Upminster edge out East London rivals

Upminster players huddle before their match at Coopers (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Upminster players huddle before their match at Coopers (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo) - Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo

Upminster 2 East London 1

Upminster’s men ended 2016 with a hard-fought win against East London at Coopers, avenging a 4-0 loss from the opening match of the East Division One season.

The team have grown throughout the season, highlighted by the way their defence shut out the visitors for the entire first half.

Upminster had to thank keeper Phil Dixon for some smart saves and solid defensive work from Jack Coleman for denying East London and took the lead toward the end of the first half as Alex Mitchell completed a fluid counter attacking move.

Defender Nathan Woods was shown a yellow card, but Upminster went into the break with a slender advantage and produced more strong work in their own half to repel East London’s bright start to the second half.

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Both sides enjoyed good spells of pressure, though neither fashioned many clear-cut opportunities, and there was a flurry of cards shown by the umpires.

East London were were reduced to 10 men for an obstruction, before winning and duly despatching a penalty stroke to draw level.

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And Sam Langston then saw yellow for Upminster, before another East player spent some time on the sidelines after cynically bringing down Steve Wright when clean through.

The Upminster striker dusted himself down and converted from the spot to restore Upminster’s lead, before another East London player received a yellow card late on, which was then upgraded to red.

The hosts were able to close the game out well, despite more pressure from East London in the final minutes.

And Upminster will go into 2017 in a healthy mid-table position, hoping to build on the improved discipline shown in the latter months of 2016 in order to maintain their league status for next season.

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