Essex Senior League – ‘Kick It Out’ Day 2018
Venue: Mayesbrook Park
2017-18 Season – Match 66
Saturday 21st April 2018 – 3pm KO
West Essex: Yellow & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks
Wadham Lodge: White Shirts, Red Shorts, White Socks
Scott W Reporting (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
On a warm spring afternoon at Mayesbrook Park, West Essex welcomed relegation-battlers Wadham Lodge in one of the designated matches supporting the Essex Senior Lsague’s “Kick It Out” Day 2018. The hosts made only one change to the starting XI from their midweek win at Hullbridge with Josh French replacing Kofi Appiah at centre-back alongside Nick Walk with Tom Woodbridge and James Bromley options from the substitute’s bench.
Wadham rocked up here on-the-back of a fine win in midweek and had Louis Chapman between the posts with the attacking four of Abdoulie Njai, Kieron Southgate, captain Sherwin Stanley and Daniel Francis with young forward Rujorn Tuitt on the bench.
The match was preceded by a training session for youngsters, led by West Essex Head Coach Kwame Kwateng himself. The visitors knew their job and how much they needed the win here and broke the deadlock scarcely a minute into the match as a long throw-in caused chaos and midfielder Paul Oshin stole in to help the ball home and give Jason Ngandu’s side something to hold on to.
Only a minute later, the hosts’ start to the contest got worse as after a foul on Wadham forward Kieran Southgate in the area, the referee awarded a penalty though Wadham’s wily striker Stanley attempted to put off West goalkeeper Dan Russell by taking his time over the spot-kick, only for Russell to deny him with a good save. The hosts did gradually get themselves going and ten minutes in, the livewire that is forward Michael Mignot made a great run down the right flank, fizzed a good cross into the box that just evaded the outstretched foot of strike partner Isaac Marfo and the ball trickled harmlessly out of danger.
During the first 20-25 minutes, the Wad Army did have a healthy chunk of the attacking play though couldn’t quite create many clear-cut chances. Good link-up play mid-way through the half between West skipper Tom MacLeod and Mignot resulted in the latter firing wide though you still sensed the Stags had ‘more gears to find’ at this point. As the half entered its latter stages, Wadham defender Ashley Banks made a good challenge on Mignot though moments before, Marfo and midfielder Brad Russell’s efforts on goal couldn’t beat visiting ‘stopper Louis Chapman.
Right on the stroke of half-time, Brad Russell’s cross into the box was cleared by Wadham centre-back Chris Gormley. The resulting corner caused panic in the penalty area and the ball found its way to Mignot who speculatively back-heeled an effort past Chapman to give the Stags the leveller they so needed and undoubtedly the visitors would have been disappointed at the timing of the goal.
Half-Time: West Essex 1 – 1 Wadham Lodge
As the second half began, the hosts were determined to start this half better than they had the first. Seven minutes after the break, Wadham winger Abdoulie Njai made a good run down the right wing though blazed his shot harmlessly wide. West were starting to create more by this point and three minutes shy of the hour-mark, a superb curling left-wing cross by Ben Leo found Marfo in space, who nodded home well past Chapman to put the hosts ahead for the first time.
The visitors were awarded another spot-kick on 67 minutes though midfielder Michael Osei’s penalty was superbly tipped onto the woodwork by Dan Russell. To be fair to Wadham, their heads may have dropped but they didn’t as minutes later, substitute Rujorn Tuitt (who had replaced injured skipper Stanley) found his way into the area though a really good interception by Leo snuffed out the potential chance.
Two goals in three minutes did kill off the contest. With 78 minutes on the watch, a corner found MacLeod who calmly headedhome to give Kwame Kwateng’s side a two-goal cushion. Two minutes later, Mignot claimed another assist as his pass found defender Josh French at the back-post and he made no mistake with a cool finish. Stags ‘keeper Russell still needed to be alert to deny Njai with his outstretched foot, whilst one-on-one.
West remained hungry for goals late on, and after substitute Tom Woodbridge headed over, Mignot claimed his second to further assist his hopes of being the league’s leading scorer in two weeks’ time. All in all, West Essex’s attacking threat overwhelmed the troubled Wadham back-line in the second half as they just couldn’t live with their pace and movement – hardly the first side though this season to have found West difficult to play.
Full-Time: West Essex 5 – 1 Wadham Lodge
In closing, I’d like to mention that it was an honour to join Essex Senior League Chairman Rob Errington for this match, on such an important day for the ESL. It has to be said also that both sides put on a good game here for the larger crowd in attendance today.
West Essex | Head Coach: Kwame Kwateng
Dan Russell (GK), Sanchez Hardy, Ben Leo, Nick Walk, Josh French, Brad Russell (Musa Manneh 85′), Greg Frederick (Tom Woodbridge 82′), Tom MacLeod (Capt), Joe Lefley, Michael Mignot, Isaac Marfo (James Bromley 63′)
Goal-scorers: Michael Mignot [45′, 90′], Isaac Marfo [57′], Tom MacLeod [78′], Josh French [80′]
Booked: Mignot | Subs Not Used: Kane, Khan
Wadham Lodge | Manager: Jason Ngandu
Louis Chapman (GK), Brandon Kelly, Ashley Banks, Chris Gormley, Terry Foxe, Abdoulie Njai, Paul Oshin, Michael Osei (Nathan Joseph 80′), Sherwin Stanley (Capt) (Rujorn Tuitt 65′), Kieran Southgate, Daniel Francis
Goal-scorer: Paul Oshin [1′]
Booked: Osei, Gormley | Subs Not Used: Rider, Kirwan
Referee: Chris Cooper