FC Romania 0-0 Basildon United
By Richard Barrett
Bees held on cold night in Hertfordshire
Basildon United travelled to face FC Romania at Theobalds Lane seeking to close the gap on the leaders in the Essex Senior League, including the hosts themselves who sat one place and five points ahead of Marc Harrison’s men.
The opening exchanges were a cagey affair with both sides seeking to work the other out. Chances were few and far between, although Marcus Bowers did go close with a speculative effort from range that narrowly cleared the crossbar on 12 minutes.
As the half wore on, the game came to life and Florin Pop forced a save from Connor Wheatley on 27 minutes after his shot was half blocked by Darren Phillips.
At the other end, Tommy Barton had a golden chance to give The Bees the lead when he flicked the ball wide of the post with the outside of his boot on 31 minutes and he nearly got on the score sheet again in stoppage time at the end of the half creeping in at the near post, but could not find the back of the net under the close attentions of the home defence.
The second half started as brightly as the first had ended and Jack Adlington had already had an effort well saved before Reece Conway saw his drilled shot somehow blocked as the ball seemed destined for the back of the net.
The Bees continued to pile on the pressure and Adlington again forced another fine save from the home custodian on 75 minutes before the loose ball was scrambled away.
Bowers was the next to force a fine stop from the FC Romania goalkeeper, who was having an outstanding game, when his shot from the edge of the box was pushed away on 78 minutes and in the closing moments Joe Skeels also found the goalkeeper equal to his long-range effort.
The final whistle sounded with the game finishing goalless and despite having had chances to win the game, this was, nonetheless, a good away point for The Bees in the ongoing quest for promotion come the end of the season.