Essex Olympian League – Senior Division Three
Venue: Len Forge Centre [3G]
2019 – 20 Season: Match 34
Saturday 2nd November 2019 – 2.00pm KO
W Ensign Res: Sky Blue & White Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Wakering: Blue Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Chance-laden match ends all-square for Ensign Ressies & Hullbridge ‘A’
White Ensign Res 1 – 1 Hullbridge Sports ‘A’
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
For this weekend’s Saturday match, I elected to defer to Olympian League action once again, and after the glib weather had taken out my initial choice, I headed to the Len Forge Centre to see White Ensign’s reserve side face the Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ side (aka their Developmental side) in EOFL Senior Three. Jack Caten named a decent side with a few of his Ensign team having played for the first team in left-back Yaw Danso, centre-back Daniel Casey and winger Lubona Wyatt. Current first-teamers James Parkins and Bradley Gates started in goal and in midfield respectively. For the Hullbridge side, Josh Boswell and Henry Shields were among their forward line with custodian Rod Morrissey and centre-backs Henry Hands and Oscar Driscoll. Joe Darby and Charlie Oakman were among their substitutes.
Ensign looked to keep the ball on the deck in the early stages of this contest, on a very damp artificial surface. The first real chance though fell to the visitors on six minutes as forward Josh Boswell did well to get past the home defence though after rounding goalkeeper James Parkins, heis effort on goal was blocked by a well-positioned covering defender. The ‘Bridge side did come back into the match and had decent amount of possession in the midway point of the half though Ensign responded as after a good run by winger Lubona Wyatt, the ball came to midfielder Bradley Gates who wafted his strike well over.
Moments later at the other end, a corner for ‘Bridge found centre-back Henry Hands six yards out though his header was punched away by Parkins. Neither side could get that decisive strike away at this point, though on 33 minutes, after a 40-yard run, midfielder Joss Pountney was brought wide by his marker though could still get a shot off that just fizzed past the angle of crossbar and post. The half concluded with two telling chances with varying results. Wyatt showed good persistence n the flank on 37 minutes before finding Pountney though he could only fire off-target with only ‘keeper Rod Morrissey to beat.
And then with half-time a minute away, the Hullbridge side took the lead. A rapid break bypassed the home defence, with Boswell unselfishly playing in Henry Shields who superbly blasted home from twenty yards right in the top corner past Parkins.
Half-Time: White Ensign Res 0 – 1 Hullbridge Sports ‘A’
Ensign introduced Mechack-Kisoka Asuka at the break and he nearly made an instant impact as he had a sight at goal though could only find the side-netting. A flurry of chances followed for both teams, with centre-back Archie Matthews heading wide from forward Lewis Brown’s corner. That was swiftly followed by Boswell crashing a drive against the woodwork in what was a really promising chance. Ensign did level things up on 62 minutes as Asuka used his rapid pace to good effect, breaking through the visiting backline before cooly slotting low past Morrissey into the far corner, just out of the grasp of the covering defender.
The chances continued to sway for both sides, as six minutes after the equaliser, Gates free-kick smashed the crossbar. Seconds later, a powerful strike by midfielder Harry Mole came back off the crossbar and post though it was adjudged not to have crossed the line. In the latter stages of this very open encounter, Matthews and Asuka both struck off-target for the hosts while substitute Joe Darby also hit the woodwork for Hullbridge, he showed good purpose and pace in his cameo. Fellow replacement Charlie Oakman also clipped the post with Parkins to defeat before the Ensign ‘keeper made a sprawling save to deny a super curling effort late on. Brown then had an effort on the stroke of full-time that also grazed the much-used goal frame though both teams had to settle for a point.
Full-Time: White Ensign Res 1 – 1 Hullbridge Sports ‘A’
In some ways, the draw was the right result as either side could have won though unfortunately didn’t have the desired finishing.
In terms of stand-out performances, for the hosts I felt winger Lubona Wyatt stood out with his pace and movement down the left flank, while Mechack-Kisoka Asuka impressed in his appearance from the bench. Centre-back Archie Matthews made some timely interceptions and goalie James Parkins made a few crucial saves as well to keep that point intact. For the visitors, forward Josh Boswell got in many promising positions, and could have easily had a hat-trick. In midfield, Billy Carter put in an energetic shift, with Joe Darby doing well after coming on and Harry Mole also did well at times too.
Finally, my thanks to the hosts for their hospitality today. I wish both sides well for the remainder of the EOFL Senior Three campaign.
White Ensign Reserves | Player-Manager: Jack Caten
Starting XI: 1. James Parkins (GK), 2. Max Pitts, 18. Yaw Danso, 13. Daniel Casey, 6. Archie Matthews, 7. Sam Smith, 16. Bradley Gates, 17. Rudi Voller, 8. Joss Pountney, 11. Lubona Wyatt, 9. Lewis Brown
Goal-scorers: Mechack-Kisoka Asuka [62’]
Subs On: Jack Thompson, Mechack-Kisoka Asuka | Subs Unused: A Skinner, J Caten
Hullbridge Sports ‘A’ | Manager: Adrian Hands
Starting XI: 1. Rod Morrissey (GK), 6. Henry Hands, 4. Oscar Driscoll, 33. George Mole, 14 Harry Mole, 30. Tom Quelch, 32. Billy Carter, 16 Henry Shields, 7. Charlie Cox, 34. Josh Boswell, 11. Will Bray
Subs On: Joe Darby, Charlie Oakman, Luke Livingstone | Subs Not Used: None
Referee: Nnaemeka Ukah