Essex Senior League
2019-20 Season: Match 15
Wednesday 21st August – 7.45pm KO
Ilford: Blue & White Hooped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue & White Socks
Hamlets: Orange Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Ilford edge this battle with Hamlets at Cricklefield
Ilford 1 – 0 Tower Hamlets
Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
Our latest trip took me back to Cricklefield for this Essex Senior League encounter between Ilford and Tower Hamlets – two sides that have undergone management changes and hefty squad turnovers as well in the summer. Ilford were somewhat under-strength here with midfielder Connor Kain unavailable though could name goalkeeper Hugo Rossetti, the only survivor from last season’s regular side, in their starting XI. Former Watford and Norwich midfielder Clint Easton (who is also assistant manager) lined up at centre-back at the princely age of 41, respect to you Clint for ‘giving back’ to the game. The front two were Joshua Ekada and Valter Simao with academy graduate Ryan O’Connell and Felix Laws-Cochrane on the flanks. Hamlets’ management and squad are largely the team that competed for their reserve side in the Essex Alliance League last season with Anthony Folkes skippering the side, Jack Gannon in goal and a front three of Miles Mercury, Deese Kasinga-Madia and the hat-trick hero from last Saturday’s win at Sawbridgeworth, Ezra Ndukuba.
The first sighter of goal came on five minutes as Ilf winger Felix Laws-Cochrane’s strike at the near-post was gathered by visiting goalkeeper Jack Gannon. At the other end, Hamlets forward Miles Mercury had shown some neat touches in the early-going and his good forward run on 12 minutes ended with a shot lacking the power to beat home custodian Hugo Rossetti. Hamlets did have the edge overall in the first-half in what was growing to be a pretty lifeless match, with both sides cancelling each other out in midfield. With 25 minutes on the clock, visiting wing-back Anthony Musoke cut inside well though his drive at goal was gathered by Rossetti before it snuck inside the near post. The hosts suffered a blow when defender Clint Easton was forced off on the half-hour, to be replaced by Santana Porter. As half-time approached, a powerful long ball from centre-back Jedidiah Brown-Johnson found forward Ezra Ndukuba though his header couldn’t bypass Rossetti to break the deadlock.
Half-time: Ilford 0 – 0 Tower Hamlets
As the second-half progressed, the match continued to be rather devoid of ‘stand-out’ moments or clear-cut chances. Seven minutes into the second-half, right-back Tyson Talanya’s stinging cross forced ‘keeper Gannon to remain alert to gather ahead of the opposition forwards. With less than twenty minutes remaining on the watch, a good delivery from an Ilford corner found Simao who headed wide.
The hosts had to play the last eleven minutes with ten men after full-back Talanya hobbled off and Morgan LaForce’s team had already used all three substitutes. At that point, you may thought this match would have trickled its way to a goalless stalemate. Not so though. With ten minutes left, substitute Nic Keyamo forced his way into the area with a good run and just when he was poised to strike, Hamlets midfielder Kahlil Kirwan-Meade snuffed out the chance with a well-timed challenge under pressure. As it happened though, the breakthrough came moments later as after another corner caused some anxiousness in the Hamlets defence, centre-back Clifford Newby-Harris powered in a strike from close range to hand his side their first win of the campaign.
Full-Time: Ilford 1 – 0 Tower Hamlets
Ilford held out to get all three points in a match they may not have enjoyed much, though in fairness they did edge the second-half. Stand-outs for me today were winger Felix Laws-Cochrane who looked to get things going, centre-back Newbuy-Harris who did well after Easton was substituted and full-back Lewis Wicker. For Hamlets, midfielder Kahlil Kirwan-Meade and forward Miles Merciry did well and for both sides you suspect this is going to be a ‘learning’ season and there will be peaks & downturns along the way.
Finally, my thanks to Steve & the Ilford committee for the welcome pre-match & wish the side well this term. Best wishes to Hamlets for the reminder of the campaign as well.
Ilford | Manager: Morgan LaForce | Player-Assistant Mgr: Clint Easton
Hugo Rossetti (GK), Tyson Talanya, Lewis Wicker, Clint Easton (Santana Porter 30′), Clifford Newby-Harris, Connor Duffey, Felix Laws-Cochrane, Said Ali, Joshua Ekada (Nic Keyamo 46′), Valter Simao, Ryan O’Connell (Aiden Tolley 66′)
Goal-scorer: Clifford Newby-Harris [81′]
Booked: Newby-Harris | Subs Not Used: Clements, Browne.
Tower Hamlets | Manager: Damien Briggs
Jack Gannon (GK), Benas Vaivada, Anthony Musoke, Alan Zuqolli, Jedidiah Brown-Johnson, Joshua Rusoke, Kahlil Kirwan-Meade, Miles Mercury (Yoan Edoukou 60′), Deese Kasinga-Madia (Suaibo Balde 46′), Ezra Nudukuba
Booked: Rusoke | Subs Not Used: Temur, Brookes.