Eastern Senior League South
2018-19 Season: Match 54
Tuesday 26th February 2019 – 7.45pm KO
Venue: Leslie Field
Burnham: Blue & Navy Blue Shirts, Black Shorts, Sky Blue Shorts
Ensign: Red Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Ensign snatch late point at spirited Burnham
Report by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14] with added photos by Peter D [Twitter: @ped1980]
A rare sujorn to Leslie Field saw me take in a midweek battle in the Eastern Senior League South between mid-table Burnham and top-four side White Ensign. The hosts have picked up somewhat since manager Alex Salmon took charge. Having brought a few more former Essex Senior League players into the squad like former Barkingside and Clapton midfielder James Briggs, the hosts are looking for a top-ten finish. They named a strong XI with Grant Webb at right-back, James O”Brien at centre-back and a front four made of wingers Adam Allen and Joe Howard plus forwards Bradley Morgan and ex-Hullbridge youngster Oliver Miller. Ensign needed to keep the pressure on leaders Hashtag Utd and included in their line-up was skipper David Limber, midfielder John Hillard (who grabbed a hat-trick last weekend) and a front three of Luke Skinner, Dominic Locke and player-boss Brett Munyard.
The first-half wasn’t one of the best you’ll see as both sides battled hard to gain the upper hand. Ensign did look somewhat hesitant in defence as they had to scramble the ball away from their area on two occasions in the early stages. forward Dom Locke was a good outlet down the right to ease the pressure though his good cross in was gathered by home ‘keeper Martin Sawyer. Burnham had two half-chances to break the deadlock before the quarter-hour as first, forward Oliver Miller broke down the left side of goal before drilling a strike just wide of visiting custodian Tim Pitman’s post. Minutes later, a home corner was half-cleared when midfielder James Briggs fired over from 20 yards out.
As the half wore on, both sides wrestled for the momentum and as a result, it did get very niggly for most of the latter part of the half. Ensign did hae a half-chance three minutes before the interval though midfielder Jake McWee’s header lacked the power to bypass Sawyer.
Half-Time: Burnham 0 – 0 White Ensign
The second half hardly lacked incident. The speedy Burnham front two did harry the visiting defence right after the whistle though it was Ensign who took the lead on 48 minutes. The home defence momentarily switched off which allowed a neat ball in to find forward Brett Munyard who struck a low effort past Sawyer into the corner. That lead only lasted nine minutes though before the hosts levelled with a fine attacking move. Forward Bradley Morgan found winger Joe Howard who sprinted down the right towards goal, out-pacing the visiting back-line and rifled home past Pitman superbly. Alex Salmon’s side made the most of this good spell as they took the lead five minutes later. This time, Morgan, Miller and Howard were involved in the move which ultimately saw Miller cross in for Morgan to strike home confidently from ten yards out.
Ensign did struggle to ‘raise it’ despite audible warnings from ‘keeper Pitman. In the latter stages, skipper Dave LImber’s back header struck the top of the bar and a 35-yard whopper from fellow centre-back Andy George needed Sawyer to parry it away befopre gathering at the second attempt.
Ensign continued to threaten as attacking midfielder Connor Barmby’s low strike drew another save from Sawyer. The hosts couldn’t hold on for all three points as substitute Nathan Dewberry powered home a well-taken strike, off the inside of the post to secure a point for his side, despite a period of the half where they were below-par and were in danger of defeat.
Full-Time: Burnham Ramblers 2 – 2 White Ensign
Burnham should be pleased with their performance, with spirit and stout defending being part of that. In my view, the front three of Miller, Joe Howard and Morgan showed that they can be a force in this division if they keep their consistency. They had good games today while for Ensign, forward Dom Locke and Jack Maleary stood-out.
Finally, I’d like to thank Burnham for their hospitality and also Ensign player-boss Brett Munyard.
Burnham Ramblers | Manager: Alex Salmon
Martin Sawyer (GK), Grant Webb, Tom Howard, James O’Brien, Tyler Robinson, Jason Jones (Capt (Dave Etcheri 82′), James Briggs, Joe Howard, Bradley Morgan (Christopher Scott 90’+2), Oliver Miller (Karl Swanborough 76′), Adam Allen
Goal-scorers: Joe Howard [57′], Bradley Morgan [62′]
Subs Not Used: Kuderovitch, Fleming | Booked: Jones
White Ensign | Player-Manager: Brett Munyard
Tim Pitman (GK), Jack Maleary, Chris Howard (Thando Moyo 68′), Andy George, David Limber (capt), Jake McWee, Connor Barmby, John Hillard (Nathan Dewberry 72′), Luke Skinner, Dominic Locke, Brett Munyard
Goal-scorers: Brett Munyard [48′], Nathan Dewberry [89′]
Booked: Maleary, Barmby | Subs Not Used: Ainslie, Austin, Stubbs