Eastern Senior League South
Venue: Jack Carter Centre, the Drive
2018-19 Season – Match 48
Saturday 16th February 2019 – 3pm KO
Frenford: Red & White Striped Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
White Ensign: White Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Navy Blue Socks
Frenford hold firm to deny Ensign a vital win
Report & Photos by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
This weekend’s second match took me to a new ground and a league I rarely get a chance to watch as Frenford welcomed promotion-chasing White Ensign in this Eastern Senior League South encounter at the Jack Carter Centre in Gants Hill, East London.
Frenford are in a good mid-table spot and named Danny Driscoll as their focal point in attack, with Luke Woodward and Nick Hughes supporting him while skipper Carl Conway was joined in central defence by Nick Pegg. Ensign brought with them a strong squad with skipper Dave Limber alongside Andy George at the heart of their defence with John Williams and Connor Barnby in midfield and a front two of Dominic Locke and recent signing Nathan Dewberry.
The visitors showed flashes of their sharp passing game in the early stages with one example being midfielder John Williams looking to set attacks going with Connor Barnby bombing forward from midfield. Barnby had a sight of goal after a error by home goalkeeper Danny Fowler in clearing his lines fell to him though he fired over from 20 yards. Frenford did grow into the game though as full-back Enoch Freeman made a number of enterprising runs down the right flank, and although at times he was a little isolated, he gave the visiting back-line something to think about. With 16 minutes on the watch, Freeman fed midfielder Harry Daly whose cross found forward Nick Hughes though his header lacked the power to beat visiting custodian James Parkins.
The home side were having some joy down both flanks, with inter-play between full-back Billy Whatling and forward Luke Woodward ending up in crosses finding the Ensign box though more often than not, skipper Dave LImber was well-positioned in heading them out of danger. Ensign did look handy on the counter withexperienced forward Nathan Dewberry looking to beat the off-side trap though he also twice fizzed efforts wide of Fowler’s goal. Ensign spurned a decent opening three minutes before the break as Barnby broke free of the home defence though his strike failed to unduly trouble Fowler, who gathered well.
Half-Time: Frenford 0 – 0 White Ensign
In that first-half, although the hosts had more of the play and showed plenty of vigour, they didn’t really create many clear-cut openings. A mere 40 seconds after the re-start, midfielder Bradley Gates gave Ensign the lead with a vicious lob which diipped over Fowler and straight into the top right corner to leave quite a few in the ground a bit stunned. The hosts nearly responded before the hour though forward Danny Driscoll’s strike was well-saved by Parkins and for the next passage of the game, Frenford’s tempo dipped as Ensign conversely found more of the rhythm they needed. Forward Dominic Locke was also posing problems with his pace and trickery. Fowler was called into action again on 71 minutes though somehow centre-back Andy George missed a good chance to tuck home the re-bound.
Moments afterward, at the other end, Billy Whatling’s driving run from left-back led to another Woodward ball in to the area though Parkins did well to smother with home forwards lurking. However, Frenford were not to be denied as Woodward compounded a good performance by taking aim on the left of the penalty area which a sweet chip which evaded Perkins and crept under the bar. Both sides had chances to win it in the latter stages, with Barnby scuffing an effort whilst one-on-one with Fowler and Driscoll similarly couldn’t bypass Parkins after another telling Woodward pass. In the blur of added-time, a corner for the visitors was knocked on before before being cleared off the goal-line and substitute Julian Edwards got in front of Parkins but lobbed wide.
All in all though, a draw was a fair result, given both sides had their respective strong phases of the game. On another day, either side could have won it though Ensign may feel it is two points dropped, because of their keenness to keep tabs on the leaders. Finally, I’d like to say a big thank you to all at Frenford (chiefly, the Forbes clan) for their hospitality and the welcome they extended today. I really wish them well with big plans coming to fruition ahead of next season.
Full-Time: Frenford 1 – 1 White Ensign
Frenford | Manager: Dave Forbes
Danny Fowler (GK), Enoch Freeman, Billy Whatling (Tom Quinn 85′), Carl Conway (Capt), Nick Pegg, Harry Daly, Charlie Fairhead (George Fairhead 72′), Joe Villiers, Danny Driscoll, Luke Woodward, Nick Hughes (Julian Edwards 55′)
Goal-scorer: Luke Woodward [75′]
Booked: Villiers | Subs Not Used: Cook
White Ensign | Player-Manager: Brett Munyard
James Parkins (GK), Jack Maleary, Thando Mayo, Andy George, Dave Limber (Capt), Jake McWee, Bradley Gates (Peter Paoletti 80′), John Williams, Connor Barnby, Dominic Locke (Charlie Little 80′), Nathan Dewberry (Luke Skinner 64′)
Goal-scorer: Bradley Gates [46′]
Booked: Dewberry, Locke | Subs Not Used: Austin, Howard