Essex Senior League
2019 – 20 Season: Match 28
Saturday 12th October 2019 – 3pm KO (Non-League Day)
Sawbridgeworth: Red & Black Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Shorts
W Essex: Yellow & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Yellow Socks
Stags overcome battling Sawbo at Crofters
Sawbridgeworth Town 0 – 3 West Essex
Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
On this year’s “Non-League Day” I made a first visit to Sawbridgeworth Town’s Crofters for their match with West Essex in the Essex Senior League. The contrasts here pre-match were stark – Sawbo were yet to win in their nine matches and were without a point while West had won their last three matches on-the-reel. Conditions did not favour expansive football with the dreary rain playing its part here.
Anyway, as for the teams and Sawbridgeworth were without forward Harry Bushell and midfielder Lamarr Douglas with Brandon Bullman between the sticks, a defence of skipper Ryan Willsmer, Louie Webster, Frankie Oatham and ex-Hullbridge youngster Angus Poole. Leon Lewis led the home side’s attack alongside Myles Passley with the likes of former Ilford winger Lion Docaj on the substitute’s bench. West named a back four of Sanchez Hardy, academy product Sam McNally, skipper Tom MacLeod and Josh French with a front three of Hakim Medfai, Michael Mignot and Symeon Taylor. Callum Bloss and Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe were on the bench for Kwame Kwateng’s team.
It was the visitors who started proceedings brightly, though to be fair to Sawbridgeworth they defended stoutly. Six minutes in, a good through ball by Stags forward Hakim Medfai put Michael Mignot in on goal with only home stopper Brandon Bullman to beat, though the angle was against him and the ‘keeper gathered well. Moments later from Medfai’s corner, West forward Symeon Taylor headed wide as Sawbridgeworth couldn’t find their rhythm in the early stages of this game.
Just past the quarter-hour, Lee Mackman’s side did venture forward though were frustrated in their efforts to seize the initative. The visitors went straight back up the other end where Bullman was called into action again to clear ahead of the onrushing Taylor. West broke the deadlock midway through the half as a rapid counter-attack saw Mignot turn provider as his pass found the buccaneering run of centre-back Josh French who stroked home a calm finish past Bullman.
Sawbridgeworth did create a few half-chances, with winger Moyo Jordan-Ajibade heading wide before the half-hour though it was the visitors who had the majority of the attacking play. Credit to Sawbo centre-backs Frankie Oatham and Angus Poole though as they dealt with the onslaught well, particularly in the air with clearing headers.
Half-Time: Sawbridgeworth 0 – 1 West Essex
You felt there was more drama to come, particularly as the atmosphere got increasingly tetchy towards the end of the first-half. Mignot had the first chance after the interval as he was one-on-one with Bullman though the glovesman denied him on the edge of his area. Minutes later, Sawbo started arguably their strongest period of the match as Poole’s header was gathered by visiting custodian Jack Coker. The Stags continued to create decent attacking moves though couldn’t quite make the most of them.
Then on the hour mark, Sawbo forward Myles Passley’s strike was well-blocked by French around the penalty spot area before Passley was frustrated again as another effort was well-denied by fellow centre-back Tom MacLeod. Sawbridgeworth were in the ascendancy at this point, being assisted by central midfielder Evaristo Kitoko and left winger Moyo Jordan-Ajibade, with the latter making a good run before Kitoko’s shot was also closed down by a stubborn visiting backline.
As we approached the latter stages, West were still looking a threat at times with Mignot’s pace and movement once again posing problems for the stretched home defence. On 71 minutes, home ‘keeper Bullman was dismissed for a rash challenge on Taylor which meant the hosts were down to ten and with no substitute stopper on the bench, full-back Louie Webster donned the jersey for the remainder of the contest.
The visitors continued to push forward, sensing the need to put the game away and Mignot was denied well by stand-in ‘keeper Webster with ten minutes left. Taylor’s improvised toe-poke then cannoned off a post before midfielder Joe Lefley’s sweet pass played in Mignot who blasted home despite a good effort from Webster to keep it out. Greg Frederick got a late third for West in added-time after the unfortunate home defence had blocked two previous efforts. The hosts had the final chance as substitute Martell Solarin’s drive was well kept out by an unsighted Coker though it was the visitors who claimed the points.
Full-Time: Sawbridgeworth Town 0 – 3 West Essex
In summary, although they perhaps were not quite at their free-flowing best, West ultimately did enough to claim the points. The slippery surface and unending rain did play its part in that though Forward Mignot was again a thorn in the opposition defence’s side with Josh French also having a good afternoon, as did Symeon Taylor and full-back Sam McNally, who made several good runs forward too,
Sawbridgeworth do have positives to take from this match I feel, even if they didn’t threaten for long periods of the match. As I said earlier, centre-backs Oatham and Poole were a tough barrier to break down while Moyo Jordan-Ajibade was a good outlet on the left flank for the hosts with his pace and crosses. Central midfielder Evaristo Kitoko also looked to get the attacks going for the hosts too with sme neat passing at times.
Finally, I’d like to thank Sawbridgeworth for their hospitality today and wish both sides well for the rest of the season.
Sawbridgeworth Town | Manager: Lee Mackman
1. Brandon Bullman (GK), 2.Ryan Willsmer (Capt), 3. Louie Webster, 4 Michael Folkes, 5. Frankie Oatham, 6. Angus Poole, 7. Prince Alozie (17. Lion Docaj 51′), 8. Evaristo Kitoko (16. Martell Solarin 73′), 9. Leon Lewis (14. Tommy Harris 77′), 10. Myles Passley, 11 Moto Jordan-Ajibade
Booked: Kitoko | Sent Off: Bullman (GK) | Subs Not Used: B James, McQuillan
West Essex | Manager: Kwame Kwateng
1. Jack Coker (GK), 3. Sanchez Hardy, 2. Sam McNally, 4 Tom MacLeod (Capt), 14 Josh French, 6. Emanuel Wazola, 8. Greg Frederick, 10. Joe Lefley, 9. Hakim Medfai (11. Callum Bloss 68′), 7. Michael Mignot, 12. Symeon Taylor (20. Izzy Ogedi-Uzokwe 84′)
Goal-scorers: Josh French [22′], Michael Mignot [83′], Greg Frederick [90’+1]
Booked: Wazola, Hardy, Mignot, Medfai | Subs Not Used: Walk, Woodbridge