Essex Senior League
Venue: Mayesbrook Park
2018-19 Season – Match 44
Saturday 26th January 2019 – 3pm KO
W Essex: Yellow & Black Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks
Enfield: Green Shirts, Green Shorts, Green Socks
West’s five-star showing overwhelms Enfield
Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
I returned to ESL ‘duties’ this weekend with this intriguing tie between two attack-minded sides in West Essex and Enfield at Mayesbrook Park. Neither side had won in their last three matches so both needed points. The hosts were missing the injured Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe and forward Cameron Gray though still named Michael Mignot and Hakim Medfai in attack with Tom Macleod returning as skipper. The E’s were also somewhat depleted though named goal-hungry Reece Barrett and Amin Benyoucef up front with Luke Thomas on the right flank.
Before the game, I had a feeling there would be goals in this one and that gut instinct bore fruit. The E’s started the game in a promising manner with full-back Josh Flynn and forward Reece Barrett giving the home defence a headache with their crossing and movement respectively. Fine margins did apply on seven minutes as creative midfielder Ben Bradbury was given space outside the box before crunching a 20-yard curling drive against a post with home stopper Jack Coker beaten. Minutes later, West midfielder Callum Bloss played in forward Michael Mignot, peeling away from the left flank though whilst one-on-one with Enfield ‘keeper Steven French, the ‘keeper did well to save with his feet.
On 13 minutes, Bloss was in the action again as he was adjudged to have been fouled in the area, with Joe Lefley converting the resultant spot-kick in the right corner. The visiting defence were not happy though four minutes later they really did make a mess of things as an under-hit back pass put French under pressure well ahead of his 18-yard box and he fumbled which lead to Mignot nipping in to rob him and gleefully passed into an empty net. Enfield responded strongly as Barrett had two chances but both went off-target. At the other end, Mignot’s pace was really troubling the visiting back-line and after French had denied him again after breaking through the back four, the talismanic forward had a hand in West’s third goal on 28 minutes.
Mignot did well to come off the left flank and with a low ball in, played in strike partner Hakim Medfai who ran on and drilled his strike past French into the far corner. Matt Hanning’s side did get a goal on the half-hour as they opened up the home defence to give Bradbury a tap-in from about six yards which to be fair their play deserved. West did look stubborn in defence in the main though with centre-backs Josh French and NIck Walk plus anchor midfielder Tom MacLeod powering away headers to clear their lines well. Six minutes before the break, the visitors pushed forward as Flynn played in winger Luke Thomas on the right though the latter’s drive sailed just wide of goal.
Half-Time: West Essex 3 – 1 Enfield
The second period began brightly for the hosts as on 50 minutes, as energetic midfielder Bloss played in a sublime weighted pass to play in Mignot who rounded substitute ‘keeper Jayden Hocking-Rising and slot home to make it 4 – 1. To their credit, Enfield continued to look handy in attack as around the hour mark, willing runner Amin Benyoucef blazed a half-chance wide plus Thomas and midfielder Ernold Haxhiou also slid efforts wide.
This in turn spurred the hosts who sensed they could further improve their goal difference. With 18 minutes remaining. substitute Symeon Taylor’s header was well-tipped over the bar by Hocking-Rising before Lefley’s effort hit a post. Moments later, Taylor sent another great ball in which fellow substitute Tom Woodbridge had a great chance though Hocking-Rising made another good save at full stretch to deny the hosts a fifth goal. Enfield did get a second with seven minutes to play as Haxhiou unleashed a powerful drive from 20-odd yards to beat Coker which gave them faint hope though that hope was extinguished in added-time as Taylor rifled home despite Hocking-Rising getting a hand on it. The E’s stopper had to be alert seconds later to deny Mignot a hat-trick though in the end there was no denying who deserved the points today.
The game also had a sour note to it in a sense as E’s substitute Jay Stavri was given a straight red for lashing out with a stray boot in the dying minutes.
Full-Time: West Essex 5 – 2 Enfield
All in all, this was a heck of a game and well-worth the trip, for the first-half alone. Undoubtedly, West boss Kwame Kwateng will be very happy with his side’s potency going forward as they did look sharp and could have easily got another two or three goals today. Add in the work rate to deny their opponents and they will consider it a job well done. Mignot and Bloss particularly stood out though the team performance was also strong from them here.
As for the E’s, like a few sides in the ESL this term, they are a contradiction (on this performance, anyway). They can certainly fashion chances well and be a threat with the quality they have, full-back Josh Flynn and forward Reece Barrett stood out for them today in my view, though you cannot ‘gift’ teams goals as they did here. Honestly, I sympathise with boss Hanning as I believe it is another indication of how the division (the ESL) is improving season-by-season and that hits teams hard at times.
Finally, I’d like to thank West Essex for the welcome they gave as usual and also I appreciate the hard work of both sides here in what was a pulsating match.
Check out my post-Match Interviews with both managers here (for WD Sportz & GFS): https://youtu.be/oAAhX4UFoek
Highlights of the match itself are here, courtesy of @Wdsportz
West Essex | Manager: Kwame Kwateng
Jack Coker (GK), Emanuel Warzola, Sanchez Hardy, Nick Walk, Josh French (Symeon Taylor 57′), Tom MacLeod (Capt), Greg Frederick, Callum Bloss, Joe Lefley (Samraj Gill 80′), Michael Mignot, Hakim Medfai (Tom Woodbridge 70′)
Goal-scorers: Joe Lefley [pen 13′], Michael Miignot [17′ & 50′], Hakim Medfai [28′], Symeon Taylor [90′ 2]
Booked: Bloss | Subs Not Used: Matthews
Enfield | Manager: Matt Hanning
Steven French (GK) (Jayden Hocking-Rising (GK) 46′), Josh Flynn (Jay Stavri 64′), Kevin Bondjanga, Ernold Haxhiou, Chris Gormley, Jacob Dixon, Luke Thomas, Nathan Cook (Jordan William 64′), Amin Benyoucef, Reece Barrett, Ben Bradbury (Capt)
Goal-scorers: Ben Bradbury [30′], Ernold Haxhiou [83′]
Booked: Dixon | Sent Off: Stavri | Subs Not Used: Thoma