Essex Senior League
Venue: Leslie Field
Monday 16th April 2018 7.45pm KO
2017-18 Season: Match 64
Burnham: Navy Blue & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Sky Blue Socks
Basildon: Green & White Striped Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks
Scott W Reporting (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
On a slightly chilly Monday evening at Leslie Field, relegation-threatened Burnham Ramblers welcomed promotion-chasing Basildon in what was a critical Essex Senior League encounter. For the hosts, Joshua Strizovic resumed duties between the sticks while Charlee Hughes also returned in attack, alongside Karl Swanborough. Basildon also welcomed back star striker Marcus Bowers into the starting XI, with Jack Adlington and Jamie Brown on the flanks. James Peagram and Matt Brinklow were among the options on the bench.
The visitors started in a dominant fashion, with wave after wave of attacks in the opening quarter-hour. Seven minutes in, centre-back Zac Littlejohn’s powerful drive forced an excellent one-handed save from Burnham custodian Joshua Strizovic at full-stretch. Winger Jack Adlington miscued his shot from point-blank range in what was a let-off for Lee Hughes’ side. Burnham did make their way forward at scattered intervals though forwards Julian Bavin and Charlee Hughes should have done better but blazed efforts over the bar.
Bees’ forward Marcus Bowers was once again proving a physical threat to the over-worked Burnham back-line and felllow Basildon forward Oli Spooner also made a nuisance of himself in the number-ten role. After the visitors had a goal ruled-out for off-side on the half-hour, Spooner headed wide from a good delivery from winger Jamie Brown. Burnham skipper Alex Salmon typified his side’s stubborn defending, making two crucial blocks though you wondered whether the Ramblers defence could keep defensive display for the whole 90 minutes. In all honesty, Basildon should have been two goals ahead at the break.
Half-Time: Burnham 0 – 0 Basildon
Into the second period and five minutes in, Hughes fired a shot from a narrow angle though visiting goalkeeper Connor Wheatley gathered. Moments later, the hosts conceded another free-kick, just outside the edge of the penalty area after Brown’s shot was adjudged to have been blocked by a hand. Bowers stepped up and blasted a sweet strike past Strizovic into the left corner. It was no less than the visitors deserved really and on the hour, Bees substitute Matt Brinklow was denied a good sniff at goal by Burnham winger Alfie Vinton, tracking back.
With 64 minutes on the clock, a Basildon corner was punched out by Strizovic though the ball fell kindly to Bowers in the area, who blasted another well-struck effort past the unsighted Strizovic, who managed to get a hand on it but couldn’t divert it over the bar. Burnham rallied though Hughes’ powerful goal-bound shot was parried by Wheatley. Just after that, the hosts were down to ten men after Vinton was dismissed for expressing his frustrations rather too fiercely.
The Bees should have been further ahead though Brinklow’s effort was cleared off the line. The hosts punished Basildon for that miss as Jamie Marsh’s fine cross was struck home by Hughes. Wheatley had to be alert late on to react to Burnham midfielder Bill Howard’s back header, which the ‘keeper tipped over the bar well. The Bees held on to claim another important win.
All in all, Marc Harrison’s side deserved the points with an assured display at times and their attacking pace and movement though Burnham did work hard at times, though they struggled to assert themselves in the first half. Things look bleak for Burnham now as they really need to win both of their remaining fixtures though it looks as though their fate is ‘out of their hands’ now. Basildon return to action at Southend Manor on Wednesday night and a win there will see them go level on points with Redbridge.
Burnham Ramblers | Head Coach: Lee Hughes
Joshua Strizovic (GK), Tom Bennett (Tomiwa Adebayo 49′), Ricardo Bailey, Charles Brewer, Alex Salmon (Capt), Jamie Marsh, Alfie Vinton, William Howard, Karl Swanborough, Charlee Hughes, Julian Bavin (Scott Plom 73′)
Goal-scorer: Charlee Hughes [77′]
Booked: Howard, Hughes, Bavin, Salmon, Brewer
Sent Off: Vinton (Foul and Abusive language) | Subs Not Used: Hanlon, French (GK), Lewis
Basildon Utd | Manager: Marc Harrison
Connor Wheatley (GK), Jamie Selby-Knight, Chris Charlery, Joe Skeels, Joe Burgess, Zac Littlejohn, Jamie Brown, Grant Cumming, Marcus Bowers (James Peagram 65′), Oli Spooner (Jack Renew 71′), Jack Adlington (Matt Brinklow 60′)
Goal-scorer: Marcus Bowers [53′, 64′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Putt, Phillips