Essex Box clever to earn point

PUBLISHED: 07:56 08 November 2016

Essex women face the camera before their match against Kent (pic Ponderosa Pix)

Essex women face the camera before their match against Kent (pic Ponderosa Pix)

Mikey Cartwright | Ponderosa Pix

Essex 1 Kent 1

Essex’s women picked up their first point of the season as Georgia Box’s leveller earned a share of the spoils with Kent at Hornchurch.

Box, who is carving out an excellent reputation in the music industry away from football, beat Kent goalkeeper Katie Startup with a fierce drive after Amy Russ had handed the visitors the lead to ensure honours finished even.

Essex had started brightly and, on five minutes, a good interchange between Katie Whitehead and Paris Smith saw the latter’s shot saved by Startup.

The talented Kent side soon looked to open the door themselves and home ‘keeper Beth Griffiths made a fine near-post save to push Millie Waud’s half-volley wide, before also doing well to keep our Rikki Turner’s drive.

A good chance for the away side then saw Russ have two close-range efforts blocked before a good ball by Essex’s Courtney Clarke played in Smith, but the forward’s shot was saved by Startup.

On the stroke of half time, Essex went close as Lindsay Morgan’s low shot zipped inches wide, then two minutes after the hour mark Essex came within a whisker of grabbing the lead.

Hayley Piggott’s thumping free kick cannoned off the crossbar before being scrambled clear but, five minutes later, Kent took a somewhat fortuitous lead as Russ’ left-wing cross evaded the lunge of the on-rushing April Bowers, but crept just inside the far post.

After going behind, Essex rallied as a low drive from Sophie Vale slipped through the grasp of Startup, but rolled agonisingly wide of the near post.

Essex did level with ten minutes left when a mis-placed back pass by Kent’s Lydia Wells found Box, whose firm shot looped in despite the efforts of Startup.

Soon after, a corner by Essex’s Abigail Fry wasn’t cleared properly and Morgan’s shot through a crowd of players brought an excellent save by Startup.

Essex: Beth Griffiths (Writtle), Abigail Fry (Writtle), Charlotte Bryant (Writtle), Aysha Bentick (Barking Abbey School), Charlotte Hopwood (Billericay Town), Nicole Farmer (Billericay Town), Katie Whitehead (Billericay Town), Lindsay Morgan (Billericay Town), Paris Smith (Billericay Town), Hayley Piggott (Billericay Town), Courtney Clarke (Writtle). Substitutes (repeated): Georgia Box (Colchester Town), Leanne Stubbings (Writtle), Charlotte Twydell (Brentwood Town), Sasha McDonald (Colchester Town), Sophie Vale (Writtle).

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