Jake Cass among the goals as Bishop's Stortford drew 2-2 with Maldon & Tiptree in pre-season friendly
Bishop's Stortford saw a two-goal lead slip as they drew 2-2 with Maldon & Tiptree in their first home friendly of pre-season on Friday night (July 16).
A trialist put the Blues ahead before Jake Cass doubled the lead at the R&D Advisors UK Stadium, but the Jammers pulled one back before converting a late equaliser.
Steve Smith's men will continue their pre-season preparations on Saturday (July 24) away to Aveley after Tuesday night's (July 20) scheduled home game against King's Lynn Town was cancelled.
New signing Rio Davidson-Phipps made his Stortford debut in defence after agreeing a deal for the 2021-22 campaign ahead of matchday. He came through the Barnet academy and had been plying his trade with Walton Casuals having also had stints at Carshalton Athletic and Sutton Common Rovers.
The Blues had the better of the first half, with the wingers providing a constant threat.
Ryan Charles had a long shot deflected to Joe Gardner who fired wide, before those two combined again, with Charles crossing to Gardner who headed wide.
Ex-Blue Shomari Barnwell led the line well for the visitors and he should have opened the scoring, but fired against a post from close range.
Charles headed the ball towards Cass in the box, but he could only fire wide, before Stortford goalkeeper Jack Giddens was called into action to keep out a low effort from the edge of the box.
The Blues' breakthrough came at the end of a swift counter-attack, with the trialist skipping past a defender and firing in from a tight angle having been found by Cass.
There was almost an instant equaliser when Barnwell beat the offside trap, but he miscontrolled the ball and Giddens was grateful to get it in his gloves.
Charles and the trialist finished the half strongly, both shooting inches wide of the target with left-footed shots.
After the break, Cass – starting for the first time – got his third goal in three pre-season matches with a free kick as he found a gap between the wall and the post.
Giddens got down quickly to deny the Maldon & Tiptree No 17 from 15 yards, but that player pulled a goal back from the resulting corner as the Blues failed to clear.
Frankie Merrifield made an impact off the bench and he went close with a half-volleyed effort before he could have won a penalty for a push in the back, but play went on as Charley Barker volleyed wide.
Giddens preserved the lead once again with a low save from a close-range effort, but a similar chance was converted by the No 8, from much closer in after a brilliant run from the right winger, as the visitors ensured it finished all square.
Blues: Giddens (Lee 86), Davidson-Phipps, Gregan (Sankey 73), Thomas (Wardle 75), Gardner (Merrifield 46), Church, Cass (Barker 56), Charles, Trialist, Baker (Trialist 80), Haines.
Maldon & Tiptree squad: Awotwi, Barnwell, Kemp, McClenaghan, McNamara, Ryan-Khanye, Stokes, Turpin, Williams-Bushell and 13 trialists.