WITHAM Town were beaten 4-2 by play-off chasing Bowers and Pitsea at the Simarco Stadium, writes JIM PURTILL.

The first 20 minutes of the Pitching In Isthmian League division north match were relatively uneventful, with neither side showing sufficient attacking quality.

The visitors gradually began to find an attacking outlet on the left flank where Benas Vaivada caused problems for the Witham defence.

Two crosses from the left flashed across the goalmouth before another one found Solomon Addy at the far post.

He looked certain to score but he mishit his shot and put the ball wide.

After 24 minutes a move prompted by Vaivada broke down but Bowers regained the ball inside their own half.

A long diagonal pass from the right found striker Thomas Stagg whose excellent shot found the net to put the visitors ahead.

The Witham midfield found it difficult to create openings for the front men.

Lewis Chambers and Luke Reed shone for Bowers and left the Witham strike-force starved of useful possession.

In Witham’s best move of the first half, Khris Oti did well to find Josh Osude on the right wing.

Osude delivered a low cross to the onrushing Archie McFadden in a central position but he skied the ball well over.


Stagg doubled Bowers' lead in the 45th minute when hesitation in the Witham defence allowed him to shoot from close range on the left.

It was a poor goal to concede but a strong run by Witham’s Freddie King threatened to restore parity just before half-time.

Witham’s attacking movement improved in the second half but they looked more vulnerable at the back, as the game stretched.

King and McFadden impressed for Witham in the early stages of the second half and McFadden's brilliant strike gave Witham hope, in the 54th minute.

More goals looked likely as the ball moved faster from end to end.

Osude was busy for Witham and the hosts began to exert pressure on the Bowers rearguard.

Quality in the final third remained elusive for the hosts in their search for an equaliser.

The match was decided in the space of three minutes when Bowers scored twice.

Vaivada marked a good performance with a goal in the 69th minute, before Luke Reeve netted to put the outcome beyond doubt. Witham’s woes increased in the 84th minute when skipper Liam Whipps received a second yellow card and was sent off. Osude netted for the hosts in the 87th minute but it was little more than a consolation goal.

It was the 100th league goal scored by both sides in Witham’s league matches this season.