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Rio Davidson-Phipps scored as Bishop's Stortford suffered their first pre-season defeat when they lost 3-1 at Aveley

Bishop's Stortford suffered their first pre-season defeat on Saturday when they lost 3-1 at Aveley.

Recent signing Rio Davidson-Phipps equalised after former Blues striker George Sykes put the hosts a goal up, before Harry Donovan and Alex Clark restored their opponents' lead in the second half.

Steve Smith's men, whose scheduled home game against Chelmsford City this Saturday has been cancelled, next host Peterborough Sports at the R&D Advisors UK Stadium on Tuesday (August 3, 7.45pm).

Aveley made a fast start and their No 10 shot straight at Jack Giddens in the first minute, before former Stortford player George Allen saw his header from a corner rebound off the crossbar.

Giddens was then on hand to deny the hosts again when the No 9 squared to the No 7 but he couldn't get the ball past the keeper.

Jake Cass fired a half-volley over the bar in what was a match of few chances for the Stortford striker.

The Blues continued to ride their luck as the Aveley No 9 hit the post before the No 10 blazed his shot high with an open goal to aim for.

Giddens was required to prove himself as a makeshift sweeper as he charged out of his box to head the ball back into the Aveley half with his defenders beaten, before Sykes tapped home on the rebound from Giddens' original save from a powerful shot.

The hosts' No 9 had two great chances to increase the lead, first forcing Giddens into a smart low save and then shooting wide a minute later.

Giddens then made a great double save before Davidson-Phipps equalised on the stroke of half time when, after spotting the keeper off his line, he shot from nearly 35 yards and the ball slipped through the keeper's gloves and into the net.

Goalscorer Rio Davidson-Phipps pictured in action against Maldon & Tiptree ealier in pre-season. Picture: Vikki Lince
Goalscorer Rio Davidson-Phipps pictured in action against Maldon & Tiptree ealier in pre-season. Picture: Vikki Lince

Aveley began the second half as they did the first and soon regained the lead. The No 9, who had gone close moments earlier, provided a brilliant one-two to assist Donovan's strike into the bottom corner.

Giddens, who was by far the busier keeper throughout the match, saved a downward header from a free kick before also keeping out a low strike.

The Blues only looked like scoring on the counter attack as Ryan Charles and a trialist used their pace down the right wing. Charles cut inside and passed to Charlie Wardle, but his shot was well off target.

The fresh legs of the hosts' substitutes continued to trouble the Stortford back line, with Clark adding a third goal from a long through ball down the left wing as he beat the full-back and shot low past Giddens.

Blues: Giddens, Davidson-Phipps, Trialist, Thomas, Trialist (Sankey 84), Gardner (Charles 62), Barker (Wardle 58), Cass, Giles (Trialist 59), Greene (Gregan 73), Baker (Trialist 29).

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