Tiptree Heath 0 - 2 Catholic United
By Thomas Kearney
HOOPS SECURE FOURTH SEMI-FINAL SPOT IN FIVE YEARS
Catholic United progressed to the last four of the Essex Premier Cup after a 0-2 victory away at Tiptree Heath.
Second half goals from Aaron Baldwin & Tom Hollingsworth secured a fourth semi-final spot in five years for the Hoops.
With the tie postponed the previous weekend, & given a “ninety percent” chance to succumb to the weather again on Friday night, thankfully the pitch was deemed playable following a 9AM inspection.
Inevitably the wet surface, along with a strong down field breeze, provided conditions unconducive to an aesthetically pleasing spectacle as a depleted squad travelled to the Tolleshunt Knights Village Hall ground.
Playing against the wind for the opening 45 minutes, Dan Trenkel’s side withstood the early pressure from Heath who would rue those missed opportunities, especially against a bare eleven.
Availability could have been Catholic’s own undoing as Baldwin & Jamie Salmon both turned their ankles awkwardly on the soft pitch - the latter was eventually replaced by chairman James Paviour who kitted up at half time. Performances up front for the Vets had not gone unnoticed.
Catholic eventually grew into the game as Thomas Kearney went closest to opening the scoring as he struck the outside of the post.
Following the break, the Hoops produced a more dominant performance & went ahead through Baldwin - a goal largely reminiscent to Alan Shearer’s second against Holland at Euro 96.
Determined to regain possession in midfield, Mike Sammut then played a fantastic ball down the channel for Hollingsworth who squared for Trenkel to shift it along further for the striker to convert.
With five minutes remaining, the visitors wrapped up the victory when Thomas Kearney was brought down inside the box & Hollingsworth slotted home his 26th goal of the season.
The semi final draw takes place on BBC Radio Essex Wednesday night with Buckhurst Hill, Kelvedon Hatch & Hutton the other remaining teams.
Next week is another away quarter final clash in the League Cup against fellow Premier Division side Great Baddow.
All the best for the rest of the season, Tiptree Heath.