, Gillingham and Swansea City amongst other clubs during his career. Last season he made a number of appearances in the Cambridgeshire County League with Houghton and Wyton.
This was a highly entertaining game with both sides playing some good football - Hashtag looked the better side in the opening exchanges but the Essex side also looked dangerous going forward with their forwards Myles Passley and Aaron Donaldson looking impressive with lots of pace.
Hashtag scored the first goal of the game when Jack Harrison fired home from the edge of the box past Aaron Reid in the Wivenhoe goal.
Wivenhoe had given away too many free kicks in their half during the first 20 minutes and this changed to the other end when Hashtag defended well for the final 5 minutes of the first half.
The second half saw both sides continuing to play some really good football with Matt Carter in the hashtag midfield standing out for me in respect of how he found time on the ball and his skill when he did so. Also Charlie Marley's work rate up and down the right hand side was brilliant before Aaaron Couch replaced him.
MYLES PASSLEY SCORES FROM THE SPOT FOR WIVENHOE AND THEN CELEBRATES MAKING IT 1-1
Both sides had chances to score before in the 80th minute Wivenhoe were awarded a penalty kick for a handball in the box. Passley confidently scored sending the ball down the right hand side with Jackson going the wrong way in the Hashtag goal.
Hashtag regrouped and went forward with Devereux shouting for them to win the game from the sidelines. They had a golden chance to win it right near to the end of the game when Neil Richmond got in between Wivenhoe centre back's Michael Southee and Lee Branson but his close ranger header from a Harry Honesty cross frustratingly went over the bar.
I think a 1-1 draw was about the right result with both sides deserving a point from the game. I would say for both sides a win isn't too far off from what I saw today.
Wivenhoe Town entertain early season table topper's White Ensign next weekend before a FA Vase trip to Newbury Forest. Hashtag's next games come in a trio of league away trips to Braintree Town Reserves, Coggeshall United and Burnham Ramblers.
Thank you to everyone at Hashtag United for giving me and my little boy a warm welcome today - Good luck to both teams for the rest of the season.
Jamie Jackson, Cain Brougham, Tom Williams, Marcus Stamp, Jack Harrison, Ricky Evans, Harry Honesty, Matt Carter (Lee Hursit), Ryan Adams, Neil Richmond, Charlie Marley (Aaron Couch)
Subs not used - Farai Tsingono, Sam Adams, Dan Brown.
Aaron Reid, Billy Latto, Zak Johnson, Michael Southee, Lee Branson, David Darbon (Dide Chowemimo), Connor Jones, Joseph Tonye, Myles Passley (Jeffreu Ashong), Charley Cook, Aaron Donaldson.
Subs not used - Jemal Jarvis, Adam Simmonds, Liam Joyce.