AYO Olukoga's goal on the stroke of half-time sealed a remarkable 1-0 win for Witham Town at Maldon and Tiptree in a result that defied the form book, writes JIM PURTILL.

It was only Town's second victory in Pitching In Isthmian League division north since August and the Jammers' first defeat in eight league games.

It was the proverbial game of two halves, with a well-contested first period followed by a second half of incessant Maldon attacks.

Despite being under sustained pressure, Witham held onto their lead and took all three points.

Poor finishing by Maldon, inspired goalkeeping by Rhys Madden and good defensive organisation by Witham all played a part in the outcome.

Witham were much more positive in their approach than they have been for some time and Josh Osude shot over for the visitors in the15th minute.

Ade Cole was the focus of Maldon’s better attacking moves and George Winn impressed for the hosts.

Cole shot wide twice from the left in the first 20 minutes and forced Madden to save at the expense of a corner.

Maldon attacked more than their opponents but their moves frequently broke down outside the penalty area, due to Witham’s resistance.

Olukoga and Lewis Duberry were in stubborn mood for the visitors and Witham looked dangerous on the break as they moved the ball forward quickly.

They found a potent attacking outlet in new recruit Josh Osude whose pace, energy and ball-holding ability gave them a platform to build effective attacks.

Good work from Osude forced a corner on the half hour.

There were few real chances in the first half with both defences looking dominant but Maldon started to look stronger in the latter stages of the first half.

Despite this it was Witham who made the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time.

Rian McLean's pass found Luke Ige, who was needlessly fouled by Aaron Williams-Bushell ten yards inside the Maldon half.

An excellent free-kick from Liam Whipps was headed into the net by Olukoga for his first goal for the club.

It was a well-taken goal but a free header from the unchallenged scorer.

Olumide Oluwatimilehin should have scored from close range five minutes after the restart but he missed the target.

Cole and Shad Ngandu were influential in attack but the Witham defensive organisation proved effective with Jimmy Wallace excelling, while Cole and Joe Turpin were foiled by Madden.

The pattern of the match changed as Maldon and Tiptree attacked in a more determined and consistent manner.

It became a rearguard action from the visitors but the quality of Maldon’s attacking decisions and shooting did not do justice to their creation of chances.

Shomari Barnwell's height provided a constant threat in the Maldon attack and when he escaped Wallace's attention, he headed wide in the 71st minute while three minutes later, Lordon Akolbire had a good shot blocked.

Witham’s breaks from defence were less frequent and less effective than in the first half but substitute Ramiah Mills' pace and determination breathed life back into the attack, as the visitors began to cause problems on the break again.

Maldon kept up the pace in their quest to equalise but Madden proved impossible to beat and made excellent late saves from Cole and Akolbire.

The Jammers will rue their failure to take chances on the night.

They possibly underestimated the battling qualities of the Witham side whose lowly league position masks their recent defensive improvement.

Witham conceded only two goals in their last four matches and have kept three clean sheets in the last six.

Town will seek to use this result as a platform in their attempt to move away from the relegation zone.