Hello and welcome to my preview of Essex Olympian League action on Saturday 14th December. The Olympian League gets its own Half-Season Report episode on Grassroots Football Show, set for next Thursday (19th Dec), check out @ELRFootball on Twitter for details. This weekend’s are highly likely to be subject to change/postponement due to inclement weather, with the exception of artificial pitches, noted as [3G] below.
Saturday 14 December
Basildon Town v Catholic Utd | Basildon Sports Club
Canning Town v Sungate | West Ham Community Grd [3G]
Harold Wood Athletic v Old Southendian | Harold Wood Rec
Kelvedon Hatch v Shenfield AFC | New Hall
Leigh Ramblers v Buckhurst Hill | Belfairs Park
Springfield v Bishop’s Stortford Swifts | Springfield Hall Park
Senior Division One
Chingford Athletic v Lakeside | Town Mead [3G]
Galleywood v Herongate Athletic | Clarkes Field (* 2.30pm KO)
Old Chelmsfordians v Toby | Lawford Lane
Rayleigh Town Res v Manford Way | London Road
Snaresbrook v Runwell Sports | Nutters Field
Anagram Records Trophy – Hutton v FC Hamlets | Polo Fields
Senior Division Two
Beacon Hill Rovers v Laindon Orient | Wickham Bishops Sports Ground (1.30pm KO)
Corinthians v Harold Wood Athletic Res | Stambridge Memorial Ground
Epping Town v Wakering Sports | Stonards Hill
May & Baker Res v Rochford Town | May & Baker FC
Old Southendian Res v Leigh Town | Garon Park
Senior Division Three
Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ v Basildon Town Res | Lower Road
Leigh Town Res v Corinthians Res | John Burrows Recreation Ground
Wakebury v Collier Row | Shoebury Park
White Ensign Res v Hutton Res | Len Forge Centre [3G]
Lakeside Res v ACD Utd | Lakeside Sports Ground [3G]
Senior Division Four
Roydon v Ongar Town Res (1.30pm KO)
Forest Glade v Catholic Utd Res
Laindon Orient Res v Canning Town Res
Leytonstone Utd v Old Chelmsfordians Res
Shenfield AFC Res v Galleywood Res
Wakering Sports Res v Chingford Athletic Development
FA Women’s National League – Division One South East
Venue: Park Lane
2019 – 20 Season: Match 45
Saturday 8th December 2019 – 2.00pm KO
Basildon: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Stevenage: White & Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
AFC Basildon hit six in brilliant battle with Stevenage at Park Lane
AFC Basildon 6 – 4 Stevenage
Mini-Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
A rare Sunday match saw me join fellow Non-League correspondent Pete Dudley (Twitter: @ped1980) in travelling to Canvey Island’s Park Lane for this FAWNL Division One South East match between AFC Basildon Ladies and Stevenage Women.
This match gathered pace quickly, certainly assisted by a very early goal as Alex Bailess struck high into the net past Stevenage goalkeeper Grace Brooks after skipper Mollie Debell’s initial effort was blocked. The home forward pair of Holly Turner and Kelly Wealthall were causing the visiting defence problems with both having chances to add to the hosts’ goal-tally. Basildon did double their advantage with 26 minutes gone as Turner manufactured some space behind the Stevenage defence and slotted home, with only Brooks to bypass.
It nearly got better for the hosts nine minutes later as Wealthall glided an effort narrowly wide of the goal frame. Credit to the visitors though as they halved their deficit eight minutes before the interval as skipper Amy Makewell raced beyond the home backline before confidently firing home to make it 2 – 1. The half did not end there though as with moments remaining, Wealthall did get on the score-sheet, evading her marker before curling her effort well into the corner.
Half-Time: AFC Basildon 3 – 1 Stevenage
The second half had something to live up to though Basildon did have the majority of the possession and with it, the attacking play. Stevenage did have the odd foray forward and as we began after the interval, they had substitute Erin Pope to thank for a superb strike finding the far corner from a narrowing angle. The hosts responded immediately and after seeing one well-struck drive crash off the woodwork, they did restore a two-goal advantage as a cross by Holly Turner was spilled by Brooks and Wealthall was there in the ‘right place, right time’ to grab a tap-in on 49 minutes. It was a case of ‘deja vu’ only three minutes later as Wealthall happily grabbed a hat-trick, thanks to another close range finish.
Both sides were showing good energy levels, particularly the home side and skipper DeBell exemplified that from right-back. There was a late flurry of goals to send the crowd home happy as first, Makewell grabbed a second as as a powerful free-kick evaded the home custodian, who was somewhat distracted by Pope in her eye-line. That made it 5 – 3 though it only stayed that way for five minutes before a good header at the near-post by Jodie Osborne was too powerful for the unfortunate Brooks to save, despite getting a glove on it.
The scoring literally ended with the last kick of the match, somewhat fittingly as Ashleigh Deacon’s low strike added a fourth for the visitors who may look back on their first-half performance with some frustration. All in all though, despite the chill of a December afternoon, the quality on show from both sides was a terrific advert for the Women’s game and credit has to go to both teams. Basildon remain 6th after this win, their fifth of the season while Stevenage stay 8th. Thanks also to the club for their kind comments post-match.
Full-Time: AFC Basildon 6 – 4 Stevenage
Goal-scorers (Basildon): Alex Bailess [1’], Holly Turner [26’], Kelly Wealthall [44’, 49’ & 52’], Jodie Osborne [88’]
Written by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] – Non-League & EOFL Writer
Hello and welcome to this week’s Essex Olympian League round-up, which includes matches from the top four divisions & more on Saturday 7th December. Thanks for reading.
Saturday 7 December
In the top-tier, Sungate are the new leaders of the division after a narrow 1 – 0 win at Shenfield AFC. One loss in their last six matches see the ‘Gate a point clear of Catholic Utd who powered past Springfield 7 – 3 in a entertaining encounter at the Len Salmon Stadium. Luke Trice netted a treble for Dan Trenkel’s side, with Jay Nash getting a brace plus Aaron Baldwin & Brad Vaughan were also on target. Springfield had Dylan Caramba-Coker, Oliver Evans and replacement Harrison Elles to thank for their goals though they drop to sixth, behind Rayleigh Town on goal difference.
Meanwhile, Leigh Ramblers ended their recent winless run with a 2 – 0 success at Old Southendian, with Ryan Lowe and Justin Lowe strikes proving the difference in a team-wide good performance, which sees Wayne Seal’s team rise to third, at least temporarily given their rivals have games in hand on them. Kelvedon Hatch were held 3 – 3 by strugglers Canning Town at New Hall, which gave the visitors the point they needed to rise off the foot of the table.
Match Postponed: Harold Wood AthleticP – P Basildon Town (Waterlogged pitch)
Senior Division One
Now into a reduced programme in Senior One, and Chingford Athletic remain seven points clear at the summit, thanks to a 3 – 1 triumph over Rayleigh Town Res at Town Mead. The goals came from Mickey Mesmin, Alex Gordon and an OG as Ath got their fifth straight league win. Town’s Ressie side remain in mid-table. Elsewhere, Manford Way drew 2 – 2 with Toby at London Marathon Sports Ground. Olajide Yusuff and Paul Marjason struck for Manford though goals by Nic Keyamo and Sam Parrish levelled things for Toby who got their second point of the season. Manford are winless in their last four matches and sit 7th. Also, Old Chelmsfordians won 4 – 1 at Herongate Athletic to retain second spot, four points ahead of Ongar Town.
Match Postponed: Snaresbrook P – P Galleywood | (Waterlogged Pitch)
Senior Division Two
In EOFL Senior Two, Leigh Town roared back to the top of the standings after a fine 6 – 2 win over AS Rawreth at John Burrows Recreation Ground. Shane Cooper and Tom Byford both nabbed braces here, alongside one each for Daniel Driscoll and Max Jones. Town are unbeaten in their nine league matches thus far now, the only side still unbeaten. Rawreth struck through Louis Hill’s double though it’s nine consecutive defeats for them now as they drop to last place. Laindon Orient won 3 – 1 at Rochford Town, thanks to a Charlie Mann double & one from ex-Southend Manor midfielder Ricky Bowyer. Matt Welsh got the solitary Rochford goal as Orient’s third win in their last five outings sees them remain sixth. Town stay third-bottom after their fifth loss on-the-spin.
Also, May & Baker Res made a blistering comeback to win 5 – 2 at Epping Town. Kurt Smith and Joe Thomas netted for Billy Cove’s side though they were also reduced to ten men in what was their first loss this term in the league.Bakers recovered superbly thanks to doubles from John Mogege and Ricardo Teixiera and one from George Dawood.
Ryan drew 2 – 2 with Harold Wood Athletic Res with Krasimir Kamboshev getting both Ryan goals & Mike Lowry notching both for Wood’s second side. As a result, both sides are in the bottom four while Beacon Hill Rovers won 3 – 2 at Wakering Sports, with Sam Holden getting two of the Rovers goals. Adebolu Adeyemi got the other while Ben Rowe and replacement Ben Aston notching the Sports goals here.
Senior Division Three
Finally for this section, in Senior Three, with their nearest rivals not in action due to postponements, Wakebury went two points clear at the top with a fine 5 – 1 win over White Ensign Reserves at Shoebury Park. Christopher Gore led the way with a treble, plus Daniel Buglione and Charlie Little also chipping in for Matt Cardy’s side. Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ finally ended their winless run with an important 1 – 0 at fellow strugglers Lakeside Res, with Josh Boswell getting the crucial goal for Jason Mole’s side. Hutton Res also won, 3 – 0 at home to Leigh Town Reserves thanks to strikes by Harry Calder, Stephen Judge and substitute Harry Lane. That win sees them stay 9th but gain ground on the sides above them.
Matches Postponed: Collier Row P – P Corinthians Res | Forest Row Centre
Toby Res P – P ACD Utd | Ford’s Sports Club (Newbury Park – Toby pitch)
Senior League Cup Results
Bishop’s Stortford Swifts 2 – 2 Hutton (Hutton won 5 – 4 on pens) | Silver Leys
Rayleigh Town 4 – 0 Lakeside | London Road
Essex Junior Cup
Buckhurst Hill Res 0 – 1 Wakering Sports Res
Shoebury Town ‘A’ 5 – 2 Basildon Town Res
Senior Division Four Results
Catholic Utd Res 0 – 1 Chingford Athletic Development
Galleywood Res 3 – 4 Ongar Town Res
Laindon Orient Res 1 – 6 Roydon
Leytonstone Utd 1 – 2 Forest Glade
Old Chelmsfordians Res 5 – 3 Shenfield AFC Res
Senior Division Five Results
Leigh Ramblers Res 3 – 2 Wakering Sports ‘A’
Newbury Forest Res 0 – 5 Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res
Hello and a warm welcome to this week’s Essex Senior round-up, taking in the action from Saturday 7 December. Thanks for reading.
Cockfosters 0 – 2 Saffron Walden Town | Chalk Lane | Att: 60
Walden racked up another three points thanks to this win at Cockfosters. Ryan Fleming opened the scoring after just five minutes for Jason Maher’s team, before Nathan Scarborough gave the Bloods a cushion with their second on 31 minutes. Four wins in their last five matches sees Walden in third spot, just two points off leaders Hashtag Utd. ‘Fosters suffered their third loss in their last four and fall to seventh place.
Hashtag continued their superb recent form with a comfortable win over Woodford at Chadfields. Jamie Hursit put the hosts ahead on 23 minutes, before Ross Gleed converted a second penalty of the match for the hosts with 56 minutes on the watch. Harry Honesty nabbed a late third to give Jay Devereux’s side their fourth consecutive win and stay a point clear at the summit. The vocal presence of their fans could not inspire the Towners on this occasion as they remain in 10th.
Hoddesdon Town P – P Hadley | Postponed due to a Waterlogged pitch
Sawbridgeworth Town A – A Redbridge (HT: 0 – 0) | Crofters
Unfortunately this match did not get past half-time as the floodlights did not enter the fray because of a club issue, causing the abandonment.
Stansted battled to a last-minute win despite being reduced to ten men. Manor started the match strongly and broke the deadlock after just five minutes through Louie Hunt. Stansted’s hopes of recovered were blighted by Joe Clark’s dismissal though did get back into the contest with twenty minutes remaining through in-form forward Daniel Cheema. Jack Mitchell put the Airportmen ahead just five minutes afterwards but Reece Latimer levelled things up again with six minutes to play. The ‘sting in the tail’ came in added-time as club stalwart Paul Clayton grabbed all three points for his side and in doing so made it seven straight league wins, which in turn leaps them up to sixth, still seven points adrift of Hadley in 5th. Manor put in a much stronger performance though they haven’t won in five now and remain third-bottom.
Bengal were held by Clapton in this lower-half battle at Mile End. Zakariya Muhammed netted for the Tons with new skipper Rokib Choudhury getting the goal for the home side. Former Everton, Portsmouth & Middlesbrough striker Yakubu was in attendance though a point does little for either side as Bengal remain unbeaten in three matches in 13th while Clapton remain second-bottom.
West Essex 2 – 4 Walthamstow | Mayesbrook Park | Att: 42
In a dramatic match, Walthamstow overpowered the Stags at Mayesbrook Park. Three goals in the first 15 minutes set the tone as Dwade James converted from twelve yards just a minute into the match, with Callum Ibe making it two on nine minutes. James then enhanced his growing goal-tally five minutes later to make it three-nil to the visitors. West came back into the contest in the latter stages, with an OG pulling one back with eleven minutes of normal time to go. Unfortunately, a temporary floodlight failure extended the match somewhat, with substitute Lewis Francis netting for ‘Stow seven minutes into added-time before Callum Bloss’ free-kick five minutes later rounded out the scoring. Stow’s fifth win in their last seven means they remain the nearest challengers to Hashtag at the top, while West’s barren run continues as they stay in 12th.
Corinthians: Sky Blue & White Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Old Southendian Res: Green Shirts, Black Shorts, Green Socks
OS Ressies battle hard to claim big win at Corinthians
Corinthians 1 – 3 Old Southendian Reserves
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend’s match saw me divert back to the Essex Olympian League ‘arena’ as two of the top six sides in Senior Division Two faced each other in Corinthans and Old Southendian Reserves at the Stambridge Memorial Ground. Both sides were in good form in recent weeks, with only one loss each thus far this term. Chris Stoneham’s hosts named a front three of Jake Hodder, John Bolton-Smith and Nathan Dewberry with Nathan Warren between the sticks and Alfie Knight skippering the side. Bill Wilton and Theo Cannon were among the options on the home bench. They were without Connor Summerhill, Jake Lang and Ollie Brickwood here. The ‘Old Boys’ second-side had regular stopper George Dugdale in goal, a back four of Ryan Kelly, Andrew Cable, Thomas Smith and Thomas Margerison. Greg Molford and Ben Franklin led their attack with Lewis Caplin, David Stubbs and Thomas Adams making up their substitutes’ bench.
As we got started, it was clear that the pitch was in good nick considering the recent rain though was still a little slippery. Chances were not hard to come by in the opening minutes of the match as forward Nathan Dewberry could have added to his glistening goal-tally a minute into the contest though prodded wide of the far post. Seconds later, OS skipper Oliver Tatton-Bennett caught a home defender in possession and his lay-off found forward Greg Molford in a good position though he also shot wide of Nathan Warren’s goal.
At the other end, visiting goalkeeper George Dugdale was called into action just a few minutes in to deny midfielder Luke Owen’s strike though as we got into the second third of the half, the visitors found another gear. Ben Manley’s team found their rhythm going forward even if they didn’t quite have the finishing to match it as winger Jack Dagget twice failed to bypass Warren and early replacement David Stubbs’s near-post effort was blocked at close range.
As the half entered its final five minutes, you sensed this one could not remain a stalemate for long. The hosts kept pushing for that opening goal as Dewberry’s initial effort on goal was blocked, only for a follow-up effort by way of an acrobatic John Bolton-Smith overhead kick to slither wide of the left-side post. Old Southendian Reserves responded at the other end as Stubbs raced clear though when one-on-one with Warren, the ‘keeper pulled off a smart save to deny him. The drama didn’t end there as seconds before the interval, a corner from the far side was powerfully headed in by Ben Franklin to give the visitors a timely lead, despite it being wafer-thin at this point.
Half-Time: Corinthians 0 – 1 Old Southendian Res
We could have had four or five goals by this point on another day and both sides continued to attack after the break. Corinthians were being frustrated by gritty, uncompromising defending by the visitors who certainly put their bodies on the line at times too. Soon after the break, efforts from midfielder Matt Burrell and Dewberry couldn’t evade Dugdale in the OS goal and on the counter, the visitors could have extended their lead as supporting forward Andrew Turner made another telling run down the middle though Franklin was unable to follow-up as he lamped his strike over the goal frame. Nine minutes into the half, the pace of the game was steadily rising as on the counter-attack themselves, home forward Jake Hodder was picked out well by Dewberry, only for Hodder to fire wide from about twenty yards out.
As we passed the hour mark, it was still anyone’s game though that altered a tad on 64 minutes, with Old Southendian opening up the hosts’ defence which allowed Franklin to power in a firm strike past Warren from about 18 yards to double their advantage. This time however, the hosts responded immediately as Dewberry did add to his growing goal-tally this term as his lofted strike went over Dugdale and high into the net, barely a minute later. The hosts pushed for that important leveller though somehow and combination of the woodwork and Dugdale denied both Dewberry and Hodder in quick succession.
Realising the threat, OS carved out a neat move involving Stubbs and Tatton-Bennett led to the onrushing Turner’s good strike being well-saved by Warren. As it turned out, that move was a pre-cursor as with twelve minutes remaining, Warren came out of his goal-line to distract a visiting forward from firing at goal but crucially, OS retained possession and Tatton-Bennett, wide out on the left side of the box fizzed home from an acute angle right into the corner, much to the delight of his team-mates. With moments remaining, Hodder fired over from substitute Theo Cannon’s free-kick though in the end, it was a hard-fought victory for Ben Manley’s ‘Greens’ here at Stambridge, which sends them up to 3rd, above their opponents here though Corinthians do have two matches in hand.
Full-Time: Corinthians 1 – 3 Old Southendian Res
Difficult though it is to sum up this really tough battle, in the end the hosts were not at their fluent best here. Why that was the case will differ on your point of view, though you can’t deny that the ‘Old Boys’ really did put a heck of a shift in to frustrate Corinthians in their quest to build momentum with their rapid, free-flowing attacking game. For Ben Manley’s visitors, skipper Oliver Tattton-Bennett had another good game, with support forward Andrew Turner really being hard for the home defence to track, coming in deep from midfield. Thomas Margerison was a rock at the back & a threat from long throw-ins for the visitors too, with Ben Franklin also giving the hosts a headache in defence as well as his two goals here.
For Corinthians, forwards Jake Hodder, John Bolton-Smith and the ever-wily Nathan Dewberry did give the opposition more than a few nervous moments. As a side, they contributed heavily to what was an enthralling match despite not making the most of their chances, particularly in the first half. You have to credit both sides for their energy levels and desire to triumph as well here.
Finally, my thanks to the hosts for their welcome, and I wish both clubs well for the remainder of what is turning out to be a fascinating Division Two campaign.
Corinthians | Manager: Chris Stoneham
Starting XI: 1 Nathan Warren (GK), 2 Ethan Lemmon, 3 Brad Smith, 4 Sammy Ayres, 5 Luke Owen, 6 Alfie Knight (Capt), 7 Leo Clarke, 8 Matt Burrell, 11 Jake Hodder, 9 John Bolton-Smith, 20 Nathan Dewberry
Goal-scorer: Nathan Dewberry [65’]
Subs On: 14 Bill Wilton, 16 George Fulcher, 17 Theo Cannon & 12 Dan Cooksley
Booked: Bolton-Smith, Dewberry
Old Southendian Res | Manager: Ben Manley
Starting XI: 1 George Dugdale, 2 Ryan Kelly, 3 Andrew Cable, 4 Thomas Smith, 17 Thomas Margerison, 6 Andrew Turner, 7 Daniel Dowd, 8 Oliver Tatton-Bennett (Capt), 9 Greg Molford, 10 Ben Franklin, 11 Jack Dagget
Goal-scorers: Ben Franklin [ 45’+2 & 64’], Oliver Tatton-Bennett [78’]
Subs On: David Stubbs, Lewis Caplin, Thomas Adams | Booked: Stubbs
Hello and welcome to this week’s preview of Essex Olympian League action, which includes matches from the top four divisions & more on Saturday 7th December. Please note that these fixtures to subject to change due to the recent inclement weather. As a general rule, matches played on 3G or artificial pitches do get played. Thanks for reading.
Saturday 7 December (2.00pm KO’s unless stated)
Catholic Utd v Springfield | Len Salmon Stadium [3G]
Harold Wood Athleticv Basildon Town | Harold Wood Park (Pitch #1)
Kelvedon Hatch v Canning Town | New Hall
Old Southendian v Leigh Ramblers | Garon Park
Shenfield AFC v Sungate | St Martin’s Sch [3G]
Senior Division One
Chingford Athletic v Rayleigh Town Res | Town Mead [3G]
Herongate Athletic v Old Chelmsfordians | Billericay Road
Manford Way v Toby | London Marathon Sports Ground
Snaresbrook v Galleywood | Nutters Field
Senior Division Two
Corinthians v Old Southendian Res | Stambridge Memorial Ground
Epping Town v May & Baker Res | Stonards Hill
Leigh Town v AS Rawreth | John Burrows Recreation Ground
Rochford Town v Laindon Orient | Rochford Recreation Ground
Ryan v Harold Wood Athletic Res | Wadham Lodge Intermediate Grass Pitch
Wakering Sports v Beacon Hill Rovers | Cupid’s CC (Pitch 1)
Senior Division Three
Collier Row v Corinthians Res | Forest Row Centre
Hutton Res v Leigh Town Res | Polo Fields
Lakeside Res v Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ | Lakeside Sports Ground [3G] (2.30pm KO)
Toby Res v ACD Utd | Ford’s Sports Club (Newbury Park – Toby pitch)
Wakebury v White Ensign Res | Shoebury Park
Senior League Cup (1.30pm KO)
Bishop’s Stortford Swifts v Hutton | Silver Leys
Rayleigh Town v Lakeside | London Road
Essex Junior Cup (1.30pm KOs)
Buckhurst Hill Res v Wakering Sports Res
Shoebury Town ‘A’ v Basildon Town Res
Senior Division Four
Catholic Utd Res v Chingford Athletic Development
Galleywood Res v Ongar Town Res
Laindon Orient Res v Roydon
Leytonstone Utd v Forest Glade
Old Chelmsfordians Res v Shenfield AFC Res
Senior Division Five
Leigh Ramblers Res v Wakering Sports ‘A’
Newbury Forest Res v Bishop’s Stortford Swifts Res
T Hamlets: Orange Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Cockfosters: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red & White Hooped Socks
Players before KO
Clarke stunner edges Cockfosters to win at Mile End
Tower Hamlets 0 – 1 Cockfosters
Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
A rare Monday night Essex Senior match took me to Mile End to see the new-look Tower Hamlets side face Cockfosters. Hamlets named a front two of Ezra Ndukuba with Anthony Folkes in support, with Yoan Edoukou and Josh Rusoke on the flanks. Cockfosters had first-choice Brad Robinson in goal, Matt Thomson alongside Billy Murray in midfield and a front two of in-form Billy Healey and Ned Clarke.
The hosts had won two of the last five before this one, while ‘Fosters had lost out in their last two matches. On what was a frightfully cold evening in East London, there were early sighters on goal in this one. First, Hamlets midfielder Ambrosio Preira’s drive smashed against a post after four minutes. Almost immediately, Ryan Wade’s side responded at the other end though winger Rueben Campbell’s drive was well over the woodwork. Moments later, a decent run down the centre by visiting forward Ceykan Karagozlu bypassed the first defender before Hamlets centre-back Alan Zuqolli tracked back and cleared well into the stands and the proverbial ‘Row Z’. Forward Billy Healey also whistled a drive past Ade Oyenuga’s goal soon after as Cockfosters gradually built momentum.
That being said, Hamlets were still dangerous on the counter with good balls in from the flanks being exemplified by full-back Tony Musoke’s cross from the left flank, which brought visiting stopper Robinson into action to punch away from danger. Midway into the half, Oyenuga did well to block another Healey drive from close range though Karagozlu really could have scored on the follow-up, only for it to be cleared off the goal-line.
The visitors did concede the odd needless free-kick just outside 18-yard area and from one of these on 26 minutes, forward Anthomy Folkes fizzed a well-directed effort just over the goal frame. Nine minutes later, the threatening Karagozlu sent in two or three teasing balls into the six-yard area though a teammate could not a decisive touch on them. Karagozlu also had a good effort saved by Oyenuga after evading the home defence though the telling moment came in added-time before the break.
Forward Ned Clarke, who has had a good start to life at Cockfosters, received the ball 30 yards out in a bit of space before hammering home an unstoppable drive with a tad or curl to pass Oyenuga and high into the net. It was undoubtedly one of the goals of the campaign that I’ve seen. And with that, referee Andy Simmonds soon blew for half-time.
Half-Time: Tower Hamlets 0 – 1 Cockfosters
You have to respect what this Hamlets team have done since the summer, given that most have come up from the Reserve side playing in the Essex Alliance League last term. They came out after the break with renewed purpose, and Ndukuba did well to evade his marker before firing harmlessly over the crossbar four minutes into the half.
Cockfosters knew they were in for a battle here as Hamlets maintained the momentum in the next phase of the game, with Zuqolli heading a corner towards goal though Robinson could gather just in front of his own goal frame.
Home winger Josh Rusoke also tested Robinson moments afterward as his drive looked to get a small deflection off the defender though Robinson held firm to deny him. ‘Fosters had a goal chalked off for a foul with twenty minutes remaining, though they held firm as Hamlets couldn’t sustain the possession pressure to continue their attacking intent. A twenty-yard drive by skipper Ali Omar was gathered by Robinson in the dying minutes. Finally, on the stroke of the ninety, Cockfosters substitute George Beattie’s fierce strike brushed a post though they deserved the win although it may have been grittier than they would have ideally wanted.
Full-Time: Tower Hamlets 0 – 1 Cockfosters
In summary, a tough evening’s work for Cockfosters though ultimately they did enough to claim the points, thanks to that Clarke’s stunning strike. Clarke had another decent game, as did strike partner Billy Healey and winger Rueben Campbell. For Hamlets, forward Ezra Ndukuba was skilful, quick and a danger to the opposition defence while Anthony Folkes provided good support and Yoan Edoukou also did well. Best wishes to both sides going forward this term and also thank you to Hamlets for their welcome.
Teams (with shirt numbers)
Tower Hamlets | Manager: John Jatto
99 Ade Oyenuga (GK), 2 Jesse Boalenga, 3 Anthony Musoke, 4 Ali Omar (Capt), 5 Allan Zuqolli, 6 Ambrosio Preira (16 Adam Kerroche 43’), 7 Yoan Edoukou, 8 Ben Brookes, 9 Ezra Ndukuba (12 Benas Vaivada 80’), 10 Anthony Folkes, 11 Josh Rusoke
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Anderson, Daniel
Cockfosters | Player-Manager: Ryan Wade
1 Brad Robinson (GK), 2 Luke Marshall, 3 Marcus Crowther, 4 Matt Thomson, 5 Danny Haigh (Capt), 6 Dan Odamo, 7 Rueben Campbell, 8 Billy Murray, 9 Billy Healey (12 George Beattie 81’), 10 Ned Clarke (14 Alex Michaelides 67’), 11 Ceykan Karagozlu (15 Kai Bowers 74’),