AN injury-time header from centre-back Andrew Tirivanhu claimed a point for Witham Town in their first Pitching In Isthmian League division north match of the season against newly-promoted Redbridge, writes JIM PURTILL.

It was a close encounter at the Simarco Stadium and for the second time in a week, Redbridge conceded an equaliser with seconds left to play, as it finished 1-1.

Witham had enjoyed the brighter start to the game. Liam Whipps on his return from suspension was all energy and he had an early shot deflected over the bar in the second minute.

The lively Jeff Cobblah had two dangerous runs in the first 12 minutes.

Redbridge found their feet and began to look more comfortable. Ibrahim Kehinde forced Witham goalkeeper Harry McKie into a brilliant save before the visitors took the lead in the 18th minute.

A shot from the right was going for a goal kick to Witham before Benjamin Lacey-Turner intervened at the far post to put Redbridge ahead.

The goal looked slightly against the run of play, but the visitors gained confidence from their lead and began to assert themselves.

Midfielder Kobe Yeboah was the source of the best moves for Redbridge and was a constant threat on the left; Joseph Elliot was also influential for Redbridge as they moved forward.

The pace of Cobblah bore Witham’s most potent attacking threat as he carried the ball into dangerous areas.

In the 25th minute a cross from Cobblah on the left flashed across the Redbridge goalmouth and three minutes later he forced a corner, following a good run.

He came close to scoring when he received a pass from Ronnie Bates in a breakaway attack but his shot went wide.

There was a paucity of goal chances as attacking moves were often bogged down in midfield.

Witham found it difficult to find a way through the stubborn Redbridge midfield where Yeboah was a constant menace.

Redbridge struggled to forge quality attacks as Joseph Alatise and Tirivanhu at the back for Witham proved an effective barrier against the visitors’ forays.

Ronnie Bates worked tirelessly for the hosts in the second half.

The introduction of Djovany Carvalho from the bench injected pace and urgency into Witham’s midfield and in the final quarter of the match the hosts found a way to attack with greater fluidity.

Cobblah was foiled by an athletic save from keeper Connor Wheatley and Witham’s equaliser took a long time to arrive but it was a goal of the highest quality. A corner from the excellent Liam Whipps was a perfect fit for Tirivanhu who scored with a superb header, to gain Witham’s first point of the season.

Witham host Stanway Rovers at the Simarco Stadium in the Emirates FA Cup preliminary round, on Saturday.